“Done With Bullying” recap

Today we ran our first “Done With Bullying” seminar, and had a great time.

For those that couldn’t make it, here are some of the key points you can discuss with your child:

What is Bullying?

Bullying is when someone tries to deliberately hurt other people with words or actions. It is a behavior, not a person. Bullying is mostly psychological and only sometimes physical.  In order to be considered bullying it intentional and repetitive.

People who bully try to take other people’s power from them. Then they use this imbalance of power to try to harm others

Why do people bully?

The primary reasons people bully are:

  •  They are trying to fit in and feel that bullying is the way to do it.
  • They are trying to feel like more by making others feel like less.
  •  They are being bullied as well.

What should you do if you see someone else being bullied?

1. Get There First

If you suspect someone is about to be bullied simply getting there first can be enough to prevent it.  If you see a bully eyeing up a target go and talk to the target.  People are most vulnerable when they are alone, by getting there first you take away that vulnerability.

2. Step in and Take Charge

Bullying can often be stopped by taking charge.  Step in and tell the person to stop and that is often enough, bullies want to build themselves up through bullying, peer pressure can be used to stop it.

3. Distract and Redirect

If you are not able to take charge you can also distract and redirect the bully to put a end to it.  You can use language to remove the victim from the situation without directly stepping in.

4. Leave and Report

In some cases you may not be comfortable stepping in and confronting or interrupting the bully.  In those cases you should seek help by reporting the situation to someone who can stop it.  It is not tattling to get help, tattling is when your goal is only to get the person in trouble.

No one should have to put up with bullying and if you need help to stop it, ask.

How should you deal with bullying?

Rule 1 – Use Your Mind

Safe habits protect us in all aspects of life.  Looking before crossing a street, wearing a seat belt, etc.  Keeping yourself safe from bullies is no different, safe habits will help keep you safe.

When it comes to bullying safe habits means following some simple habits.  Things like carrying yourself with confidence, making a good first impression, being the first to introduce yourself to others, etc.

Rule 2 – Use Your Words

If you ever find yourself being bullied you often times can use your words to talk your way out of trouble.  C-A-L-M “C.A.L.M.” stands for: Cool down, Assert yourself, Look the bully in the eye, Mean it.

Rule 3 – Use Your Legs

f you are unable to talk yourself out of the situation, you try to ignore it and walk away if you can. Just pretend the bully is invisible. Try to look completely unfazed.

In cases where you are confronted by someone you are unlikely to see again it is often a good idea to run.  If it is someone you will see everyday this may not be a good idea compared to standing your ground though.

Rule 4 – Ask for Help

You are NOT a tattling if you ask for help. Tattling is when your motive is to get someone else in trouble. Reporting is when you let someone who can help you know that you (or another person) are being treated in a disrespectful manner. Most kids don’t want to be a tattletale. They are afraid that if they tell a parent or teacher about a bully or troublemaker, other kids will make fun of them.

You can ask for help in a way that does not reveal to the bully that you  reported them.  Reporting to a teacher that you have been having trouble with another person and asking if they can keep an eye on you as you are concerned about your safety will get you help without the bully knowing you got them in trouble.

Rule 5 – Defend Yourself

When all else fails, defend yourself.  A direct confrontation will very often put an end to the bullying, but it should be a last resort.

Put yourself in a defensive, but strong stance and directly call them out on it.  Something like “Are you trying to start a fight?”  or “You’re being a bully, now back off because I’m not going to put up with it!”

Often that will be enough to put a stop to it right there, but if not be ready to use physical force to defend yourself.  There are different levels of physical force, we used redirecting and off balancing, takedowns, pinning technique, pinning and threatening while asking for a promise to stop and finally using strikes.

Regardless, the situation should be immediately reported. If you feel things are going to lead to a confrontation speak with a parent before if you can.  Let them know what is going on and what you’ve tried, ask if you have there support if you are forced to defend yourself.

Thanks to all the participants, and we had a great time!