Genetic factors

Nicole had difficulty reading even the blackboard was hard to see. She had learning difficulties, her self-esteem was poor, and kids excluded her. Eventually one teacher became suspicious and suggested to her parents that she have an eye test. Once she was given glasses, her schoolwork improved and she learnt how to stop being bullied. You can be targeted because you were born different. Being physically handicapped, clumsy, small or tall, having a different skin colour, unusual behaviours...

Social beings survive better

Adults who cope best with the stresses and traumas of life generally have caring, supportive networks. Children with good social skills have more fun, share their problems, work out solutions and obtain group support for their activities and actions. When you belong to a number of groups, you obtain the self-esteem and emotional support you need to cope during stressful times. You aren't alone. Instead of being limited by your own resources, you utilise the...

Your friendship groups

Most kids have a core of true, close friends with whom they share their ups and downs. Then they have a group of acquaintances with whom they socialise. They are not as close to them emotionally and don't share everything to the extent they do with their core group. But both groups change constantly, depending upon what is going on in your life and theirs. You need a good, sympathetic group of children to play with at school. There are three main social groups...

Whats happening at home

All my life I've tried to avoid upsetting her because she has been through so much. I only learnt how to say 'No' at a recent family reunion. So it's not surprising that I found it hard to say 'No' to everyone else. As you have seen earlier, children learn how to show empathy and deal with conflict by communicating, caring and facing challenging issues within their family. This may happen when the family congregates around the dinner table and shares the ups...

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,...

Various other bully blockers

It is useful to collect a bunch of simple, generic replies of different styles a variety of retorts that work for a variety of teases. Learn them so they can 'pop out' automatically when necessary. ' Outrageous', 'Wow', ' I hear what you say', 'Whoopee', ' Beg your pardon ', 'Really', 'Fancythat', 'Gee whiz', 'Define that for me', 'I didn't realise that', 'Sorry about that'. Reply 'My special smell has taken years to perfect.' Bully continues But it's not perfect.' Reply I know, sometimes I...

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...

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...

Two basic tasks

Every adolescent needs to develop a sense of how he scores as an individual ('Who am I ') and how he scores socially as compared to the peer group ('Do I belong '). 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....

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. School-based training professionals need to research bullying and attend regular external training programmes provide training in empathy, communication and...

Tough bully blockers

They need to be told they are being mean or to learn from this type of retort that they are doing the wrong thing. BE TRUTHFUL IT TAKES PEOPLE BY SURPRISE Reply 'I think you are a real bully.' Reply 'Do you feel good when you bully me ' CHALLENGE Bully 'You stutter like a broken record.' Reply 'I bet you can't copy me exactly ' Reply 'Say that again and I'll take my socks off and you can really enjoy them.' Bully 'You can't play with us.' Reply 'But competition...

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...

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. Warning. Do not rush into this lightly. Staff will feel threatened and...

The indirect approach

If your child won't discuss the problem, try this 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....

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. Become closer to three to five classmates - it will take a few weeks. Belonging to a group, even if they are unpopular, is better than being padlocked to a best friend. Also, teachers are more likely to believe a group of witnesses than one friend. Make social arrangements - visit friends, cousins or neighbours. Make your friends welcome when they visit your...

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...

Social difficulties

Some children find it hard to be friendly and relate to a group of kids. You may have personal difficulties that affect your socialising. Perhaps you don't know how to begin a conversation, have fun or join in unorganised activities at lunchtime or recess. You may say or do the wrong thing, be very quiet and find social situations hard. Other children then see you as different. If you are socially isolated, you advertise your vulnerability and are more likely to be...

Secrets

Donald was called 'egghead' and teasedfor years. The teachers and other kids saw him as tense and secretive. He was born premature with physical difficulties - his mother was scared he would die, and so overprotected him. At our last session, she casually mentioned that his twin had died at birth. She had kept this a secret from Donald until very recently. Until then, he had known that he was special, but not why. The mitery tee - how I help the bully Fill in the spaces on the tree with the...

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...

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. Be prepared Use good eye contact, a neutral face and calm body language. Remain calm if you become angry and...

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. Children I have done this exercise with usually find it very encouraging. Record the number of sixes and ones. You may get one or more sixes and ones. Now repeat another 40 times. You will get around six to eight sixes and ones. In a board game, everyone wants the six, which...

Release How to release these feelings

Now you need to work out how to release your feelings appropriately. There are three main ways to release feelings biochemical (direct or indirect), verbal (direct or indirect), and physical (direct or indirect) release. Remember, it doesn't matter what you use, as long as it works You should not consider pharmaceutical drugs of any kind unless it's an emergency. Direct Bach Rescue Remedy, St John's Wort (check with your doctor) Indirect Comfort food, dark chocolate (70+ percent), aromatherapy,...

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...

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...

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 ceased. By the sixth session he was a much happier boy. His school report said, 'Throughout this year it has been incredible to see Michael flourish into a magnificent young man.' I once saw a child who had been bullied for six years. The school tried to refer...

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. One mother was sick and tired of her son being a bully. With the school's support,she supervised him everywhere - in class and in the yard at school. After a day he vowed never to bully again. Although some parents believe it is acceptable to...

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...

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. Tell your child Although it may seem pointless to take action when you don't believe anything can be done and it's a waste of time,you don't know what's possible until you try. Just because you feel bad doesn't mean that...

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....

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. Tell your child Look for three reasons why you are bullied. If you can't find any in this book, then blame your school, the government or the stars. The important thing is that you don't blame yourself...

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. Use peer support, senior students,...

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...

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. Tell your child Use the techniques in this book to begin blocking bullies on your own. At the same...

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...

Dont want to accept the truth

What a shame we aren't all attractive, intelligent, sporty, trendy or sociable like the popular kids. Most children feel insecure about who they really are or 'should be' while passing through childhood, puberty and adolescence. 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...

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...

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...

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 target develop a healthy lifestyle, which includes a balanced diet, sufficient sleep and daily exercise...

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 Don't drive bullies underground. Sanctions need to...

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. I. Ask your child to sit down opposite you, on a chair of matching height. Put up your hands, ask her to do the same, and say, 'Push my hands as hard as you can'. Make sure that your hands stay upright while you are pushing. Ask your child how hard she is pushing on a scale of one to ten, and share your score, e.g. 'If you...

Gut talk the magic I word

The 'I' word is the basis of assertive language, or 'gut talk'. It looks really simple, but very few people use it successfully at home, at school or socially. This type of language doesn't blame, attack or make anyone defensive. You just take responsibility for what you think, feel and say. Just compare 'It's nice being with you' to 'I like being with you' or 'You shouldn't interrupt' to 'I don't like you interrupting me'. Assertive language forces the other person to provide you with instant...

Give to others it boomerangs back to you

Another simple way of building your self-esteem is by giving to others. This works for lots of reasons. Kids like kids who like them. All children love special attention, especially if you show interest in their favourite subject - themselves. Once you do something to make someone else feel good, they are likely to return the compliment or favour and do something for you. When you are friendly, considerate and caring it can boomerang back to you. It may not happen immedi ately, but later on you...

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. 2....

Evaluate

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...

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...

Environmental factors

Bill was an extremely gifted musician but not sporty. Sadly, his peers valued sport, not music. They teased him mercilessly until he went to a school that respected musical talent. Rebeccafelt different at her old school so her parents sent her to aJewish school, believing she would have more in common with the students there. But she found it hard to join in she was quiet, and waited for others to invite her to play, whereas other students seemed morefamiliar with one another. They appeared to...

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...

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...

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...

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....

Create your own power pack Secret

Dallas is terrified that kids will tease him about hisfather being blind, and criticise his dad's guide dog. We played around with some ideas and practised until hefelt prepared. Now if someone teases him he can say, 'Well, my dad is a very intelligent man. He has a great life and career, and he is a really lovely man. Gary, the dog, is very intelligent because he has passed Stage 5 of guide-dog school, which is very difficult.' If kids tease Dallas that he too might become blind, he can say,...

Class topics

Students can discuss the harm caused by bullying, focusing upon the physical, psychological, academic, social and self-esteem damage. 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. See all of Chapter 3, especially 'The core issues' (pp.44-45). How can you help kids understand the...

Bullying destroys selfesteem

You have probably experienced a sinking feeling in your stomach following criticism, an attack, a put-down or a nasty remark. Some children have a thick skin and laugh it off, but you may experience it like an arrow through the heart. If you have been bullied or harassed for years, you will feel very bruised and battered. This lowers your self-esteem further your social skills deteriorate, you withdraw from others, and other areas of your life, such as schoolwork or health, become problematic....

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...

Assertive

You are being assertive when you identify your feelings, such as feeling safe, comfortable or threatened. You check if you are feeling happy, sad, angry or scared. Then you work out when and how to release these feelings. You listen to your gut feelings to protect yourself, then show signs of friendliness, use direct 'I' statements when suitable (see Chapter 11), ask for help or release your bad feelings in constructive ways, e.g. sport. You use self-respect to protect yourself, without being...

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,...

Regulate your feelings Secret

Sean had been teased and excluded since beginning high school. They picked on him because he was Asian, although he'd lived most of his life in America At first he was stunned - he didn't know what to do. Everything he tried, including asking the school for help, had failed. As time wore on he became angry, then scared. Finally he gave up - he felt powerless and paralysed. Bullying arouses many bad feelings like fear, anger, shame, hurt, confusion and powerlessness because it interferes with so...

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...

Give to yourself build your selfesteem

As you can't always rely on others, you need to give to yourself, not just once a week but every day. Then you can build up your self-esteem bank and feel good about yourself. There are many ways you can do this, but it can be as simple as playing with a toy, reading, listening to music or chatting to a friend. Find someone you trust. Ask him or her to help you discover what makes you feel confident, successful and powerful (e.g. doing well at sport, trying hard at schoolwork, cooking dinner...

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). VIA EMAILS, CHAT GROUPS AND TEXT MESSAGES Don't reply to nasty comments. Change your code password, and inform only close friends. Alter your voicemail so that the bully doesn't know who he is calling. Inform your parents and get them to reply. Block the bully's server...

Become a confident communicator Secret

Remember when your teacher was away and a relief teacher came to your class The moment he or she stood in the doorway, everyone knew what would happen next if the teacher stood there looking nervous and insecure, you knew this would be a slack lesson, with kids messing around. But when the teacher stood upright, eyes fixed on the class, radiating control, you realised there wouldn't be any playing-up in class today. You communicate what you think, feel and want through your behaviours. You...

Find the smile

The really big switch begins when an unhappy child suddenly stops looking miserable and instead smiles. This may happen when she hears a funny retort. Sometimes I ask, 'Why are you smiling ' Words that seemed so painful half an hour ago now elicit a smile. She says, 'That's funny'. 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...

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...

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. You connect her experiences with those you experienced at her school, e.g. being excluded by a group of 'cliquey' parents. If you've experienced bullying at work, by a partner or elsewhere, painful memories may surface when your child is bullied. You recall your...

Identifying potential new friends

Here is an exercise to help you build a core group of friends and a social support network. There are probably some friendly children in your class. Write down the names of children who share ideas or things and cooperate with you in games or on projects 1 2 3 are fair, give and take, share power 1 2 3 care, show interest and empathy with others 1 2 3. are fun and enjoy doing the things you enjoy 1 2 3. say or show that they like you 1 2 3. you like (you show this by what you say or do) 1 2 3....

Strip the tease

The bully scores each time you become upset and then react. Decide whether the tease is true or not. If it's not true, why get upset If it is true, why get upset Maybe you can change, e.g. lose weight, practise sport, change hairstyles. What can you do to accept a permanent situation, such as a physical disability, your ethnicity - e.g. make a joke or a fun limerick, get a confidence badge Whatever it is, circulate a detailed leaflet about your condition in your class. Get energy by...

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...

Bullies and targets

Warrenhasan odd relationship with Tom. They used to be closefriends but their relationship changed once Tom joined the cool group. Warren hangs around Tom and his mates when they play sport. Warren hates itwhen Tompusheshim away or when the boys physically knock him around. Tom and his crew don't like Warren - they call him a 'geek'. Despite these negative vibes, Warren believes their attention is better than nothing. Unconsciously, he prefers to be alienated by a popular group than to be...

The damage done

John was bullied at school every day for eight years. They called him a 'stupid, fat wog. He was excluded and physically pushed around. He felt like the class buffoon or punching bag. The teachers oftenjoined in, and even instigated some attacks. Following his suicide attempt, John finally left that school. Now that he is suing the school for disregarding his welfare, he is aware of how his obsessive behaviours, poor social life and fear of others mocking him resulted from the bullying. Despite...

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...

Bullying an overview

Child Physical Restraint

'Adam is always calling people who are littler than him names.' 'Darren always calls you names and he hits you when you walk past. Kids are sick of him.' 'Jason teases me just because I'm different and he makes me upset.' 'Kim spreads lies about me by email every week.' 'I hate the fact that I don't know who's spreading nasty gossip about me in the chat group or who is sending texts text messages to my phone.' 'I walked around the corner and Jeff kicked me for no reason.' 'Sally punches, pushes...

What causes bullying

John was born in Singapore to aJapanese mother and an American father. He went to preschool in Singapore and then to a Canadian schoolfor a few years. Each time his family relocated to another culture, he felt increasingly different to other children. It was stressful to balance his family's internal cultural conflicts and simultaneously deal with the cultural differences in each school. Then his father was transferred to Australia. Once he entered this new 'rough 'n ready' environment, his low...

Isbn 978-1-84642-632-2

'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...