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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, 'Who knows what the future will be? I don't.'

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

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