Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words
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“Meriam is a retired educator with over 37 years of experience in the field of education from pre-school through college. Her last 13 years were spent in her favorite job; an elementary school principal in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District in California. Married to her husband for 33 years and the mother of 3, Meriam brings a balanced approach to the many challenges parents face as they navigate through their child’s elementary school years.”
For more, check out Wilhelm's Smashwords interview.
“Bullying happens and it hurts both the victim and the bully. Understanding both sides of the bullying coin is critical to making change in schools and communities. Successfully shepherding a child out of their role as victim or bully requires the coordinated efforts of parents, coaches, educators and other involved adults working together to foster a greater understanding of the many facets of bullying. Be it the head of the bully or the tail of the victim, the ultimate goal is to stop bullying while promoting healthy behaviors in our children.
Recognizing warning signs and empowering children with strategies, skills and language can effectively neutralize bullying behaviors while promoting healthy social interaction skills between kids.
Bullies can change and victims can find their voice with the help of adults using the right tools. This book provides insights, tips and techniques to resolve bullying and to effectively lead children out of The Bullying Maze.”
I knew in the last several years that bullying had become an issue which many schools were implementing programs to combat. It isn’t a new problem, but in the past the methods of dealing with it were less than optimal. (Consider the cliché of someone who is being victimized by a bully beating them up after school addressing the problem by learning to fight back, answering violence with violence.) Reading The Bully Maze I found that I was correct in thinking addressing the issue of bullying was a good thing, but that I also had a view that was way too limited, both of what bullying is (it isn’t always physical) and it’s potential long term effects, for example that many bullies continue bullying as adults (I could name a couple managers I’ve worked for here).
In this book Wilhelm gives a good working definition for what qualifies as bullying, some hints for parents to recognize if their children are being victimized by bullies or are bullying others, and some specific ideas to address the problem, if there is one. I especially like that she addresses the issue from both sides, not only considering the bully and ways to address the root cause for them acting out, but also ways for the victim to react to alleviate the bullying in a non-violent fashion.
A small number of proofing and copyediting misses.
Rating: **** Four stars