How can I aid my child in discouraging bullying?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,952
    Dr. Ted Feinberg of the National Association of School Psychologists discusses how parents can teach children not to be passive bystanders if someone is being bullied.

    Ted Feinberg

    Dr. Feinberg has over 30 years of broad-based human services experience in the mental health field. He has extensive background in consultation and counseling with children, adolescents, adults and families. He has worked in both the public and private sectors. In August 2000, Dr. Feinberg assumed his current position as Assistant Executive Director for Professional Development for the National Association of School Psychologists. His new responsibilities include program development, oversight of advocacy, government and public relations, public policy initiatives, interagency networking as well as professional standards and ethics. Dr. Feinberg has also co-authored two chapters for a Best Practices book on crisis intervention in the schools, book chapters and numerous articles for the NASP Communiqué. Dr. Feinberg was one of the six members of the core workgroup who developed the nationally recognized PREPaRE crisis prevention and intervention training curriculum. Dr. Feinberg has been the Director of Albany Counseling and Crisis Intervention Services and the Senior School Psychologist for the North Colonie Schools near Albany, N.Y. He has been a member of the Graduate School faculties at Russell Sage College, University of New York at Albany, the University of Maryland and George Mason University. Dr. Feinberg completed his doctoral and postdoctoral training at the University of New York at Albany. In October 1995, the New York State Association of School Psychologists selected Dr. Feinberg as Practicioner of the Year. Dr. Feinberg completed his second trip to Panama where he assisted the United States Department of Defense with their reduction in force efforts. He was one of the founding members and Chairman for the NASP National Emergency Assistance team and has volunteered his time to do crisis intervention training and disaster mental health work for the American Red Cross and the National Organization for Victim Assistance. Dr. Feinberg was the team leader for NEAT/NOVA in Spotsylvania, Virginia where three adolescent girls from the community were abducted, molested and murdered. In April 1999, he was invited to Littleton, Colorado after the worst school shooting tragedy in US history to consult with school and community members impacted by the horrific event. Dr. Feinberg was the keynote speaker for the New York State Governors’ Conference on the Prevention of School Violence on March 5, 1999. He was also appointed to then Governor Pataki’s New York State Blue Ribbon Task Force on School Violence.

    Speaker: How can I aid my child in discouraging bullying?

    Dr. Ted Feinberg: There are three participants in bullying behavior. There is a bully, there is a victim, and then they are other folks who we call the bystanders. Now, bystanders can be active bystanders and that they are really encouraging the bully to do these anti-social hurtful things.

    Then, they are passive bystanders or people who just kind of watch this as if it were some sort of movie or show on television. Increasingly, what we are trying to do in schools is to help bystanders understand that they play a critical role in stopping this type of behavior because if the bully does not have an audience, often times, there is no real benefit to bully another child. However, if they have an audience then somehow they play to the audience and the bullying behavior continues.

    So, its really important to try to convince both the victim to come forward and also the bystanders to not just watch this is as if it was some sort of HBO movie. It really is important to give them a sense that they have a responsibility to not be passive or active bystanders, but really be instruments to help reduce this problem from happening.