Friday, April 29, 2011

Ignoring a bully never works!

Sadly, there are still many adults, school counselors and school staffers dispensing advice to bullied children that not only does not work with bullying, it actually makes it worse!

Tragically, many of these trusted adults, tell bullied children to "ignore the bully and he will get bored and stop."  NEWS FLASH: if the bullied child is telling an adult it is about 95% likely that this is the 10th time the bully has bullied that child and while occasionally ( 1 in 10 times) ignoring an experimenting bully will work, it is almost never.

Ignoring a bully actually gives the him/her a permission slip to continue bullying. Ignoring a bully sends the signal that the victim "will take it" and therefore it is acceptable to bully that child. Further, ignoring a bully tells the bystanders that is acceptable to bully that child and inevitably, this becomes embedded in school cultures. From there, the many bystanders start bullying that same child.

The statistics are staggering the research is clear.

Use the following when coaching staff or adults:

1. If a bully torments a child once, either call it out as wrong right away or ignore it (again, ignoring it only works with experimenting bullies, not seasoned bullies).

2. If a bully does it again, let him know either via straight talk or humor that it is NOT ACCEPTABLE.  However, let us be clear about definitions, on the second occasion,  it is now officially bullying and should not be ignored. It should be addressed.

3. Children should report the bullying on the second occasion and the victim should expect to have the bully spoken to and the bully should receive a consequence that is meaningful ( including learning and introspection).

Visit us on Monday, we will provide clear definitions around bullying.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fear and anxiety every day for bullied children

Imagine you are a seventh grader and everyday you have a huge pit in your stomach. Imagine going to school everyday with the certainty that you will be humiliated, called names and much worse.

If it was a job, you would quit.  But kids can't quit school.  So it is our job, as adults, to protect them.  Similarly, if someone was degrading, harassing or assailing you, you would press charges. Interestingly, while this is the same exact behavior bullied children are experiencing, typically charges are not pressed.

When a child is hit by another or harassed, it is a violation of his/her civil rights. Charges can be pressed.
While judgement should be exercised on a case by case scenario certainly, this is food for thought for our parents of bullied children. Lets use solid judgement and protect our children!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Signs your child is being bullied

It is interesting, some children will just come out and tell you they are being bullied, others are tragically, ashamed ( even though they should not be) and won't even tell their parents. Still others, drop clues.

Sometimes as parents, our job looks a bit like a detective. We don't always understand what we are seeing, which is a clue that tells us we need to investigate.

Bullied children may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

-Does not want to go to school
-Frequent sicknesses such as stomachaches and headaches
-Looking down frequently
-Avoiding eye contact
-More somber moods
-School work declining
-Eating more or less than usual
-Difficulty sleeping
-Sleeping too much
-Agitated, jumpy
-Asking questions like, "what if I was homes-chooled?"
-Skipping social events
-Increased isolation
-Crying, moody and depressed

If you suspect anything, start doing a little informal digging. Start asking questions, look at phone call and text histories. Ask friends parents ( in a way they will not suspect), listen to conversations with friends,  review their emails (with or without permission).

If you find your child is being bullied the first step is to get the facts: who, what, where, why and when.
It is really important to make sure you have all the facts before you call the school or the bully's parents.

Most important stay calm and respectful.

Then, call the school and ask for meeting. Remember you could be saving your child's reputation and much more important, a life .

More to come..... See for free resources designed to help parents and schools
stop the bullying and get children back to happiness.