Published August 14, 2012
Hardcover, 368 pages
“As a parent, there are few things more heartbreaking than watching your child suffer at the hands of another child,” states Carrie Goldman, author of Bullied, an eye-opening book that not only seeks to explore the reasons bullying is so prevalent in our society, but goes into depth and provides practical solutions to how parents, educators, teachers and kids themselves can make a difference.
Goldman begins her book by relating how her 6-year-old daughter was bullied at school for having a Star Wars water bottle. After blogging about this incident she got an overwhelming (server crashed, thousands of comments) positive response from the cyber community, especially the self-named Geeks, nerds, Star Wars fans and sci-fi fans who lent support and understanding. This kick-started Goldman to do extensive research on the topic of bullying with the end result to help all children. She quotes leading experts on the topic, interviews parents, kids, actors and anyone touched by bullying in some significant way and shares their stories.
There is a lot to appreciate about this book. It is divided into three parts. The first part is about Goldman's daughter Katie's story, helping me to relate to the author as a mother. The second part looks at kids who are at high risk for peer victimization from geek girls to princess boys, kids with physical and hidden disabilities and homosexuals. She ends this part with the harmful effects of bullying on the brain, which broke my heart as I read about kids who detailed the extend of their bullying, and some who tragically committed suicide, or bullycide as it's now termed. The third part is about prevention, intervention and reconciliation, which was the part I wanted to read the most. Furthermore, Goldman includes at the back of the book what I think is an exhaustive bibliography, as well as resources, appendixes to research-based programs, surveys, notes and an index to facilitate searches.
Goldman is clear that we need to create a home environment that produces neither bullies nor victims by starting with “examining our behavior as parents and role models”. I agree. But she also argues about how the media and toy retailers use gender-based marketing and the sexualization of young girls through make-up and sexy clothing. She brings to light those who advocate change in our culture. Of course, Goldman also explores cyberbullying, and sexting, showing families how they can responsibly use technology and social media. For me, it seemed like she covered a lot. I learned so much and found myself reading this book in small increments so as to better absorb the material to get the most out of it.
Bullied is a well-written and useful tool as well as an important resource that I could appreciate both as a parent and specialized educator. A book that I will refer to and re-read several times. Highly recommended.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
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Carrie Goldman blogs about issues related to adoption and parenting for ChicagoNow.com, the online community of the Chicago Tribune. She has been featured on Babble.com, Mamapedia.com, HuffPost Parents, CircleofMoms.com, and other top parenting sites. Goldman received her B.S. from Northwestern University and her M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three daughters.
Connect with Carrie on Twitter.
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