A well-researched guide to combating bullying. Goldman’s daughter Katie wasn’t interested in being like all the other girls; a big Star Wars fan, she loved her Star Wars water bottle. Her mother was concerned when Katie told her she didn’t want to bring the water bottle to school anymore. When Goldman pressed her, Katie broke down in tears, upset that the boys at school told her that Star Wars was only for boys. “Is this how it starts?” she asked herself. “Do kids find someone who does something differently and start to beat it out of her, first with words and sneers?” Goldman addressed the issue with the school and wrote about the experience online, touching off a flood of support from Star Wars fans and, eventually, bullying prevention forums, Twitter and celebrities. Goldman’s empathetic guidebook examines the ways in which bullying happens, from the teasing that takes place in the hallways of schools to the cyberbullying that runs largely unchecked through the digital halls of social media. Academic research into bullying, while useful, often fails to bridge the gap between insight and practical solutions, but Goldman effectively boils down the research into statistics that flow naturally into a larger narrative
In Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear Carrie Goldman has written a compelling, well-organized book providing a depth of knowledge about a national crisis and deftly showing how people working together in schools and communities can eradicate bullying.
Ms. Goldman explores the role of gender and how it is being used to define and limit individual expression. Much of the bullying that takes place in school concerns gender appropriateness, an emphasis surprisingly relevant after the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s and the “free to be you and me” ethic. But the pendulum of social mores appears to have swung back to an emphasis on appearance, clothing, and accessories, and engaging in “gender-typical interests.” Those free spirits who don’t comply do so at their peril.
Ms. Goldman focuses on children who are at high risk for peer victimization. The list of “bully magnets” is long: children who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, children who have unusual physical appearances, who receive special education, who qualify for free lunch, who practice a minority religion and who have atypical family structures. The author tells real-life stories of children from these groups that have been victimized and weaves them into a history of social trends.
Part Three delves into ways parents and educators can protect children from the negative impact of bullying by creating a home environment that is self-affirming for the child, that regulates use of technology and social media, and disallows music that promotes a double standard of male dominance and female subjugation. Practical advice is available for dealing with cyberbullying and gender bias in marketing.
Ms. Goldman’s final advice is for parents to stay connected to their kids while they are absorbing “cultural messages,” making sure that empathy and respect are used to counteract negativity, discrimination, and victimization. Indicative of her thoroughness and commitment to change, Ms. Goldman has written a compelling book demystifying a complex social issue as well as providing practical suggestions, a helpful appendix, and a thorough bibliography.
“Bullying is a complex problem and to truly understand it you need comprehensive information and concrete solutions. Goldman’s Bullied does just that. This book will be an invaluable resource to help you make sense of how bullying happens and what to do about it.”
“After years of working in bullying prevention and education, I can honestly state how rare it is that a book like Bullied comes along. This book will not only change the daily lives of students, their parents, and educators, this book will shift the values of our generation.”
“This is an important book on an important subject. We are glad to see such a broad and considered approach taken on the complex subject of bullying.”
“Bullied is an excellent how-to guide for addressing bullying and creating a culture of acceptance and respect. I can’t recommend this book enough to parents and educators.”
“This incredible book could substitute as a tutorial for both parents and children on how to view themselves, the world, and the way we interact with each other. A truly eye-opening read that I guarantee will change your whole outlook and perspective on everything you thought you knew about bullying.”
“Bullied is a compassionate and captivating blend of stories, up-to-date research, and practical guidance. Goldman’s odyssey as a facts-seeking blogger mom at the epicenter makes her a powerful voice for positive change. Her keen insights make this a comprehensive and indispensable bullying prevention resource.”