Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer is PERFECT time to build your school's antibullying system

If you were frustrated with your school district's inability to address bullying either on the individual level or school-wide, summer is a great time to get your committee started.

In our book, "When Your Child Is Being Bullied:Real Solutions", we devote a couple of chapters to the topic of building an anti-bulllying program from scratch or enhancing one that exists currently.

Frequently only time, dedication and passion is needed,  not money to build a program.

The keys to a successful effort are:

1. Develop a committee of concerned and interested folks before you present the idea of either building or enhancing an antibullying program to the superintendent and school board

2. The committee should be well rounded:
        - PARENTS

3. Be respectful and  collaborative with school leaders, the superintendent and school board. Schools  are busy, stressful places with many demands on their time.

4. Be passionate, stay focused and be an extremely pleasant nuisance.

5. Put together a plan and then meet with the school leadership, superintendent and school board.

Take the summer months to do the above and your program will be more readily accepted.

To learn the specific steps, resources and details needs to build a program, see  or to purchase our book, "When Your Child Is Being Bullied: Real Solutions", which outlines an easy to follow detailed path to a program that works.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why This Book and Why Now? Because children deserve solutions and deserve to be protected.

Why This Book and Why Now? Because children deserve solutions and deserve to be protected.

Introducing the first book of its kind in the bullying book category: a "how-to-stop-it- and-get-beyond-it guide" for Parents, Educators & Other Professionals who are experiencing the humiliation, isolation and despair brought on by bullying. When Your Child Is Being Bullied: Real Solutions For Parents, Educators & Other Professionals, is a step-by-step guide to stopping the torment and returning life to normal.

Written for parents by parents and educators or other interested parties, When Your Child Is Being Bullied: Real Solutions For Parents, Educators & Other Professionals, uses a blend of relevant stories, lessons learned, research and clearly laid out steps to help parents identify, understand, solve the problem and get families back on track. Similarly, we provide a step-by-step guide to developing a holistic anti-bullying program in schools. This can be well and without funding.

The basis for our concept is that parents and educators must work together collaboratively, respectfully, but aggressively to solve both acute, individual cases of bullying as well as developing school programs that prevent, remediate, reform and change whole cultures in schools quickly and effectively.

see for more.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New York Journal of Books Review of When Your Child Is Being Bullied

“This book can help conscientious parents empower themselves and their children so that together they can help safeguard the emotional health of all children.”

There is an abundance of self-help books about childhood bullying on the market and for a good reason: The problem has reached epidemic proportions. Because most incidents occur at school, educators have been forced to deal with it even as underfunded schools struggle to teach basic academics. Effective bullying intervention and prevention programs require staff training, which means taking teachers out of classrooms. More time must then be found in class to teach students empathetic behaviors, once taken for granted, now sadly lacking in today’s school culture.
  by J. E. DiMarco and M. K. Newman, both mothers of bullied children, is aimed primarily at parents and rightly so. If the problem is to be solved, it will have to start in the home with informed parents assuming the major responsibility for their children’s behavior. The problem is too massive and complex to be left to schools alone.
When Your Child Is Being Bullied,

Readers will identify with Ms. DiMarco and Ms. Newman’s personal stories and their frustrating search for solutions; however, after telling a very painful story about her son’s persecution by his fellow football team members, Ms. Newman admits that the ultimate solution was to switch her son to a private school. It felt a bit disingenuous to suggest an option that is simply not affordable for most families. Even changing public schools might not be feasible due to transportation issues and tight work schedules.

The inability of the administrators at her son’s school to solve the problem is a common experience. There is good advice about legal remedies if a parent is getting stonewalled by school administrators. In the back of the book are templates which can be downloaded from their website for documenting bullying incidents. There’s also a contract agreement form that can be used as a basis for negotiations between the bully’s parents and the bullied child’s parents.

There is an insightful chapter on why bullies feel a need to harass their peers. I would like to have seen more emphasis on compassion for the bullies who are manifestations of the aggression and meanness rampant in our culture today. Bullying will not be solved until we recognize that today’s bullies have been created by our competitive, tough society—which rewards winning above all other values.

Overall, this is an excellent book, but a couple of strategies suggested by the authors do not resonate. The authors actually approve of fighting back if the bully refuses to back off. And they specifically mean pushing and shoving. They acknowledge that this is a controversial suggestion but that “it works.” Of course, this has been the conventional advice for generations. But that does not make it right, nor safe. Most experts now advise caution when responding to bullies. Retaliation by bullies can be vicious, even deadly, in a society where guns are widely available and the Internet can be used to ruin a child’s social life indefinitely.
The best advice always is to tell an adult. In a high school in Miami where bullying is taken seriously, students are taught to keep reporting the incident until they are convinced someone in a position of authority has listened and is going to do something. At some schools, this can be a long wait. The authors strongly encourage parents to be persistent until satisfied that the bullying has ended and that there is no more contact between the bully and the target.

Another questionable piece of advice the authors give concerns ways to repair damage to a bullied child’s self-esteem by telling the child about praise from significant adults in the child’s life. “If you have to go out and find this information or make it up (emphasis mine), remind your bullied child that several people admire her.” This conjures the image of the “helicopter” parent, always hovering, ready to fix all her child’s problems. The authors go on to advise that the parent talk to the child’s sports coach and ask for him or her to praise the child.

Most children I know, including my own, would “die” of embarrassment if they found out their mother was going around the community soliciting praise for them. So if some of the authors’ advice sounds like micromanaging and deception, chalk it up to their concern for their kids—but don’t follow it if it feels as if it violates your sense of ethics.

Aside from their approval of fighting back (even as a last resort) and the invention of praise, the book does contain sound, practical advice about becoming an advocate in the school system. The authors stress that the real responsibility for eliminating the bullying pestilence rests with parents. Respectful, compassionate children have learned empathy by witnessing it at home and if raised correctly have the self-esteem and confidence to eliminate bullying in their schools by refusing to remain silent bystanders.
This book can help conscientious parents empower themselves and their children so that together they can help safeguard the emotional health of all children.

Critically acclaimed AMC series, "Breaking Bad" Actor RJ Mitte reviews “When Your Child is Being Bullied; Real Solutions for Parents, Educators and Other Professionals”

RJ Mitte best known for his role as Walter White Jr. on the AMC television series, Breaking Bad reviewed “When Your Child is Being Bullied; Real Solutions for Parents, Educators and Other Professionals”:

We have all come to a place where the need to control, force, and dominate
others for power and laughs is a tragic aspect of our modern society. This
behavior is called bullying. In order to completely remove one behavior we
have to replace it with another. Respecting our differences is more than a
polite idea. It reminds us that we are all equal in our humanity.

Solutions for Bullying offers practical steps, and experience for parents
and children who are experiencing bullying and don't know what to do. In
fact, the book should be used as a proactive tool that helps parents,
their children, and school administrations before a bullying crisis
begins, and leads to out of control behavior, or far worse, the death of
another innocent person.


RJ Mitte, Actor

RJ states in his review “respecting our differences”.  He is so right.  The world would be a very boring place if we were all beige.  Often kids that are more colorful are bullied.    They are bullied because they are different from the norm.    They do not wear the cool, name brand clothing, they are in the band, they like to act.... whatever it is that makes them different is often wrong in the eyes of the bully.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being different and we must encourage our kids to be who they are while still being respectful to others. 
RJ is only 19 years old; he is much wiser than his years.  There are so many actors that are bad boys/girls treating others with extreme disrespect.  We are so lucky to have a young man like RJ in Hollywood leading by example that being respectful and grounded is cool.  Thank you RJ!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When Your Child Is Being Bullied: Real Solutions is available today

Good Morning All,

Our book, "When Your Child Is Being Bullied: Real Solutions" is available on and today.

If you are an educator or a parent, our book provides a step-by-step guide to stopping a child's torment and moving them beyond it.  The book also provides a step-by-step guide to developing an anti-bullying system in school that actually works!

See or today to find real answers that work.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do the parents of the bully know their child is a bully?

Do the parents of the bully know their child is a bully?
A father was telling us a story about a friend of his that said to him “Why didn’t you tell me my child was a bully?”   This question came up after the father addressed the issue of not wanting to vacation with the family of the child that was doing the bullying.  The father replied “how did you not know?” 
We are often asked the question if the parent’s of the bully know their child is a bully.  Early on in our search for solutions to bullying we asked a leading child psychologist and bullying expert this question and his answer was “yes – they know”.  They know their child has behavior issues that should be addressed more frequently but for whatever reason they do not.  Maybe it is too uncomfortable, maybe they are afraid of their child, maybe it is easier not to address it and pretend the problem does not exist, maybe if they address the issue it will be a negative reflection on the child and the parents….
So what do we do when we are in a similar situation?  In our book we talk about addressing the issue with the other parents.  If is done in a professional, non-threatening manner the issue is out on the table for what is hopefully a healthy, constructive conversation that will generate a solution. 
It is an uncomfortable position to be in but with a little mental rehearsing, just like we do with our children when we discuss with them on how to stand up for themselves, it  could have a very positive outcome.  The issue is addressed, the parents of the bully know your concerns as it relates to the treatment of your child and hopefully positive steps are taken to resolve the problem.  Be warned that it sometimes takes a few conversations with the other parents to make this stick. 
Together we can find a solution! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yes bullying occurs at summer camps and can be stopped

It would be nice to think that bullying stops when school stops. Unfortunately, the children that bully during the school year are very impulsive and compulsive and will continue to bully in whatever environment they are placed.

How does a child deal with bullying at a summer camp?  First do not ignore bullying, it will get worse if you do not address it. Again, as always, with some experimenting bullies, ignoring it once or twice may work, but frequently does not.

Have a talk with your child before camp starts.  Role play responses that include humor, taking the bully aside and asking them to stop and of course, telling the bully directly to stop in a directed fashion. Share with your child that they should make friends with kids right away in order to insulate them from the bullies.

Similarly, ask your child to work at not getting upset when the bully starts in. IT IS VERY HARD, but encourage them if they stay calm and firm. In many cases it dissuades the bully from continuing. That does not mean ignore it.  It means communicating to the bully that they are merely irritating and rude, but not affecting your child's self esteem.

Remind your child that if they let it go on past the first couple of days, it will only get worse. Confiding in an adult and requesting that the bully is spoken to clearly about stopping the bullying, stop talking about the bullied child and the episode immediately. Also, a  consequence should be given on the first strike.

Key tips for your child:

-Find a go-to person in each session ) could be a friendly camp counselor)
-Stay with a safe group
-Try to diffuse the situation with humor
-Look directly at the bully and give them a look that lets them know their behavior is not acceptable
-Let the bully know they are rude, but do not get upset
-If you immediate escape is needed, request to see the nurse
-Tell a camp counselor
-Tell your parents

Tips for parents once your child has shared that he is being bullied:

-Make it clear to the camp administrator that you want this taken care of in 24 hours
-Request that the following occur immediately:

          -The bully is taken aside and told that several adult have been observing his bullying
          -Make it clear it will not be tolerated
          -Make it clear that they must stop bullying, stop talking about the bullied child or any of the
           bullying activity immediately
          -List a clearly laid out set of consequences if it happens again
          -Let the bully know on the second strike their parents will be called immediately
          - Provide a mild but clear consequence on the first strike
          -On second strike, the bully will be forced to do inside the camp community service
           -Make certain that if the bully recruits others to bully the victim, parents will be called  

During this time, make certain your child knows that, this in no way, is this  his fault. Bullying is anti-social, abnormal behavior. The bully has the issue, not your child.

For more, see www.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another Talk Mom? The Bully “Talk”

Just when you thought you were done with the tough conversations we need to add another one to it!  We had the “talks” about puberty, drugs, (gulp) sex and now BULLYING! 
Starting these conversations early and often with our children – it just may help prevent bullying .
Here are a few sample questions to start the conversation:
“Have you ever witnessed anyone being bullied or have you been bullied? “
If you have a very young child you might want to give examples of what bullying is such as name calling, hitting, intentional exclusion, gossip…. 
If your child answers yes follow up with, “What did you do about it?”
Welcome open conversations about bullying and if they ever see anything that looks like bullying tell a trusted adult and parent.  Try out your acting skills by pretend to be the bully, the by-stander and the bullied child.  Discuss how each of the children felt during the situation.  This is a good time to discuss the role of the by-stander as well as sticking up for themselves in a non-violent way.  Bullies do not like when someone else steps in and stands up for themselves or others. 
Here is the tough one…..  Have you ever shown bully like behaviors in the past?
If so, discuss what happened, why it happened and explain why these behaviors are hurtful not only to the other child but to themselves.
I know, I know one more thing on your to-do list but it could prevent so many more problems in the future.  Remember starting these conversations early and often with our children may help prevent bullying.
Together we can make this a better world for our children!