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.

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