Newsletter Article

Criticism, he noted, is one of the most prevalent addictions of our times.  Watch a television program like Friends and you may hear a hundred comebacks in a single half-hour.  In children, this addiction to criticism manifests itself as disrespectfulness (“dissing”) or bullying.   Bullying is a way of making yourself feel bigger by making someone else feel smaller.  Kids who engage in this kind of behavior, said Payne, have “self-esteem issues.”  He added that children who are regularly victimized by bullies may also be engaging in addictive behavior.  A child becomes a target, he said, when he or she has no role in the group.

Oddly enough, a zero tolerance policy, in which an attempt is made to squash the bully completely, can be a breeding pound for other types of addictions, Payne said.  Denied his or her usual behavior, a child may simply become compulsive about something else, like video games.

On the 7th of May 2009, an article was published in the school newsletter about one of Kim John Payne’s lectures, an Australian who has worked as a counsellor, adult educator, consultant/researcher and educator, including being Project Director of the Waldorf Community Collaborative Counselling Programme at Antioch University New England.

The anonymous piece (why wouldn’t the author not put their name to it as was the case for all other newsletter article?), concerned issues of discipline within Steiner education and the following segment was quite revealing especially taking into account the fact that our eldest child’s teacher’s supervisor had once told us during a meeting that to separate a bully would be damaging to the child, and considering how the Titirangi Rudolf Steiner School treated matters of bullying our eldest child reported just one month later: