How to talk to kids about elder bullying

How to talk to kids about elder bullying


by Cathy Marshall, KGW Staff

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM

It has been seen by hundreds of thousands around the world and your children may have watched it - the video of a 68-year-old bus monitor in upstate New York being bullied by four students.

It’s troubling to parents who wonder how to discuss it with their children.

The four students recorded 14 minutes of footage on a cell phone. The grandmother of 8 is taunted about her weight and her own children.

At one point she is harassed about her kids wanting to kill themselves.

Karen Klein’s son did take his own life 10 years ago. Klein has been a bus monitor for 23 years.

Portland Child Psychologist Nicole Carroll said that made her a desirable target.

“When kids can bully someone in a position of power, it brings extra status.”

Carroll believes understanding why kids bully is key in having a conversation with your children.

“90 per cent of kids who bully do it for the reaction of people around them,” she explained.

Carroll started a group called Stand for Courage that rewards kids who take a stand against bullying.

Teaching your child to be more than a bystander is important, as is understanding who their friends are.

“We assume sometimes kids bully because they have low self esteem but studies show bullies tend to have average or better than average self esteem, Carroll said.”

The victim of the bullying in New York has encouraged parents to watch the images.

“I do hope that parents see this and tell their kids to be more respectful,” said Klein.

Carroll agreed the only reason to watch the video would be if you plan to discuss it with your children and talk about how they should act if they ever see a similar situation.

There has been an outpouring of support for the victim.

A website established to collect donations, as of Thursday evening, had raised more than $350,000 for Klein.