Re: bullying behavior
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 2020 10:40:06 -0700 (PDT)
I see that we have good advice to parents, but in my experience the
parents who many are frustrated with don't actually want any advice on

If the child who is perceived as a bully had parents coming to the
community saying "please help me" then there would not be a conflict
to discuss.

Parents in cohousing want to solve problems by having other parents
parent differently. In ordinary neighborhoods I think that is less
common. We accept that other parents do things "wrong" (by our
standards) and we help our kids figure out how to deal with the
kids--or we don't help them--whatever our parenting style is.

So in many cases the conflict here in cohousing comes down to a parent
wanting something different from another parent.

Which brings us down to basic conflict resolution--
1) you have to talk to the person to hear what is going on and to ask
them to change their behavior. They may or may not, but the definitely
won't if you don't ask. (And we can help you have the conversation.)
2) the only thing you can actually change is yourself

Mosaic Commons Cohousing

On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 12:29 PM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L
<cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 8:40 AM CJ Q <homeschoolvideo [at]> wrote:
> > I appreciate your help since some of our children are hurting and all the
> > parents are having a hard time getting along right now (and are hurt too)
> Stories:
> 1. Two grandchildren I was caring for part of each day were in frequent 
> conflict. One was (always) the aggressor and the other (always) crying. My 
> automatic response was to comfort the crier and scold the aggressor. One day 
> it (finally) occurred to me if people act the way they feel, that the 
> aggressor was feeling aggressed upon whether I saw it or not. I started 
> responding to her as if she was crying instead of misbehaving. It not only 
> worked but she confirmed the whole dynamic. She understood it but wasn’t able 
> to change MY behavior.
> 2. Another child I had spent considerable amounts of time with was having 
> difficulty in school. He was very bright and at my house frequently worked in 
> workbooks, had drawing projects, and listened to and played music. He played 
> well with others. He was focused and happy. When he was of school age, he was 
> enrolled in a bilingual Montessori school and placed in a classroom with 
> children above his age because he was so smart and knew so much. The school 
> was very permissive and the children encouraged to be free spirits.
> Things didn’t go well at all — he disrupted in the classroom by interfering 
> with the work of others and didn’t focus on his own projects. This went on 
> for several years as his parents supported the bi-lingual, bi-cultural 
> environment. He was finally diagnosed as ADHD and enrolled in a more 
> structured private school that had experience with such problems. The 
> diagnosis never made sense to me. He was not ADHD.
> After he had been in the new school for a few months and was happy there, I 
> asked him why the new school was better. He said, Because I don’t have to 
> decide every morning what I want to do. We have a schedule and we all know 
> what’s next. He was now part of a group that did things together. The day was 
> predictable and inclusive. He was even better a few years later then they 
> entered him in a new school at a lower grade. As one of the older students 
> instead of by far the youngest, he suddenly became a social star.
> ————
> Thus, I think there might be ways to shape the behavior of the bullying and 
> abusive kids without telling them how to behave. That just irritates the 
> parents who think kids will be better people if they learn all life’s lessons 
> the hard way and anti-social behavior means they are expressing their own 
> true nature and developing independence and strength.
> Explaining behavior, reactions, feelings, etc., to them might work better. 
> Schedule some supervised and structured group activities where they learn how 
> to enjoy being part of a group. Focus on the feelings of the aggressors and 
> at least as much as those of the criers.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines, Historic Takoma Park, Washington DC
> Where all roads lead to Casablanca
> _________________________________________________________________
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(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

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