Friday, May 13, 2011

Dealing With Bullies

I hate bullies! Always have... not that anyone loves a bully, but I have a zero tolerance for one person exerting their "power" over another. I can never sit idly by when I see a person being cowed by someone else: no matter what the situation is. 

It's important to teach our kids how to treat others around them, even if they are different: to be able to stick up for the kids being bullied, even if it's difficult: to be able to know what to do when being bullied, even if it's scary.

On the playground, in the work place, at the park - bullies are everywhere. Aaron is always telling me that one day I am going to get him beat up because I just can't keep my mouth shut when I see bullying going on: it's just a protective instinct that I have I guess

I cannot stand to watch ANY movie that has bullying going on. Saw? Never saw it (ha, pun!). Don't get it, don't want to. One of my favorite books, "Flowers For Algernon", is very artfully written and a great story. I do have a hard time reading certain parts of that book however, because of the way the main character is treated. It makes me angry. I want to scream "What is wrong with you!? How can you treat someone like that?".

I wanted to share a post I saw on a site I go to often. Heather Johnson, who has a degree in Family Psychology, has a blog called "Family Volley" which focuses on families. It's great, check it out. She did a post not too long ago on bullying that I thought was extremely helpful. If you have a child that is having problems with bullies, you will especially want to read it.

Heather starts by saying "
First, we realize, that no matter what we do, OUR KIDS WILL FACE CONFRONTATION in their lives. In school, in college, in the work place, in their neighborhoods, in marriage. Confrontation is part of life. We have to prepare them for it. " Then she covers these main points:

  • Start talking to your children young
  • Listen to your child
  • Role play
  • Teach conflict resolution
  • Give them a hobby, interest, sport, talent, where they can excel
  • Teach empathy
  • Let kids work things out on their own
  • Don't dismiss verbal abuse
  • When is it okay to teach your children to fight?
  • Get Dad involved

Just stay open and close to your kids. Give them a safe place at home and the tools they need to remedy the situation if they are being bullied, and the tools they may need if they see someone else being bullied. Center one of your family nights around this topic and come up with scenarios and resolutions together so everyone will know what to do if they ever find themselves in a situation. Knowledge is power.

picture also taken from Family Volley


  1. love this post. Marylinn has had problems with bullies at school. It never hurts to have to much information on this kind of stuff. So many people have different ideas of what works and maybe it all does but it doesn't hurt to have different things to try.

    I have a request for a posting...can I do that? I was wondering if you could help me out on some ways or information on how to help kids deal with anxiety. I know, I know you think it is just for me but it seems that Marylinn is following in my footsteps and I really want to avoid that!! Thanks!!

  2. Requests in a band suck, because you don't know all the songs out there that people want you to play... requests on here are AWESOME! I will do my best to put something together for you in the next week.

  3. Thanks!! letting go of things is one thing that she really has a problem with. Every little toy, paper, piece of yarn...I am not joking. She is so attached and she gets so anxious and emotional every time we even mention throwing something out. She also, like myself, has issues in dealing with the "what ifs" in life. Even though I go through it myself I don't know how to help her.

  4. I was bullied big time all throughout my school years. I know how degrading it can be. I had zero friends in Elementary School until 5th grade when a sweet girl befriended me. I was shocked when she asked me to play at recess. We were great friends for years.

    My mom and dad tried to help me by role playing and my parents would call some of their parents (that made it worse, although I would hope that someone would call me if my child was behaving that way), then I tried to be friends with them and invite them to my house. By doing that, I just ended up with fair weather friends.

    By high school, I had good friends and "friends" that wanted to be my friend when the popular people were not around. I don't know the answer other than teach your kids to love everyone. But, I did learn one really great thing. I started looking for others who needed a friend. This really changed things for me through high school, although the bullying didn't completely stop. By doing that, I made many wonderful friends in High School and college that I am still friends with. So, teaching a child to be friends with someone else who needs a friend probably won't stop the bullying, but will boost the feelings of self worth in the child, and fill their life with many wonderful friends!