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Study: Bullying keeps overweight kids from exercise

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Old 05-15-2006, 08:50 AM   #1
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Default Study: Bullying keeps overweight kids from exercise

((moved from the Support section of the boards to here, because i thought it was a more appropriate place))

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((warning: rant incoming))

A study in the April online version of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology suggests that the bullying overweight kids endure keeps them away from the things that could actually help them get more fit: exercise, sports, PE class and the like.

Makes sense, doesn't it? You have kids that already probably feel pretty crummy about themselves (they know they're overweight and they already know that that makes them "second-rate" in society's view). Piled on top of that, they have other kids who seem to take delight in perpetuating their misery.

Makes me angry.

I hate bullies, be they physical or emotional bullies. I do not now nor have I ever believed that it's "just the way kids are" or that "kids are just cruel". I think it's learned behavior and that behavior is very often condoned or dismissed.

So what can we, as adults, do? How can we help the overweight kids withstand the bullies? How can we stop (and punish) the bullies? How can we deny the bullies the reward they crave (seeing the picked-on kid cry or cower)? And how can we make sure we stop the bullies in their nasty little tracks so they don't grow up into nasty, mean-spirited adults?

((gets off her rant-box for now))
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Old 05-15-2006, 01:53 PM   #2
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That was me!!! I was bullied from the age of 7 until I was 15. I have a mild form of cerebral palsy and I have asthma. Kids were just so nasty to me, and so were some of the teachers. I tried really hard at sport and games, but was always last picked, was mocked, was teased, I hated it. The only thing I liked was swimming.

It's taken another 18 years for me to be able to face my fears of exercise. That bullied kid was lurking just under the surface the first time I entered the gym. I was sure someone was going to laugh at me, or tease me, or tell me to get out!!!

I have had nothing but support and admiration from everyone I have met at the gym, and finally that bullied child has been put to rest.

Nothing can be done to stop bullying. The answer is to bring up confident kids and teach those that are being bullied that the bullies are liars. The problem in my case was that the bullies based their taunts on truth. I was uncoordinated, slow and I did breathe funny. No one thought to help me acknowledge this, and then to concentrate on what I was good at. I am strong, have good endurance, am able to think outside the box (was quite good at sports that involved a bit of cunning like orienteering)

Teachers and parents need to spend more time helping bullied kids find strategies to deal with the bullies, and to be happy kids despite the situations they may find themselves in.

Often bullies are hurting, scared kids themselves, who need to have someone weaker than them around to feel stronger. I have met some of my bullies now I am older, and they are full of remorse for what they put me through, and without exception, they all had difficult elements of their childhood, which caused their lack of care for others.
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