Anti-Bullying Guides

Cyber Bullying and Stalking Guide

The Cyber Bullying and Stalking Guide is possibly the most comprehensive book on the subject of online harassment and is backed up with resources and tools in the members area. Cyber Stalking Victim Resource and Support Group: Inside you will find tools and links to online resources to assist a victim performing many of the tasks described throughout the book along with step by step guides for many of those tasks such as lodging complaints. We also provide a directory to many support services and organizations both online and offline. The securely moderated online forums aim to provide a safe environment for victims to ask questions and communicate with other victims if they like. Myself or one of my support staff also try to respond to all questions posted. We actually encourage asking question in these private forums as the questions and answers help build a valuable knowledge base that will help other members. Continue reading...

Cyber Bullying and Stalking Guide Summary


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Highly Recommended

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How Much Bullying Goes On

MAJOR STUDIES IN NORWAY in the 1980s and 1990s with more than 150,000 students found that about 15 percent of students in primary and lower secondary school, or approximately one in seven students, were involved in bullying with a degree of regularity as a victim, as a bully, or both. At least 5 percent (more than 1 in 20) of all students were involved in more serious bullying at least once a week. In the United States in 1998, the prevalence of bullying was found to be even more substantial. A study carried out with a national sample of more than 15,000 students in grades 6 through 10 found about 30 percent of the sample reported moderate or frequent involvement in bullying as a bully, as a victim, or both. Students in middle school (grades 6 through 8) reported greater frequency of bullying than did students in grades 9 and 10.

Investigate the bullying

Ideally, a target should feel safe and secure to report the bullying and relate her story, without fear of repercussions. Targets should expect a fair investigation followed by some form of resolution. Unfortunately, many children are too scared to report bullying, or they deny its impact once discovered. And its prevalence can vary from year to year. Schools need to realise that a child's perception of a single bullying incident may be as traumatic as it would be for many incidents, regardless of it being a minor tease or a vicious assault. The child who has one bully may require a different approach to the child confronting a gang. The school cannot plan, educate, initiate action or monitor programmes to reduce bullying without this information. Schools need to investigate all types of bullying, both subtle and obvious, to assess the extent of the problem discover the game players, the patterns, types, frequency, severity and location of the bullying find the underlying dysfunctions...

How Do I Find Out Whether My Child Is Bullying

To acknowledge that your own child is a bully. Bullying other students is obviously not something a child will talk about at home. But if several of the points described under Who Bullies ' fit your child, you should take this seriously and look more closely into the matter. Bullying can be seen as a part of a general pattern of anti-social and rule-breaking behavior. Children who are bullies during their school years are at a much higher risk of later becoming involved in crime, misuse of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. If your child is bullying others, it is important to break this pattern, not just for the sake of the victim, but also for your own child's sake. child is being bullied by other students and the school has not already informed you of the situation, then it is important that you contact the school immediately. Parents should have the right to expect the school to take this seriously and to investigate the facts in the case. This will usually involve talks with you...

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program

Increase awareness and knowledge of problems related to bullying as well as dispel a number of myths about the causes of bullying. The use of the Olweus Bully Victim Questionnaire in an anonymous survey is an important step toward the acquisition of more concrete information about the occurrence and forms of the problem in the individual school. This means that the adults must take responsibility for controlling what is going on among the students in the school, at least to a certain extent. One aspect of this is organizing good supervision of break times. Furthermore, teachers are encouraged to intervene in situations that arouse suspicion and to give a clear message to the students We will not accept bullying in our school, and we will make sure it's stopped. Teachers should initiate serious discussions with victims of bullying, bullies, and their parents if a problem has been identified or is suspected. Parents and teachers must closely follow up and monitor the measures taken....

Understand why you are bullied or a bully Secret

There is a 10-year gap between him and his next brother - he was an unexpected but welcomed baby. His mother enjoyed being busy and needed. But Ben was often ill as a baby his parents took him to the children's hospital at least five times. He is in high school now, and is healthy and strong, but his mother still fusses over him. His father is focused on his business he doesn't have the time for him that he hadfor Ben's brothers when they were young. The older boys are busy with careers and girlfriends. Ben has become a real 'mummy's boy'. Of course, the kids at school know that he is different. They bully him and he fights back. It's highly unlikely that you were born a target, a bully or both. Probably a variety of events happened over time that increased your likelihood of becoming involved in the bullying game. But this process can be reversed. You need to understand why it happened to you and not someone else. The echidna buries itself in the sand...

How to block nonverbal bullying

There are many types of bullying apart from teasing. These include harassment, cyber bullying, exclusion and physical bullying. Here are some examples of ways to deal with them (and remember to check with your parents first). Alter your voicemail so that the bully doesn't know who he is calling. Block the bully's server email address. Tickle him no-one gets into trouble for tickling at school, and bullies won't like it. If the bully pulls your hair, simultaneously tickle him under the arm. Be clumsy allow your books to fall over the bully and make a fuss over apologising. Make a squeaky noise squeeze a rubber duck when the bully bumps you. The noise creates fun, attention and may change the bully's Put up signs advertise bully behaviours near the staffroom, in the classroom, library, computer room, corridor, playground, bus shelter and train station. Petition ask children who don't like the bully's behaviour to sign a petition. They can use an imaginary name if they are scared, e.g....

Where Does Bullying Take Place

THE CLAIM IS SOMETIMES MADE THAT most bullying takes place on the way to school, not at school. However, research shows that two to three times as many students are bullied at school compared to those who are bullied on the way to school. Approximately 40 to 75 percent of bullying takes place during breaks in the schoolyard, in the corridors, at recess, or in more secluded places, like bathrooms. It can also take place during classes unless the teacher is attentive and cracks down on any tendencies toward bullying. Without a doubt, school is the place where most bullying occurs. This puts particular responsibility on school leaders and teachers. It is clear that the behavior, attitudes, and routines of teachers and other school personnel have a decisive effect on the extent of bullying in the individual school or class. Of course, parents, caregivers and supervisors in many other places in kindergartens, playgrounds, and sports and youth clubs, for example also need to be alert to...

Responding to bullying

This section includes a variety of examples from my work with students. Some were used to de-sensitise, to create humour and as a visualisation exercise. Others empowered the child by providing possible options. The best way to respond will depend upon what is appropriate at your school, the school's actions to stop the bullying, and the number of bullies. Ask your parent(s) about this. Record it Use a notebook in front of the bully to record any bullying behaviours. You can clarify, e.g. 'Did you raise your right eyebrow and shrug your right shoulder when you called me an idiot ' Then work out who to tell, e.g. your teacher, the principal, the bully's parents, or other children. Bullies don't like evidence and publicity -nobody is proud of being a bully. Of course, it probably won't be long before kids use phones with cameras to photograph or video bullies (without permission). Show the bully you are collecting evidence. Learn eye movements Learn how to roll your eyes, move them up...

What Can You Do If Your Child Is a Bully

Being informed by the school or another source that your child is bullying other students may be a difficult fact to face. Making excuses and playing down your child's behavior will not Make it quite clear that you take bullying seriously and will not accept the continuation of this behavior. If both you and the school show consistently negative reactions to the child's bullying, the chances that your child will change are increased. Bullying in schools is not a problem that can be solved once and for all. Therefore, schools should maintain constant readiness to counteract any tendencies toward bullying in the school environment. This can best be achieved by having a good bullying prevention program as a standard element in the school environment. Although there are other anti-bullying programs available, the most noted program is the one developed in Norway by Dr. Dan Olweus at the University of Bergen. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program has...

Various other bully blockers

Bully You smell.' Reply 'My special smell has taken years to perfect.' Bully Bully 'You're such a nerd.' Bully FIND OPTIONS Bully Reply options Bully Bully 'You are such a nerd geek wuss dag.' Bully 'You're a dickhead.' Bully 'You're such a square.' Bully 'Shorty.' Bully 'You're gay homo ' Bully 'Your mother is a tart.' Bully Bully 'You're a loner.' 'Nobody likes you.' 'You've got no friends.' Bully 'You're a wog Aborigine Indian Negro Muslim.' etc. Bully 'You're a nut case.'

Gentle bully blockers

Although you may be feeling frustrated, it is wise to begin with a gentle approach to block the bully. This is particularly useful if he doesn't realise what you are saying and may want to befriend you later on. Bully ' Hey stupid.' Bully 'Why can't you do anything right ' Bully ' I know something you Bully 'Your parents are so Bully Bully Bully AGREE AND ACKNOWLEDGE Bully You are so pathetic.' Bully You've got rocks in your head.' Bully 'You can't play ball.' Bully 'You're an arsehole.' Bully 'You're a real fucking bastard.' BAFFLE, BLOCK AND FLUFF Bully 'Oh shut up.' Bully 'You're such a teacher's pet.' Bully 'Well, I'm not your friend any more ' Bully 'You are such an idiot.' Bully 'You don't have any friends.' Bully 'You're a lesbian.' Bully 'You're such a bitch.' Bully 'You're a shit.' INTELLECTUALISE OR EXPLAIN Bully 'You're a dumb bum.' Bully 'You're an arsehole.'

What causes bullying

There are many different causes of bullying. History and psychology have proved the power of the group to alienate and abuse those who are vulnerable or different. Bullying occurs within a context of intertwining systems. Basically these include the state system, which reflects local laws and culture, the school system and the family system. The result is that people learn how to remain aggressive or become powerless and passive. Later on (see Chapter 9) I will provide some explanations to help your child understand why he is bullied or why he bullies. There will always be bullying. However, once you understand the causes, you can work out how to prevent it and how to intervene appropriately. The bullying paradox Children are competitive. They copy adult role models to be the best and get the best. They exclude and devalue to maintain their power in the tribe. Bullying has long been regarded as part of growing up. In fact, 'bully for you' is a form of support for an act of bravado....

Bullying an overview

Child Physical Restraint

'It's cool to bully at our school.' About bullying seem polite but are more concerned with how they feel or appear than with showing genuine care for others. Naturally, other children may sense this lack of interest, and bully them in retaliation. Children respect children who are friendly and real, who say what they think and feel, who stand up for themselves. But even if a child is friendly and real, some others may still bully him or her. The result is that many children will arrive at school each day feeling scared, frustrated and powerless. And sadly, the impact of bullying boomerangs back on the bully, who also suffers. Bullying in school has always existed, and many regard it as a 'part of life'. But our community has received a wake-up call in the form of the number of suicides, violent attacks and murders that bullying creates. Bullying is a symptom of a dysfunctional social system. While the focus of this book is students bullying students, bullying also occurs between...

Group Bullying

BULLYING MAY ALSO BE A GROUP PHENOMENON WITH PARTICULAR CHARACTERISTICS. This means that there are a number of children and young people who may at times be involved in bullying, but who would not usually take the initiative themselves. These are called passive bullies, henchmen, or bystanders. The group of passive bullies is quite mixed and may include uncertain or anxious students. SOME OF THE MECHANISMS THAT MAY BE ACTIVE IN GROUP BULLYING ARE Some students may be influenced to take part in bullying if the student leading the bullying is someone they admire. Children or young people who are themselves somewhat insecure and who want to assert themselves are mostly the ones who join in. Social psychology notes that a person's sense of individual responsibility for a negative action such as bullying may be considerably reduced when several people participate. In this way, students who are usually nice, but easily influenced, can at times take part in bullying without particular...

Tough bully blockers

Bully 'Shut up.' Reply 'I think you are a real bully.' Bully 'Hey germ.' Reply 'Do you feel good when you bully me ' CHALLENGE Bully 'You stutter like a broken record.' Bully 'You smell.' Bully 'You can't play with us.' CONFRONT Bully Bully Bully Bully Bully Bully Bully Bully Bully Bully Bully FIND AN AUDIENCE NEAR OTHER CHILDREN OR TEACHERS Bully 'You're such a dickhead.' Bully's repeat (a Bully's second repeat (louder Reply 'Make it louder.' .and keep going until the bully is shouting

Common Sense Rules For Parents

---about Bullying Bullying is NOT a fact of life If you are concerned that your child might be being bullied or bullying other children, the information in this booklet can help. If bullying may be a problem in your school, find out for sure. If the issue is a real one for your students, then a change in the school climate may be necessary. This booklet describes the steps that parents and schools can take, together, to help prevent bullying. The document in your hands right now and other companion materials about bullying are part of 15+ Make Time to Listen Take Time to Talk, an initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, to promote healthy child development and to prevent youth and school-based violence. The initiative builds on both the value children place on the advice they get from important adults in their lives and the benefits of those special 15 minutes...

Let the School Arrange a Meeting

ONCE BULLYING HAS BEEN DISCOVERED, the school should contact the parents of both the victim(s) and the bullies to inform them and to try to establish constructive cooperation. Since a victim's parents usually should not contact the bully's parents directly, the school could arrange a meeting at which the students, as well as their parents, are present. The aim of such a meeting is to bring about a thorough discussion of the situation and to arrive at a concrete plan of action. If the bully has damaged the victim's clothes or other possessions, it would be reasonable to bring up the question of compensation. Another aim must be to try to establish a collaboration with the parents of the bully ies and to get them to exert their influence over their children in a purposeful way. Many parents of students who bully others have little idea of what their child has been doing at school. When the situation is clarified for them, a number of parents want to contribute to bringing about positive...

Make Sure the Bullied Child Gets Effective Protection

Clear when an attempt is being made to resolve a bullying situation the victim of bullying must be guaranteed effective protection. Close follow-up is needed until the danger of new attempts at bullying has passed. Teachers and school administrators have a special responsibility to safeguard the victim at school. The bullied student must be able to trust that the adults are both willing and capable of providing the help he or she needs. If bullying problems are taken up in class in a rushed or casual manner, without ensuring that the victim is given solid protection against further harassment, the situation will almost always become worse. In order to provide the bullied student with sufficient security, close cooperation and frequent exchange of information is usually needed between the school and the student's family. Having a child who is bullied means seeing your child become an outcast, frozen out, and completely isolated. Most of what you read is about bullies and victims who...

Dont Give Up

Want their parents to talk with school officials. Victims often do not want to be the center of attention and are afraid of getting the bully into trouble by telling adults about what is going on. In many cases, these children have also been threatened with increased bullying if they tell. Threats cause many victims of bullying to suffer in silence or to pressure their parents not to contact the school. In most cases, however, you are doing your child a dis-service if you do not pursue the issue. If your child will not agree to your suggestions out of fear, you must still take responsibility for sorting out the problem. Most bullied children eventually feel a great sense of relief when the situation finally comes out into the open. From a long-term perspective, it is also detrimental to the bullies when their behavior is overlooked. If the situation is properly dealt with, the bully will be helped, too.

Who Bullies

Potential bullies have a number of common features. Again, it must be emphasized that these points are just the main trends. All the same, it is likely that an active bully will have one or more of the following characteristics. Some bullies are popular, others are not. A bully will often have a group of two or three friends who provide him or her with support and often join in the bullying. However, the popularity of the bully lessens at the higher class grade levels.

Who Gets Bullied

RESEARCH GIVES A FAIRLY CLEAR PICTURE OF THOSE WHO ARE POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF BULLYING. They tend to have at least one, or usually several, of the characteristics listed below. These lists only indicate main trends in some cases, victims may be quite different. Potential victims of bullying can be divided into two main groups Most children in this category are not aggressive or teasing in their manner and usually do not actively provoke others in their surroundings. However, passive victims of bullying generally signal, through their behavior and attitudes, that they are a bit anxious and unsure of themselves. characteristically rather careful and sensitive from an early age. Having this kind of personality (possibly in addition to physical weakness) may have made it difficult for them to assert themselves in their group of playmates, which may have contributed to these boys becoming victims of bullying. At the same time, it is obvious that long-term bullying probably increased their...

My Child Is Being

Your child may feel that being bullied is a personal defeat, or he or she may have received threats from the bullies. The child may have tried before to tell an adult about the bullying and may not have been given any real help. He or she may be afraid that involving adults will make the bullying even worse. Therefore, you must be particularly sensitive to signs and changes in your child. It is important that you do not try to explain away your child's problems and hope that they will go away by themselves. It has been clearly documented that bullying can negatively impact a child's formative years as well as later adult life. Research suggests that systematic bullying can leave deep psychological scars which can lead to depressive attitudes and a tendency toward negative self-image, even years after the bullying has ended.

Steps You Can Take

Sometimes a child (especially the provocative victim of bullying) behaves in a way that irritates and provokes those around him or her. In such cases, you have the task of carefully, but firmly and consistently, helping your child find more suitable ways of reacting and interacting in friendship groups.

Isbn 978-1-84642-632-2

Lelp Children ng and Bullying 'Bully Blocking contains many imaginative suggestions for parents and children on how to cope with the problem of being victimised by their peers at school.' Ken Rigby, Adjunct Professor, University of South Australia, author of Bullying in Schools and What to Do About It 'Evelyn Field's thoughtful and beautifully written book is both timely and needed, providing young people and their carers with a variety of skills, knowledge and strategies to counter the problem of bullying and teasing. The illustrations and activity pages ensure the user-friendliness of the book for young people. Bully Blocking is a must read for parents who want to give their children the gift of a range of social and emotional competencies to help them traverse the sometimes rocky terrain of the schoolyard and beyond.' 'Evelyn Field has drawn on her vast clinical experience over many years of working with children, their families and teachers to write a superb book about all aspects...

Word Or Two About Words

By metaphor, I refer to one form of communication (along with stories, tales, and anecdotes) in the story genre in which an expression is taken from one field of experience and used to say something about another field of experience. To describe a bully as being as angry as a bear with a sore paw does not mean the bully and bear are literally alike but that the description, phrase, or story about the bear and its demeanor communicates an imaginative image of the bully and his or her behavior. It is this symbolic association that gives metaphors their literary and therapeutic potency. Metaphors in therapy and teaching are designed as a form of indirect, imaginative, and implied communication with clients, about experiences, processes, or outcomes that may help solve the child's literal problem and offer new means of coping. The therapist may talk about what a person needs to do to protect himself from a bear with a sore paw as a means for managing the circumstantial or emotional issues...

Whats The Difference Between Attitude And Behavior

I wrote a book in 2002 called No More Misbehavin' 38 Difficult Behaviors and How to Stop Them. In this book, I tried to help parents target and eliminate common problems like whining, biting, fighting, poor sportsmanship, bullying, tattling, teasing, and other annoying things that kids do. The focus was on changing children's conduct and replacing their inappropriate habits with a more acceptable way of acting at home, at school, and in the community. My goal was to provide parents with tools and strategies for disciplining their children, for getting them back on the right path, and for creating an atmosphere that would allow family, friends, and teachers to interact with them in a more favorable manner.

First transform your childs attitudes

As children grow, they gather values and beliefs about how life should be. They absorb attitudes from their family, friends, school, television and society. Clearly the bully has an 'attitude' problem and should develop respect and empathy for others. However, targets also need to change their 'attitude'. They carry faulty thoughts which make it easy for bullies to use them as target practice. Targets need to 'reprogramme' their negative, powerless attitude before they can change behaviours to block the bullying. They need to accept that bullying happens, consider it carefully and then take effective action. Once they re-adjust their view of themselves and others, they can replace the following faulty attitudes with sensible, self-protective ones. When you change your state of mind, you change your behaviour. Tell your child Imagine that a few negative computer programs were implanted into your brain a long time ago. It's time to trash the old stuff that makes a bully happy. Now...

Dont want to accept the truth

Tell your child When you criticise yourself for being over- or underweight,too dumb or bright,too short or tall and so on, the bully notices how you react. Then she borrows your tease and uses it against you. If you become upset at the truth, she knows it works and uses it again because she is lazy. If the comment is true and it hurts, e.g. 'You're fat', then change the truth - diet and exercise. If you can't change it, then accept it and joke about it, e.g. being small, homosexual, different race, religion, coloured. And if it is not true, why bother getting upset

Want to do it on my own

Some children have been conditioned to behave independently. Sadly, like so many adults, they value the idea of not needing others. However, no-one truly achieves in life without the support of others. Even a bullfighter won't enter the bullring without support staff ready to intervene if there is danger. Nor can a child deal with long-term bullying or harassment on her own. See also Chapter 13.

Check your own feelings

Being the parent of a target or a bully is a very distressing experience. You may feel anger, fear, shame, confusion, frustration, embarrassment and powerlessness, according to whether your child is being targeted or is bullying others. If you've experienced bullying at work, by a partner or elsewhere, painful memories may surface when your child is bullied. You recall your feelings of confusion, frustration, pain and powerlessness. You may feel frustrated when your child is labelled a bully, deny or blame others, even though unconsciously you are aware of the reasons. Perhaps you feel guilty because other difficult personal issues absorb your attention. If your child has been labelled a bully, intervene quickly so that she is not handicapped by this.

Believe in justice this isnt fair

This attitude is also expressed as 'I'm not hurting them so they shouldn't hurt me', 'I'm just standing up for my rights', 'They always pick on me', 'They started it', 'They should play with me' and 'It's not my fault, I did nothing. The bully should get punished.' Tell your child You may have a strong belief in justice, as bullying is an abuse of your human rights. You believe that people shouldn't tease, bully or harass, especially for no reason. You need to accept that bullying happens although the reasons are camouflaged. Everyone bullies to stay in groups, and the way you behave may show a bully what an easy target you are. Perhaps your social aspirations don't match the group, so it excludes you. Maybe you challenged a bully to prove your rights but instead exacerbated the situation. You know that life isn't fair, so you can'talways rely on justice. You need to help yourself and do something constructive to block the bullying.

Noone can put you down except yourself

If you have poor self-esteem, you feel bad about who you are. It's like having a bully living inside you. If you can't respect yourself, then you can't respect others nor can they respect you. If your self-respect is low then it's hard to relate to all types of nice or nasty children. Basically, you let the bully relate to you in the same mean, critical way you relate to yourself. Although some children believe it's acceptable to criticise themselves, they don't like others criticising them. They become angry If you get upset and say, 'I'm not fat, you are ' or 'How dare you call me dumb ', the bully notices that you reacted to this tease but not to others. He will use it many times to bully you. There's an odd paradox about blocking bullying once you respect yourself, protect yourself and stop others bullying you, then some children start respecting you and want to be your friend

Understand the schools role

Schools need to be caring, responsible and sensitive to the needs of vulnerable students. If they have a firm policy of mutual respect, commitment and consistent programmes, there is less likelihood of institutionalised bullying (see Chapter 3). Some schools take bullying seriously they acknowledge its toxic impact on morale, enrolments, staff, students, parents and the local community. Their actions indicate their constant focus on reducing it. Many schools pay lip-service to their policies but their actions are minimal. Hopefully, law suits, media attention, angry parents and financial difficulties will force insensitive or irresponsible schools to acknowledge their duty of care and respect everyone. Dealing with bullying is a collaborative process. You can't expect a traumatised child to confront bullies, a bully to behave well in a bullying culture, or the Bring along your Bullying Diary, record the discussion and intended action. Plot any constructive or negative changes. Obtain...

Have consequences for breaking the rules

Schools need to specify the rules of conduct and provide a fixed and escalating series of consequences for students who interfere with designated behaviour boundaries and disobey the anti-bullying policy. To illustrate the importance of this, one of the perpetrators of the massacre at Columbine High, Colorado was a bully who was never charged over a date rape allegation nor was he ever booked for parking his car in the wrong spot every day Some time ago, Karen McDonald, a primary-school counsellor, sent me a copy of her policies and programmes. The rules are firm,fair and final, and the amount of bullying at her school has seriously decreased. Each year students watch a video about the anti-harassment rules. They discover that offences for bullying are cumulative throughout their school days, and that these offences can seriously affect their participation in future sporting and other major social events. When a child feels offended, she can report the incident, which leads to either...

Parents action plan coaching guidelines

Although it is very painful dealing with bullying, you need to develop a sensible set of strategies to help your child. Your constructive approach will serve as an effective piece of role modelling for them to follow, and will help them develop resilience. If your child is a bully One mother was sick and tired of her son being a bully. and in the yard at school. After a day he vowed never to bully again. Although some parents believe it is acceptable to bully or stand up and fight, deep down most parents are ashamed that their child has to abuse his power to remain popular. Thus they deny and make excuses. But bullying boomerangs back on bullies - they suffer too. You don't want your child to have a bad life just because he bullies. He has a right to a normal life. Find out why your child is bullying. Is he copying everyone else in his group, or is it due to other stressors Assess your family role models and get help to change. Encourage your child to become nicer, more assertive and...

Your experience is not unique

Jocelyn felt unsupported by her daughter's school. She planned to spend a few weeks working with her daughter to build her bully-blocking strategies. She also knew that other parents were unhappy. If nothing changed, she planned to send them a questionnaire. She would use the feedback to pressure the school to take action or contact the media. However, the school was very distressed by the bullying and took action. most parents reject criticism of their child and retaliate. A pleasant chat can deteriorate into an impasse, escalate into a parent brawl, or your child will be bullied for 'dobbing'. It's the school's responsibility to confront the bully's parents. In other words, don't bully others to protect your child.

The role of selfesteem

When you accept yourself just as you are, your self-esteem is healthy and it's easy to relate to others. You also respect your right to be safe. You insist on being protected by others or protecting yourself when others bully. Generally, children don't bother to bully secure, confident children. If your self-esteem is low, you feel bad about who you are and criticise yourself constantly. Your inner voice acts like a bully and makes you vulnerable. Bullies sense your secret. They look for your reaction, e.g. if you feel bad about your learning difficulties, the bully reads your feedback and bullies you about them. Or you may be blessed with wealthy parents and enjoy lovely holidays, and other children get jealous, e.g. 'So you've been to Disneyland.'. If you're extremely attractive, they might say, 'Hey ugly', and you may react with embarrassment. Remember, it's not your fault that you've been born lucky. Bullying lowers your self-esteem, making it easier for others to hurt you or for...

Release How to release these feelings

The simplest way to release your emotional pain is to inform the bully how you feel about the bullying. If this is unsafe, then inform someone else about the bullying to get support. Either way, you obtain immediate feedback. This shows you whether they care or not about your feelings, and it shows that you take responsibility for your feelings, and leaves the door open to resolution. It gives a clear message without blaming and shaming. This is very easy for some people but difficult for others, and may depend on your family and culture. You need to practise the 'I' word with an adult. Direct To bully 'I'm upset when you make fun bully to stop.' To your teacher counsellor 'I'd like you to stop those kids bullying me.' 'Please speak to X about not pushing me in the yard.' Be aware that some kids don't mean to hurt, while others do want to hurt you. If you confront nasty bullies - e.g.'I don't like you being mean to me' or 'I'm very angry at you for spreading rumours behind my back' -...

Get rid of bad halts dont make the UHy happy

Children are often scared of life-saving injections,gym exercise to build their muscles,and confronting the dentist. Speaking about bullying is very painful. Tell your child You can feel embarrassed, shy or paralysed with fear. Many children say,'I don't want to talk about it'. They turn their head away or lower their eyes, expecting the subject to close. Unfortunately, if you don't talk about it,the bully knows that you are publicity-shy.The bullying will get worse and you will suffer more. I often ask children,'Why do bullies bully What do they want kids to do ' I summarise the essential feelings a bully looks for 'So a bully wants a kid to get angry, scared or do nothing ' Then I say, 'What do you do - say mean things back, run away, do nothing ' They tell me what they do. I summarise and boomerang their words back, e.g., 'So you get angry and upset, which makes the bully happy ' Then I pause and say, 'And why would you want to make the bully happy ' Tell your child Your anger and...

Bullies have feelings too

Apart from the small minority of bullies who enjoy bullying, most ordinary bullies don't mean to hurt. There may be numerous reasons why they bully, such as being rebuffed, threatened or controlled by the group. However, their internal security wiring system is the same as everyone else's most bullies are just trying to survive in the best way they know. Bullies sense your fear and attack first to protect themselves from being attacked (see Chapter 5). They fight first because they have learnt that from past experiences. Alternatively, bullies sense your anger or fear, and this reminds them of their own painful feelings inside, so they attack you to expel their pain. When an ordinary bully can't detect your fear or anger, they lose power and stop. That's why I say, 'If you show fear or anger, you make a bully happy.' How some kids feel about bullying

Regulate your feelings Secret

Bullying arouses many bad feelings like fear, anger, shame, hurt, confusion and powerlessness because it interferes with so many aspects of your life. It seems that girls get sad and boys get mad. You either implode or explode. It's uncomfortable being bullied, witnessing it, or being a bully. Earlier on, I described the 'fight or flight' instinct. This survival instinct is your internal safety sensor. Your brain identifies a threat to your safety, then it sends a message to your adrenal glands requesting energy to take action. A cocktail of biochemical survival hormones are released to enable you to fight or flee. These hormones influence everything you do, from eating and running to feeling, thinking and behaving. Like many other things, too much is not always best. You can't handle bullying while your body is crammed and jammed with excessive amounts of stress-related hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Unless you regulate and...

Real friends are committed to one another

There is a difference between real friends and casual friends. Casual friends come and go, whereas true friends really care about you. They show their commitment by maintaining regular contact, e.g. spending lunchtimes together, after-school visits, sleepovers. They invest in their friendship and don't expect more than they give. They mend their disappointments and have reasonable expectations. They don't take one another for granted but give each other space because they're not padlocked together. They forgive, forget and move on. Are you and your friends committed to your friendship Although children banter and muck around, your friends may bully you or may not protect you when someone is bullying you.

Referral for help outside school

Although most children can be helped by a school-based counsellor, some will require an external referral. This reduces stigma, respects family privacy and reduces any defensiveness for the target, bully and their families. Children are less threatened in a non-school environment. They may be more likely to commit to learning new skills. Besides, the logistics of organising appointments, transport, babysitters and fees demonstrates to children that their parents are serious about blocking bullying.

Become a confident communicator Secret

If you are being bullied, you are doing something to advertise your vulnerability. You look like limp celery, your eyes jiggle like a tea bag and your voice is muffled. You either plead, 'Don't bully me,' or you threaten back. The average bully won't respect you and continues her game. Shyness, secrecy and sarcasm are poor communication skills others don't know what you think and feel, so your friends Alternatively, if you are using bullying behaviours, you show that you need to be in control and expect to be obeyed. You attract false, temporary friends who suck up to you to be safe, and then gossip behind your back. You risk payback. Once you learn how to communicate with respect and empathy, you will attract genuine friendships.

Gut talk the magic I word

You need to share your feelings if you want to socialise and stop being bullied. If you are scared of upsetting a friend, you prolong your agony by being friendly to someone who doesn't really care for you. Alternatively, some kids tease for fun they don't realise that they have gone too far and have hurt your feelings. You will find that if the kid cares, he'll feel bad, say sorry and stop. If he doesn't care, he will continue. As a general rule, don't express your pain to the bully. It will make him happy. Instead, use a cool, neutral voice with a bully or a mean friend and tell him what you think and what you will do 'I think that name-calling is a form of bullying. If you don't stop I will report you.' You need to trash any faulty beliefs and attitudes and work out your thoughts. Then you can decide what to say to the bully and what to discuss with significant adults at home or school. You need to tell your friends and others what help you require

Report time to tell or not to tell

Many children are hesitant or scared to tell their parents and teachers about the bullying. And they are correct, it can get worse. So what do you do if they beg you to do nothing and insist that you don't inform the school, their other parent or siblings Don't allow your child to imprison you in a code of silence. Clearly, she is ashamed or scared that things will deteriorate. But be on guard secretiveness can breed violence. Besides, it may already be a real problem, and it won't improve unless something is done. If your child fears publicity, tell her that most children know the bullies and targets. Besides, bullies know that if the school is unaware, it can't intervene, and they are free to commit further injury. If your child implores you to do nothing, tell her that you will teach her bully-blocking skills. Tell her that if nothing improves within three to four weeks, you will approach the school, as it would be irresponsible to allow your child to suffer, now or later. If your...

Develop a committed wholeschool policy

The best way to stop bullying is to accept that it exists, just like weeds and cobwebs. Every school needs to establish an appropriate anti-bullying, whole-school philosophy which is supported by an active, consistent prevention policy. This should include a code of conduct, protocol or guidelines for each school member, clearly defined actions (e.g. cyber bullying) and appropriate consequences. Ideally, the whole local community should be involved in this process, e.g. council, police, media. Some schools prefer to embed bullying in a wider framework such as wellbeing or resilience. Others feel uncomfortable with an 'anti-bullying policy'. However, they must include the word 'bullying' in their policies, whether it is anti-harassment, welfare or discipline or any other policy - otherwise the true message will be lost. Whole school - The principal, students, parents and teachers, affiliated associations and local school district governing boards must be involved in making, maintaining...

Healthy bodies make healthy minds

Children need to be healthy to confront it. Many children who are bullied avoid the playground and find refuge in a library or computer room. They don't do enough exercise to remain healthy and to physically release their negative emotions. Some overdose on comfort food and put on weight, which will increase the bullying and decrease their self-esteem. Help the child who uses bullying behaviours to have a healthy diet, reduce sugar intake to lower his aggression, and use daily exercise to release frustration (minimum 45 minutes).

Respect the law of averages probability

Tell your child Many children don't realise that there are many options to block bullying, and give up too quickly. Perhaps you don't realise that you or someone else could blockthe bullying once you find the right option. In a board game, everyone wants the six, which equals success, whereas the one is a bummer. The six represents something that blocks bullies, whereas the one is a learning experience or mistake. When you toss a dice many times, you throw some successes and some bummers. No-one achieves successes (sixes) without bummers (ones). The two go together-the more bummers or failures you have, the more successes you get. By the law of averages, something you do will stop the bully.

Implement crisis management

Schools need a structure to intervene immediately if bullying is taking place -and intervene as soon as possible, like the referee during a football game, instead of hoping it will resolve itself. This reinforces the school's policy that bullying will not be condoned and that constructive action will follow. Students can then trust the school to support them and can report without fear. As one counsellor said, 'It's important for kids to know that they will be heard and supported, so if you go to Mr Fisher, it stops.' Schools need a variety of intervention methods at their disposal, to select what is appropriate at the time to deal with the bullying. There are at least two parties to the bullying game, and everyone needs to know that they will be given a fair go. Beware of interventions that wrongly empower or disempower. This can happen in mediation if a teacher forces a terrified target to confront the bully or bullies and resolve their conflict without empowering the target with...

Tried something but it didnt work

Although bullying escalates over a period of time, some children try out a new idea and expect an immediate result. Tell your child It's not easy getting the recipe right-for example, maybe you forget to use eye contact, you sound angry or look like limp celery. You could become discouraged with the 'all or nothing' or 'hit or miss' method. You say, 'It didn't work'. No-one can expect instant results, especially without coaching. When you plan suitable action, take five to ten minutes every day to practise new ideas.Something will improve, but you need to lookfor small, subtle improvements. It takes time to block bullying effectively.

Identify What do you feel

The first step in blocking bullying is to identify the painful feelings you have about the bullying game. You need to check out your anger, fear and sadness (you won't be happy until you are smiling naturally). You can use the feedback from others to make sure you have identified all your feelings and behaviours. Look for these painful feelings all over your body they could be hiding anywhere, inside or out. They are your survival instinct, warning you to confront or leave the bullying game. These feelings empower you to protect yourself and get help. You will go on to release the painful feelings, share your story with those you trust, work out your options, block the bullying and improve your friendships.

Train students staff and parents

The school that is serious about reducing bullying needs to develop ongoing training programmes for students, staff, principal, school board and parents. Although some schools prefer to use their own staff to save funds and reduce publicity, it is wiser to use a regular combination of school-based staff and external experts for training. need to research bullying and attend regular external training programmes demonstrate to students, staff and parents how to follow school procedures and intervene when they witness bullying, and make sure that the whole school takes the anti-bullying message seriously. need to be bullying experts from the fields of psychology and social work, educational organisations, university departments and child adolescent guidance clinics, and All students need to understand what bullying involves, their school's role, the target's and the bully's perspective, and their role as the peer group. The majority of bullying incidents are witnessed by peers. When they...

Improve the physical environment

The school needs to identify the 'hot spots' where bullying occurs and re-design them, provide extra supervision, install surveillance cameras metal detectors or employ guards. Although school facilities vary, any attempt to improve the school environment - such as wider laneways, student posters in corridors, attractive gardens, extra seating, a friendly classroom design, making it generally more attractive and welcoming - will help students feel valued. Provide extra sporting or other noncompetitive activities at lunchtimes students will have better social experiences, be less bored and less likely to bully. Change classroom cliques and separate bully gangs by constructive involvement in school activities. Create the means for frightened children to anonymously report the bullying, e.g. a school telephone, email address or sealed report box.

Professional referral

Michael, aged 11, was a provocative target. His self-esteem was poor due to his mother's prolonged postnatal depression. Consequently, he was bullied and he bullied back. After the first few counselling sessions, the bullying had almost I once saw a child who had been bullied for six years. The school tried to refer him to a psychologist, but his parents didn't want to draw attention to the bullying. They thought it would mean he had a problem (when he had one already), would make it worse (but they did, by doing nothing) and he would feel stigmatised (he did already). Although he'd suffered for years, treatment took just six sessions But even so, don't wait the longer you wait, the longer it may take for a therapist to help your child and teach her coping strategies. There is also another risk the scars may not be evident, but may lie dormant and have a more destructive impact later on.

Nothing and noone can help

Some children believe that their parents, peers and teachers are as helpless as they are. They believe that bullying can't be stopped. Perhaps they were told to do nothing or to fight back, but it didn't work. Maybe the situation was handled poorly and the bullying continued.

Offer individual assistance within the school

Students and parents need access to trained, professional school-based staff, and students need to know who they are and where they can be found. Schools need to help the target and her family deal with the painful impact of the bullying, take responsibility for her behaviours, and help her learn social survival skills. They need to respectfully assist bullies to handle the accusations and to develop empathy, and their families to develop appropriate parenting patterns. Remember that vulnerable children who feel embarrassed and upset will not go to just anyone. Schools without access to a resident counsellor require consultant mental health professionals with the time, resources and expertise to deal with school bullying.

Establish a task force

Schools have a fluctuating population. Delegating the task of 'dealing with bullying' to an excellent, caring staff member who may leave is unreliable. Schools need to establish a combined committee or task force representing every group associated with the school, e.g. students, teachers, parents, support staff, administrators and community members. It should include the counsellor and welfare staff, i.e. a school-based or visiting psychologist, social worker, chaplain, student welfare coordinator and pastoral care person. The task force members may vary from year to year but their purpose is ongoing and focused on reducing bullying. They could explore the extent and severity of bullying, use focus groups, consult colleagues and experts, investigate suitable options, research other successful programmes, select a variety of curriculum material, and help develop programmes.

The indirect approach

Sometimes parents and teachers hear about the bullying from another source. When they confront the child, they may encounter denial, negation or minimisation of the bullying. It can sound like this 'I am used to being teased' or 'I just try and forget it is happening' or 'I don't mind' or 'He started it'. Most children don't like upsetting their parents or involving teachers, so don't listen to the first layer of denial. Discuss with your child the dangers of being bullied and the importance of doing something constructive. 'What is the most hurtful form of bullying '

Develop public relations

Advertising has proved again and again that the more often the media informs people that something is good or bad, the more likely they are to change their behaviours. This has been successfully applied to driving more slowly and without alcohol, to reducing smoking and domestic violence. The school needs to regularly inform students, parents, staff and the local community that bullying is bad and that perpetrators risk penalties. They need to publicise designated support staff, as primary-school parents generally know whom to approach, whereas high-school parents are less informed. There are many ways a school can undertake publicity. These include involving popular, well-known identities such as famous pop stars, sportspeople, actors, patrons and popular students to relay the anti-bullying message conducting surveys that spread the anti-bullying message along the school community grapevine.

Create your own power pack Secret

You need to protect yourself from mean, nasty and abusive people wherever they are - at home, school, or later at work. Besides, children don't respect 'nice' children - they respect children who are genuine, who stand up for themselves, speak their mind and say what they feel children who don't put up with uncomfortable, stressful or abusive behaviours who don't inflame a difficult situation, but defuse it. They are the popular ones. Everyone wants to be their friend When you use assertive, self-protective behaviours, most bullies back off and respect you. In fact, dealing with stressful encounters and bullying is part of any relationship. It is an essential social survival skill. This chapter will provide you with many ideas for dealing with teasing, exclusion, physical bullying and harassment. These ideas can give you a smile or activate you. Remember that bullies love secrecy and hate publicity

Refer for external treatment

Schools cannot be expected to counsel severely depressed, distressed, difficult or disturbed children and dysfunctional families. Such cases need to be referred after a few months to psychologists, psychiatrists or other mental health professionals. Unfortunately, stigma, professional fees, denial, pride and false hope stop many parents seeking professional help. However, for parents who outlay hundreds of dollars on electronic 'blah blah' and holidays, the price is negligible compared to having a happy, socially confident kid. Besides, bullying can cause severe anxiety disorders and depression. Parents need to regard it as a medical danger, and respond accordingly when their child is affected. Ideally, schools should insist upon referral for external counselling when necessary and fund these sessions where possible, or find alternative sources of funding for parents on limited incomes, e.g. crimes compensation, child guidance clinics. Dealing with bullying doesn't take long bullies...

Energise the survival instinct

Tell your child Like every living being,you're born with a survival instinct. This basic, primitive sensor detects danger and protects you. It is also called a 'gut feeling' or the 'fight or flight instinct'. It creates the anger or fear to get us moving and do something to protect ourselves. It is normal, natural and necessary. It provides you with the biochemical, hormonal power to take action. When you confront danger or need to flee, you switch on your survival instinct. Maybe your survival instinct was blocked or something trained you to switch off when you could have been alert and active. There may be many reasons, such as you were bullied at home or you'd never had to deal with mean kids before. Regardless of whether the bullying is subtle or obvious, you need to take action to protect yourself and survive in the school jungle.

Drama As A Source Of Healing Stories

It may take some prompting or guidance along the way to help move the child from the problem toward the outcome, but ways to assist with this are elaborated further in Chapter 16. It is important when casting a child in a role that he or she becomes the problem solver or character who reaches the desired outcome. Sometimes it may be helpful for the child to assume (as in the current example) the role of the annoying or bullying person to perhaps understand that person's perspective a bit better. However, it is better to complete the story with movement toward, or attainment of, the desired outcome rather than just an understanding of the other perspective.

Try an instant mood flip

Change your mindset when bullies are close. Hide your anger and fear. Take away the bully's power by appearing cool and calm. And always inject yourself with some confidence. Say to your child,'If I gave you a million dollars, could you behave like a cool kid in front of a bully How would you look and stand What facial expression would you use and how would your voice sound '

Whats happening at home

Some parents provide a protected environment, so their children grow up oblivious to the jungle outside. Some parents manipulate, denigrate and bully. They use passive and aggressive behaviours, inconsistent boundaries and inappropriate ways to confront difficult situations. When a child lacks or loses the opportunity to argue, negotiate or say 'No' to either parent, he can't confront a bully. Besides, if family members can't respect one another, you can't expect school peers to do so. Children learn from their families how to be targets, bullies or both. Regardless of the reasons, renovate Demonstrate to your family your disapproval of all forms of bullying. Stop any bullying and deal firmly with any family members who do. Encourage your children to assist their siblings or others to block bullying at school.

Empower yourself with positive selfesteem

When you accept yourself as you are, including all your good and bad bits, your self-esteem is positive and productive. It means that you value your own needs and feelings before you can respect the needs and feelings of others. This doesn't mean that you are arrogant or 'up yourself', it just means that you are realistic and less vulnerable. Then you can give to others, obtain support, make friends and block bullies. If you feel good about yourself, you know that things will work out. You can laugh if someone hits a sensitive spot, and you can analyse the bully's game in order to take action.

Give to yourself build your selfesteem

Bossing your inner bully Common sense (e.g. I told my mother about the bully.) Good luck (e.g. The teacher happened to see the bully do it.) Find a nice spot to be alone, then relax and chill out. Empty your mind of bad thoughts and make room for good ones. Imagine yourself or someone else blocking the bully. Then ask yourself these questions How will you feel when the bully looks stunned or embarrassed How will you feel if the bully leaves you alone or wants to be your friend

Your voice is your transmitter

Animals mainly understand the tone of your voice, not your words. Your voice establishes who you are. Just as your accent shows your origins, a mumble reflects fear. Children know whether to respect or to bully you. If you have a babyish voice, they won't respect you. If your voice is animated, you are seen as assertive. You might say 'Stop it ' in your best 'Grade Three teacher' voice, or shout in front of a group, 'When will you stop bullying me ' Mumbling is no good you run the risk of sounding passive or passive-aggressive. Speak clearly so that your friends, family and the bully understand the words you use and what you want. Try whispering with a smile on your face, while moving up very close to a bully. This will look assertive.

Environmental factors

Children are affected by the attitudes of people around them. If you are different, these attitudes play a detrimental role. Most children have an obsession with being normal because 'being different' equals 'loser'. If your school favours academic results, you achieve but if your school praises sporting prowess, you excel at sport. The definition of'normal' varies from school to school. If you feel different from what is normal at your school, you remain invisible or react. In some schools you bully to retain your 'popular' status.

Step Evaluate Your Kids Physical and Mental Health

You moved Is he at a new school Has he been harassed by a bully Are his classmates overly competitive Is he over-scheduled What about a change at home a divorce, death, or illness Is he depressed Did you know that adolescent depression has increased 1,000 percent in the past three decades Could your older kid be experimenting with drugs or drinking, which leaves him tired and debilitated You may discover that your child's lazy attitude is not simply irresponsible or selfish but rather the result of a deeper underlying issue.

Give to others it boomerangs back to you

Help your child rebuild his self-esteem so he has energy and confidence to block the bully and communicate at school. When you see your child displaying constructive assertive skills with a sibling, at camp or at a play rehearsal, remind him to repeat them elsewhere. Remind him that if he uses the behaviour successfully at home or elsewhere, he can duplicate it at school when appropriate, e.g. 'You speak loudly to your brother, so you can speak loudly to the bully next time you need to retort.'

Being Sensitive to Your Childs Real Needs

Sue Summit of Minneapolis noticed something amiss one blistering January morning when William, her first-grader, declined to get on the school bus. Worried that something had happened at school, she queried her child as to what might have happened. A bully A bad grade William assured her that none of those were the cause, and simply told her the real reason I haven't had enough playtime. A bit of soul searching and a review of her seven-year-old's schedule were enough to tell Sue her kid was right. Soccer, hockey, and violin lessons left little free time for what kids like to do best-just hang around, goof off, and play. As Sue said, Sometimes things get out of whack, and you have to pull back and determine why it's not working. We've made different adjustments over the years. Their new family rule schoolwork always comes first, and then William takes on no more than one extra activity at a time.

About the Authors in Volume

SMITH is Professor of Psychology and Head of the Unit for School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He received his B.Sc. at the University of Oxford and his Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield. Smith is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Smith is on the editorial board of Social Development, Children & Society, and Evolution and Human Behavior. His research interests are in social development, grandparenting, play, bullying, and evolutionary theory. He is editor of The Psychology of Grandparenthood, coauthor of Understanding Children's Development, and coeditor of Theories of Theories of Mind and The Nature of School Bullying.

The schools ethical and legal obligations

Schools need to view bullying as an abuse of the human rights of the target, bully, onlookers, parents and teachers. They have a responsibility to handle all forms of violence as it is dealt with in their community. Ideally, schools need to regard bullying as a symptom of dysfunction, a relationship breakdown that requires respectful resolution (i.e. a win-win situation). Unfortunately, many schools reflect the broader society in adopting an adversarial approach whereby someone wins and someone loses. Although human rights and ethical values could guide schools in establishing anti-bullying policies, in reality many schools are influenced by risk management issues, legal perspectives, police action or the media attention attached to suicides, murders and successful legal outcomes. These factors have, however, led to the establishment ofstate and national anti-bullying legislation or legal guidelines. The predicament for every school is how to balance its cultural beliefs, ethical and...

Using retorts or comebacks

Most bullying begins with words and escalates from there. The worst form of bullying is teasing. It can linger in your mind for years and affect your behaviour forever. Don't listen to the mean words, take them seriously or become upset. Instead, take the nasty bits out of the tease and return it without venom. Recycle the bully's verbal garbage by using a retort or a politically correct comeback. If you don't fight back physically or verbally, the bully has nothing to push against. He loses his physical or mental balance, starts to topple, then stops and pulls himself back to avoid being embarrassed. A good retort boomerangs back to the bully. If the bully laughs oddly, grimaces or looks stuck for words, he is embarrassed. You have blocked his attack (see also the 'Handpower' exercise). Your power to embarrass the bully is the sting. This is verbal martial arts. All of the following retorts have been created by children and have worked Even traumatised children and parents can find...

Its my fault

Some children are oblivious to the bullying culture. They believe they deserve to be bullied because they are not good enough for the peer group. Some feel ashamed to involve their parents, and guilty when they upset them. This increases the self-blame game and further lowers their self-esteem.

What schools can do

The school prided itself on its level of education, superior teaching and values, but it was ignorant of the toxic impact of bullying, regarding it as part of school life. The school avoided anti-bullying programmes, which could generate unwelcome gossip, but was then confronted with a lawsuit. It hated the publicity and the legal costs, but it did absorb the message a child's life had been threatened. The school developed policies and programmes. Despite being vigilant, bullying still occurs, but the school now intervenes with respect and everyone is treatedfairly. The kids know that the bullying will be stopped. Not surprisingly, the school is now very popular, as parents seek a safe schoolfor their children. Every child has the right to feel safe at school. Thus, although schools should become bully-free zones, this is totally unrealistic. Firstly, the lack of knowledge, skills and resources to plan, implement and monitor bully-free programmes means that few professionals can...

Class topics

Why is bullying bad Students can discuss the harm caused by bullying, focusing upon the physical, psychological, academic, social and self-esteem damage. Why do some kids bully There are many reasons why children bully. Some are copying role models learnt at home or school, others are feeling hurt, rejected or insecure. Some are propelled by a primitive survival instinct that leads them to join the mob and attack the vulnerable person. How can you help kids understand the bullying 'game' See Chapter 1, 'The bullying game' (pp.21-26), and all of Chapter 9. Provide role-plays of different types of bullying and then discuss. How can all kids protect themselves from bullying The child who has a bunch of good friends and is generally friendly and caring to others is highly unlikely to be bullied. If a child is bullied, he or she should disguise their anger or fear and respond in a neutral manner - like confronting an animal. Targets of bullying must not show their distress. If the bullying...

Teachers supplement

How can you tell if it's bullying and not just shared fun Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate between a bullying incident and a bit of friendly banter. Teachers' and students' perceptions of such an incident can depend on the type of interaction, the location, the responses of witnesses, the grapevine effect, whether those interacting are 'friends', the frequency of such interaction, and its impact on the target. Sometimes a target claims he is having fun because he is scared to complain and exacerbate the bullying. Remember, bullying can be physical, verbal (teasing), anti-social (excluding) or electronic in nature. And where there is bullying, there is always damage. Obtain the story from everyone involved. Aim for reconciliation, not evidence of wrongdoing. See Chapter 1, 'Types of bullying (pp. 17-21) and 'Non-bullying interaction' (pp. 25-26). How can you tell if someone is a bully or a target Bullying is a game. The players can sometimes change sides, making it...

Find the smile

While you are helping your child learn bully-blocking skills, look for the smile. It is essential feedback. It shows that your child feels positive and can block the bully Let her know that she is smiling about blocking bullies Tell your child The smile is the first sign of power. It's a sign that you can see your situation from another angle. You can see how the bullying game can change. You can shift your attitude from feeling stuck, helpless, hopeless and powerless, to understanding the value of learning assertive skills and taking away the bully's power. At the unconscious level the smile shows that you like being assertive and you sense that it won't be hard. Get rid of bad habits don't let your child make the bully happy.

Authors notes

Page 16 'About one in five students is bullied regularly, and around one in five bully regularly.' Assoc. Prof. Ken Rigby, in a lecture, 2005. Page 22 'Research has shown that some pick on nearly everyone at the beginning of a year, until someone reacts.' Hara Estroff Marano, 'Big. Bad. Bully' in Psychology Today, 28, 5, Sept. Oct. 1995. She quotes Dr Gary Ladd, Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, who believes that bullies use a 'shopping process' to find their victims. Page 23 'Dr Debra Pepler has found an ongoing relationship between the bully and the target.' This section is based on the work of Toronto psychologist Dr Debra Pepler, whose work is cited in Estroff Marano, 'Big. Bad. Bully', Psychology Today, 28, 5, Sept. Oct. 1995. She video-recorded children in the playground to demonstrate the bully-victim 'dance'. Rigby the malicious and non-malicious. I call them the 'saltwater crocodiles' and the 'fowls that play foul'. See also Rigby, Ken, Bullying in...


Bully Child replies or Evelyn's comments Bully says, Passive 'I'm not fat.' 'Your anger shows the bully that the truth upsets you.' 'The bully is stuck when you are cool, calm and confident.' Bully excludes 'You can't play with us today.' Bully punches and kicks 'Go away.' 'This child gives her power to the bully and the fight begins.' 'This child blocks the bully's game or says, This is a warning do that again and I'll report you.' Bully behaviours You can change from bullying to behaving.

Doing nothing

Many children handle bullying by doing nothing. Obviously, they are doing what adults told them to do. It seems like sound advice if you do nothing, disguise your anger, fear or pain, you won't make a bully happy. But adults forget one major thing kids aren't always good at following instructions. When they tell you to do nothing, you think you are but you are not Instead, you look scared and act frustrated. You turn away or react, and bullies love you either way Then, to make matters worse, you don't tell or remind adults that it is still happening.

The direct approach

The simplest way to find out if a child is being bullied is to ask directly, e.g. 'Is anyone being mean to you Are they bullying you What are they doing ' Then observe her body language when she replies. Does your child answer the question directly, e.g. 'Yes' or 'No' If so, do the 'Whodunnit' exercise with your child. Once you have established that your child is being bullied, fill out this questionnaire with her. It is essential to obtain the whole story - this is crucial for school meetings, and allows you to monitor any changes. It may also be useful later on to improve the school's legal accountability. Use a notebook, index cards (one per week) or a computer to maintain a record of the bullying until it ends. 1. The bully Boss bully Bully Bully Bully Bully 2. I think the bully just follows the bully leader yes no became a bully after our disagreement yes no 6. The students who witnessed the bullying Did it stop some or all of the

How parents can help

Mary is an attractive, intelligent child aged eight years. She moved schools because she was being bullied. Her previous school, despite its high status and religious affiliations, ignored the bullying. She is shy, and seldom complained to her teacher, although her parents went to theschoolten times in threeyears. Mary felt as though her 'insides were on fire'. Her parents moved her to a new, caring school. They soon discovered that she was so hurt by the previous bullying that she couldn't enjoy the friendly kids and safe environment at her new school, so they took herfor counselling. They realised that they needed to change as well they had to become more socially aware to help her reduce her shyness. They had to develop assertive skills and encourage her to use more eye contact, facial expression, a stronger voice - which they did. She is now enjoying her new school. Children need exposure to some germs to build their physical resilience. Similarly, training them to deal with...

Safety first

Although you may expect the type of justice portrayed on television, your first priority is to make your child safe. Look for the symptoms that identify your child as a target or a bully. You can't expect a busy school to notice everything. Then alert the school if she is unhappy, provided the school tries to handle it responsibly. Don't make the situation worse by doing nothing for months, by challenging the bully or her parents, by trusting a school that exacerbates the problem, or by denying your child therapy while suing the school. Many children are so scared, angry or hurt that they lose sight of the bigger picture. They become stuck blaming others, giving up hope, or feeling terrified that the situation will deteriorate once reported. Sadly, this can happen. Then say to your child, 'I am concerned, but I will give you about three or four weeks to resolve this. If the bullying hasn't stopped by then, I will contact the school and get help. I don't want you to suffer any longer.'...

The dumbstruck look

The moment you reply in a calm, polite, assertive manner, you will surprise the bully. She can't believe it. She expects you to be upset and react, not cool, calm and collected. So she does a very funny thing her eyes go wide, her jaw drops and her mouth opens wider her head goes back a little. She looks dumbstruck, like a deer in the headlights, like a fish that's been knocked on the head. It's the 'stunned mullet look'. Bullies, like everyone else, don't like being put in their place when they make a mistake. They feel stupid, stuck and powerless. The moment you give a good retort, the bully senses that something strange and inexplicable has happened. You weren't mean but she feels uncomfortable and odd. The subtle sting of your retort confuses the bully and she feels embarrassed. She doesn't understand that she's lost the power to hurt you. But the fear of being embarrassed again, especially in front of her mates, stops her bullying you. She gives up. Even if you don't see the...

Change direction

He was teased in primary school but relied upon his older brother to confront the bully. When Allan began Year 9, afat boy who was repeating the year picked him up and threw him into the class rubbish bin every day for a week. Allan was very upset. The following week, Allan walked into the class and, instead of sitting in his usual seat, went straight to the rubbish bin and sat in it. Everyone in the class laughed. The bully was struck dumb but wasforced to laugh with the rest of the class. Allan had stolen the bully's thunder. The bullying ended.


Many people and organisations have inspired, encouraged, supported and helped me while writing Bullybusting, the first edition of this book, and now Bully Blocking, this new and revised edition. They include the Australian Psychological Society, which gave me the opportunity to improve my media skills, the Australian National Association for Mental Health, the Augustine Centre, the National Coalition Against Bullying, Victims of Crime Assistance League, and the National Speakers' Association of Australia. My thanks go to Val Besag, Christine Briggs, Brian Burdekin, Michael Carr-Gregg, Prof Donna Cross, Pam Carroll, Stale Einarsen, Pat Ferris, Ken Fisher, Morry Fraid, Andrew Fuller, Jeffrey Gerrard, Coosje Griffiths, Don Grose, Barbara Guest, Ian Jeffries, Barbara John, John King, Susan Limber, Paul McCarthy, Helen McGrath, Karen McDonald, David Moore, Sean Miller, Rod Myer, Dan Olveus, Marvin Oka, Fabiola Pantea, Judith Paphazy, Ken Rigby, Katerina Rigogiannis (who, at age five, told...

Handpewer exercise

Some children are so traumatised by the bullying that they can't imagine the impact of a successful retort or other assertive behaviours. To help them, play this simple game. 6. If she has difficulty understanding the underlying concept or if she looks confused, explain it by saying, 'I gave you the power to push me. When I stopped pushing, you lost your power to push me. I took your power away. If you had pushed harder, then you would have lost your balance and fallen on top of me. Falling on a parent is not a big deal, but if I were someone else, you would have felt embarrassed if you had fallen into my lap. Nobody likes to feel embarrassed, including bullies. When the bully has the dumbstruck look it means she won't repeat anything that embarrasses her in front of her mates. So if you respond correctly, the bully must stop.' 7. Although the 'dumbstruck look' can seem very funny to a child who has been bullied for a long time, say, 'When we played this game I didn't laugh, even...

Two basic tasks

A typical example of a young person's dilemma is clothes a child who refuses to wear what his mum buys ends up wearing the same as everyone else in his peer group. Once you accept, respect and understand yourself, you know who you are and you have an identity. When you feel good about who you are, you are less likely to be bullied. Then you find a bunch of true friends, and it doesn't matter what the peer group dictates. But many adolescents don't know who they are. If you feel vulnerable, you react to bullying. If you are a target, you may relate to peers in some situations but not in others. You probably feel confident meeting a classmate at the airport or on holiday, where you are freer to socialise without risking peer-group disapproval. In fact, bullies are less likely to bully without their group, and even if they do, you feel less pain and shame. But you will feel more vulnerable the closer you get to school, as the bullying reflects your 'negative' status. However, you can...


The mitery tee - how I help the bully Some families pretend to the world - and themselves - that they are normal. They gloss over or minimise their own or their children's problems. They deny marital difficulties - 'It's none of their business' - or schoolwork problems - 'The teacher has a problem.' Although parents want to protect their child, their actions proclaim, 'I must protect you because you have problems'. Children aren't stupid they identify the cover-up message and, as always, blame themselves, which lowers their self-confidence even further. If parents say, 'We deal with our problems at home', it teaches children to remain silent about problems, even bullying. At home, children like to share their day, but secrets obstruct conversation. Likewise, keeping secrets at school - e.g. 'Our family is normal' - uses up a huge amount of a child's energy. It leaves no room for normal socialising. Secretive children who don't complain make good targets they have limited energy to...

The media can help

No school desires negative publicity about their bullying problem. The threat of publicity may motivate them to become proactive and tackle bullying. Make sure that you obtain all the facts, e.g. compile a survey with other parents. If the school still refuses to confront the problem, despite recent evidence, then consider media action. Design a press release and find someone who can communicate effectively with the media. Angie has chronic fatigue syndrome, which has psychological and physical symptoms. This confuses her peers and teachers sometimes she looks very well, and then she is sick for days. For the past six years students and teachers have said, 'You aren't sick,you're just faking.'She can instruct the bully 'Come back at the same time tomorrow to discuss my chronic fatigue syndrome .

Social difficulties

If you are socially isolated, you advertise your vulnerability and are more likely to be bullied. You may react, irritate or aggravate to get attention. You may pretend to belong to a group even if its members bully you because you may prefer negative attention to none. Your reaction then leads to further bullying. Or perhaps you get attention by trying to control others instead of relating with respect and empathy.

The friendship game

You need a strong network of decent friends your own age at school to develop social skills, block bullies or stop you bullying others. chat groups, bullying websites, telephone helplines, and Although some children are bullied in class only,your child may be bullied in other parts of the school. Write down where the bullying occurs, e.g. on the way to or from school, in the playground, in the corridors, at the lockers, near the canteen, etc. Then write down how your child can protect himself, e.g. walk with a friend, stay near the staffroom at recess, avoid lockers when bullies are there, and so on.


You read in Chapter 3 that there are many reasons why schools perpetuate bullying. The school creates a culture that either accepts, condones or disapproves of bullying. This is reflected in its attitude to staff, parents and students. The school can either respect everyone or respect abuse and intolerance. When a school denies bullying, pretends to take action, punishes 'dobbing', leaves bystanders powerless or devalues staff and parents, it perpetuates bullying. No-one wins. When the school is led by a responsible principal who creates a consistent democratic structure, with rules and consequences and everyone getting a fair go, bullying is reduced. Understand the reasons for bullying to avoid blame and shame. Almost anyone can be targeted or can bully. There are many reasons why children are bullied or bully. When you understand the role your personality, family, past experiences, peers and school all play in the bullying, then you can take action.


Although the total elimination of bullying remains a distant goal, it is important to review the culture and find out if targets are coping, bullies are behaving, and if the peer group feels empowered and safe. Schools need to monitor their policies, programmes and interventions each year to make sure that they are reducing bullying. They should obtain objective measures to confirm their effectiveness, e.g. improved academic results, fewer discipline issues. Then they can modify, discard and update where appropriate. Schools have many options to reduce bullying.

Unstick secrets

If your child has been told to keep family secrets, this can sap the energy he needs to protect himself. Provide him with simple alternatives so that, if asked, he can say something brief and move on. Otherwise he is forced to remain silent, which will handicap his social life. He can't chat about everything and have fun, and can become lonely and attract bullying. Here are some sample responses

Wrong time and place

Sally was a bright, friendly, popular girl, then suddenly everything changed. The girls excluded her from everything, even over the holidays. She was dreadfully lonely. I can't understand what went wrong,' she told me. She mentioned that a very sick classmate had died before the bullying. It caused a huge shock. The school didn't provide opportunitiesfor the girls to release their grief and guilt-they clung together for six weeks and then started attacking one another. Clearly, the girls found it easier to create 'bitchfights' than to deal with their unfinished grief. Sally was targeted. Unfortunately, she was in the wrong school at the wrong time. There are numerous occasions when you could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not playing sport, having wealthy parents, or wearing glasses or braces means different things in different schools. If they are unacceptable at your school, you could encounter bullying.

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