Bullied kids should hit back, says US expert

NZ Herald 21 Nov 2011
Bully victims should fight back with their fists – and parents should not be so over-protective, says an overseas expert. And while American human behavioural specialist Dr John Demartini’s views have been decried in Australia, a New Zealand parenting guru agrees with him. Ian Grant, the co-founder of Parents Inc, said a generation of Kiwi children were being raised as “Peter Pans” who were easy targets for bullies. Mr Grant said although violence should be treated as an absolute last resort, in a very few cases it could put an end to bullying. “What’s happened in our modern world is that we have welded words. So if you say violence, people think it’s cruel and evil. “But sometimes you’ve got to stand up for yourself, and if that means hitting somebody else, I don’t have any issue with that.” Australian anti-bullying experts have condemned the similar message being promoted by Dr Demartini. The doctor, who is on a lecture tour to promote his book Benefits of the Bully, has told Australian audiences a bullied child was “a by-product of over-support”. “You have to teach the child the truth. If you teach them a fantasy world where we are all meant to be nice and get along, they will not appreciate how life really is,” Dr Demartini told news.com.au.