Did I Just Become A Bully?
Updated: Feb 25, 2020
This is how the story goes:
Sam wanted Adam's seat. He went straight on and sit on Adam's lap, as if Adam wasn't sitting on the chair already. Adam was shocked and tried to push him away. He refused to stand up regardless how Adam was telling him that he was hurting him.
Teacher has to intervene. After checking with Adam if he was all right, teacher started a conversation with Sam.
"Why are you sitting on Adam, Sam?"
Sam remained silent and smiling.
"Do you want this seat?"
Sam nodded his head.
"All right. It looks like Adam got the seat first, did you ask him if you can have the seat instead?"
Sam did not answer the question, he avoided any eye contact and said "I want to sit here."
"I understand that you want to sit here, but does it mean that you can hurt Adam so that you can get this seat?"
Sam remained silence again.
"Now, why not you get up first, and ask Adam nicely if he can give you his seat? I will show you how to do that."
After a few seconds, Sam stood up finally and looking at Adam.
"Now can you try to ask 'Adam, can I have your seat please?'."
"Adam, can I have your seat please?" Sam followed teacher's guidance.
Adam replied, "I want to sit here too, but you can sit next to me. Next time you can have my seat."
Sam took a minute or two to think about the option, then he said, "OK."
Then, Sam pulled a chair and sit next to Adam. Both of them were happy.
Did Sam just bully Adam? Looks like it. This is an example of children not being able to express themselves what they want, resulted in unintended bullying behaviour. Had the teacher not intervened and guided Sam, he would have been continuing the behaviour and might turn into a real bully.
(Sam and Adam are six years old)
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