Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tips for parents about school bullying - what if your child is the bully?

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quick tips for parents - How do you support your child?

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Anti bullying advice for parents - Six Quick Tips

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Anti-Bullying PSA: The Price of Silence

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Casey Haynes- The Boy who fought back! ( Great Story)

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How High School Girls Bully

Most studies about bullying focus on boys as aggressors but girls can be bullies too and when girls bully it can be an entirely different beast. When we think of bullying we tend to think of physical violence and outward taunting but when girls bully their tactics are often quiet and covert.

Girls Who Bully Can Be Hard to Recognize

From the outside looking in it can be hard to tell a group of girls who are bullying apart from a group of girls who are innocently standing around. Girls socialize differently than boys. As girls get older their peer interactions become less physical and more cerebral. Girls engage in verbal bonding by sharing stories, hopes, and dreams. Since girls bond differently than boys it makes sense that when they bully it would be different too.

Teachers and parents tend to talk about the obvious when they talk about bullying. Playground scuffles, name calling, stealing personal items and damaging property are commonly cited examples of bullying behavior. But when girls bully they aren’t so obvious. Girls can be quietly vicious with their victims and adults often fail to treat their behavior as bullying.

Girls and Boys Do Not Bully the Same Ways

The tactics used by girls who bully are distorted versions of some normal mechanisms of social development. According to research done by Lagerspetz, Bjorqvist and Peltonen at the University of Miami, when girls bully they use things like alienation, ostracism, deliberate and calculated random exclusions, and spreading of rumors to harass their peers.

Girls get other kids to gang up on one or more peers as a way of exerting control. Sometimes they incite other children to act out aggressively and sit back to watch the show. They form groups that pick and choose members at random and exclude others without real reason. They form alliances with other social groups in an effort to jockey for popularity and positions of power among peers. All too often the bullying tactics used by girls are brushed off as cruel but normal social interactions.

In Girls, Bullying Behaviors and Peer Relationships: The Double Edged Sword of Exclusion and Rejection, Barbara Leckie explains how bullying by girls manifests itself and how it is handled by adults. Leckie went over numerous studies dating back as far as 1980 and identified the many different ways that girls bully. She also found that adults were slower to react to the bullying tactics used by girls.

Adults Can Be Slow to React to Girls Who Bully

If there is violence or physical acting out of any sort adults are quick to intervene and when necessary will punish offenders, but when the bullying takes on a less obvious form even adults don’t seem to know what to do. When girls bully it often goes unaddressed. Since adults don't always label the tactics used by girls as bullying kids who fall victim don’t know where to turn for help.

The mindset still exists that not all kids can be friends and the social structure of the school system encourages the formation of groups and reinforces the idea of social hierarchies. This makes many adults slow to recognize things like exclusion and alienation as something sinister. These behaviors are often dismissed as an unfortunate part of the normal formation of peer groups.

While it is normal for girls and boys to form social groups and close bonds with certain people at the exclusion of others it becomes bullying when those groups make power plays over other groups or individuals. Having friends is one thing; having friends who work to make others feel that they are not good enough to be included is another. Playing the popularity game in a way that causes fear or inadequacy in others is a form of bullying and it is a common tactic used by girls.

Girls Bully in Packs
Sadly, good kids who know better go along with these types of popularity power games for fear of being singled out and cast out of the group. Since adults often treat this exclusionary behavior as mere social clashing kids who are caught in the middle are afraid to stand up to the bully. It seems easier to do nothing than it does to do the right thing.

Kids who quietly go along with a bully add to the bully's power by giving victims the illusion that the bully has peer support. The victim feels like everybody is against them, not just the bully. When adults do not address exclusionary behavior the same way they would address more traditionally forms of bullying it worsens the problem. Kids who know better feel powerless to do the right thing when adults don’t react.

Girls who bully will pick on boys as well as other girls. They act out as consistently as boys who bully and pick their targets in much the same way. While girls have been known to get violent when they bully it is much more common for them to use emotional tactics.

How Girls Bully
Girls bully by using emotional violence. They do things that make others feel alienated and alone. Some of the tactics used by girls who bully include:

* anonymous prank phone calls or harassing emails from dummy accounts
* playing jokes or tricks designed to embarrass and humiliate
* deliberate exclusion of other kids for no real reason
* whispering in front of other kids with the intent to make them feel left out
* name calling, rumor spreading and other malicious verbal interactions
* being friends one week and then turning against a peer the next week with no incident or reason for the alienation
* encouraging other kids to ignore or pick on a specific child
* inciting others to act out violently or aggressively

Boys are not the only bullies, girls bully too. Being singled out, ridiculed, excluded, or alienated is a form of bullying. Being beaten up emotionally on a daily basis does damage to the victims. It is time that the problem was addressed for what it is, a gender difference in bullying but bullying none-the-less.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

You are Unbreakable! Video of the week!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Hero in the Hallway!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Teens help craft Detroit's first anti-bullying resolution; students are hoping it becomes law

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Words Hurt - Bullying Commercial

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Be Remarkable

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Anti-bullying & hazing: What can be done?

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

How to Stop Bullying

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Anti-bullying video of the week: Dont Give up, Dont Give in, There is a way!!!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Bullying Victim Nadin Khoury Gets A Surprise from The Philadelphia Eagles

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Michael & Marisa - The Same (Anti Bullying Song)

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Anti-bully Music Video of the Month: Eminem - No Love

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bullying: Tips for Students

If you are being bullied...
Reach Out
Tell an adult. Sometimes you may have to tell more than one trusted adult.
Ask your friends to help you. There is safety in numbers.
Practice what to say the next time you're bullied with your parents, teachers or friends.
Be Cool in the Moment
Stay calm and confident. Don't show the bully that you're sad or mad.
Ignore the bully and walk away.
Remember: Fighting back can make bullying worse.
Change the School Community
Work with others to stop bully behavior; your whole school will benefit.
Remember: A lot of kids have to cope with bullying. You are not alone. No one deserves to be bullied.
If you witness bullying...
Interrupt It
Stand next to, or speak up for, the person being bullied.
Ask the bully to stop.
Comfort the person being bullied and offer friendship.
Get Help
Walk away and get help.
Find an adult who can intervene.
If you are the bully...
Make a Commitment to Change
Talk to an adult, like a teacher or parent, about how to get along with others.
Ask a friend to help you stop your bully behavior.
Apologize to the kids you have bullied.
Focus on Empathy and Responsibility
Think about what it feels like to be bullied -- would you want to be treated that way?
Before you speak, think about whether your words will help or hurt another student.
Change Your Behavior
Resist peer pressure to bully.
If you start to bully, walk away and find something else to do.
Remember: You don't have to like everyone around you, but you have to treat everyone with respect.
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Stand for Something

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Talk - Cyber Bullying

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

STOP Bullying!!

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Bullied Kid Turns Survivor

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

President Obama & the First Lady - Anti Bullying

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The story of YU (Anti-bullying Flash animation)

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oprah Winfrey - Bullying and Suicide

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Monday, March 7, 2011

2Pac- Hold on Be Strong

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

No Bully Zone T-shirts

You can purchase these @

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Bully Proofing

Bully Proofing
Educate yourself about the problem and be in touch with your own feelings on the issue.
Challenge stereotypes and avoid making stereotypic comments yourself.
Identify yourself as a potential ally by wearing a button, or other identifying symbol.
Go out of your way to befriend people who are different from yourself.
Be a buddy. Give your attention to the victim or better yet, a potential victim – show concern, kindness, friendship.
Join with other allies or form your own support group of allies. The best defense against a bully is the power of a supportive group.
Know who you can go to if you need support.
Be a positive role model in your language and behavior.
Create an “aware” atmosphere. Talk openly about the problem to everyone in the setting.
Help set up safe places for potential victims. Eliminate places where bullies can get a victim alone.
Classrooms, work places, nations need policies that address bullying and set up consequences.

Get Involved

Recognize that there is a problem
Listen first
Stay calm. Do not show fear or anger. Use a “poker” face.
Do not make assumptions about other people’s behavior – react to the current situation as observed.

Support the victim

Refuse to participate and interrupt the behavior i.e. if you hear an ethnic joke. Do not laugh and tell joker you do not find such jokes funny.
Show concern for the victim.
Make sure victim and bully know you think the behavior is wrong.
Ignore the bully and invite the victim to walk away with you.
Physically stand by the person. Gather others to stand with you.
Say something supportive: Say I am standing with him or her. I am not going to fight. I am with him or her. This is my friend.
Let the bully know that the behavior is not acceptable. Describe the behavior being witnessed and name it impersonally. Not – “You are a bully”, but “Saying that or doing that is bullying.”
Use humor to defuse situations

Act when violence threatens or occurs

If the situation seems like it might become violent, invite the victim to come do something with you, and leave area calmly and quickly. Contact authorities.
If violence is happening or a large group of bullies is involved, stay out of it but yell, scream, attract attention. Get authorities. Do not use violence in response.

After an Incident

After an incident no matter what happens, report to a person in authority or to a supportive group. If there is no group – form one.
Share what happened without identifying the real individuals. Remember: True stories are powerful ways to reach people and inspire compassion.
Be a witness before the authorities. Remember names, the place, the time. Record what the bully(ies) said as soon as you can.
Try the “No Blame Method” of problem solving – Have all involved including bystanders, bully, and victim describe the problem behavior and suggest solutions.
Take responsibility, and educate others how to be allies. fan us:
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Anti-Bullying Pledge for School Faculty

We the faculty of ______________________________ agree to join together to stamp out bullying/cyber bullying at our school.
We believe that everybody should enjoy our school equally and also enjoy a peaceful life at home while on the Internet and feel safe, secure and accepted regardless of color, race, gender, popularity, athletic ability, intelligence, religion and nationality. 
Bullying can be pushing, shoving, hitting, and spitting, as well as name calling, picking on, making fun of, laughing at, and excluding someone. "Cyber bullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.  Bullying and cyber bullying causes pain and stress to victims and is never justified or excusable as "kids being kids," "just teasing" or any other rationalization. The victim is never responsible for being a target of bullying or cyber bullying.
By signing this pledge, we the school and faculty agree to:  
  • Develop a clear school policy on bullying/cyber bullying and display it prominently in classrooms and around the school.
  • Train faculty in appropriate handling of incidents.
  • Develop or adopt a curriculum that educates students about bullying/cyber bullying.
  • Teach students about less obvious forms of bullying/cyber bullying like gossiping and exclusion.
  • Discuss pro-active anti- bullying/cyber bullying measures (such as having lunch with a student who has been excluded in the past).
  • Establish support systems for pupils involved in incidents such as peer counseling and mediation.
  • Establish a system to support and inform parents when incidents of bullying/cyber bullying occur.
  • Offer counseling to students who bully/cyber bully.
  • Ensure an atmosphere where students feel safe reporting incidents of bullying/cyber bullying and confident they will be dealt with and not ignored.
  • Report all incidents of bullying/cyber bullying immediately to the principal.
  • When an incident is reported all students involved will be given the opportunity to give their version of the incident.
  • Put in place sanctions for bullying/cyber bullying such as verbal warnings, removal from a classroom or school grounds, a verbal or written apology to the victim, a parent teacher meeting, and detention or expulsion for repeat offenders.
  • Monitor cases of persistent of bullying/cyber bullying and be fully informed of all incidents and their progress.
Signed by: _______________________________________
Print name: _______________________________________

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Anti-Bullying Pledge for Students

We the students of ______________________________ agree to join together to stamp out bullying and cyber bullying at our school.
We believe that everybody should enjoy our school equally and also enjoy a peaceful life at home while on the Internet and feel safe, secure and accepted regardless of color, race, gender, popularity, athletic ability, intelligence, religion and nationality. 
Bullying can be pushing, shoving, hitting, and spitting, as well as name calling, picking on, making fun of, laughing at, and excluding someone. "Cyber bullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.  Bullying and cyber bullying causes pain and stress to victims and is never justified or excusable as "kids being kids," "just teasing" or any other rationalization. The victim is never responsible for being a target of bullying or cyber bullying.
By signing this pledge, we the students agree to:  
  • Value student differences and treat others with respect.
  • Not become involved in bullying or cyber bullying incidents or be a bully or cyberbully.
  • Be aware of the school's policies and support system with regard to bullying/cyber bullying.
  • Report honestly and immediately all incidents of bullying/cyber bullying to a faculty member.
  • Be alert in places around the school where there is less adult supervision such as bathrooms, corridors, and stairwells.
  • Support students who have been or are subjected to bullying/cyber bullying.
  • Talk to teachers and parents about concerns and issues regarding bullying/cyber bullying.
  • Work with other students and faculty, to help the school deal with bullying/cyber bullying effectively.
  • Encourage teachers to discuss bullying/cyberbullying issues in the classroom.
  • Provide a good role model for younger students and support them if bullying/cyber bullying occurs.
  • Participate fully and contribute to assemblies dealing with bullying/cyber bullying.
  • I acknowledge that whether I am being a bullying/cyber bullying bully or see someone being bullied/cyber bullied, if I don't report or stop the bullying/cyber bullying, I am just as guilty.
Signed by: _______________________________________
Print name: _______________________________________

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Fighting Cyber-Bullying

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cyber Bullying

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How to Walk Away from a Fight

1. Keep your distance from the person that wants to fight you.

2. Talk to the person about why he/she wants to fight you, and acknowledge their freedom to want to fight quickly.

3. Back away from the troublemaker.

4.Try to ignore any negative things he/she might have to say about you or your mother (or, in very extreme cases, your grandmother) as you're walking away.

5. Don't escalate the argument. The important thing is avoiding a fight, not arguing petty points about the disagreement you two have. Don't insult your opponent or become angry with them, but just be calm and try to convince them that a fight is a bad idea. If necessary, acknowledge that they have a valid argument for whatever it is that's instigating the fight, even if you're in the right.

6. Avoid getting into situations that threaten fights. Keep an eye out for danger signs, like high tension, the presence of alcohol, a late night, or somebody who is upset over something else already, and stay away. Attempt to defuse the situation as soon as it arises.

7. When all else fails, remember that there is no shame in running away -- you did your best. After all, the alternative could be much worse: You could die, get crippled, or end up in jail. Remember what's important to you and how a fight could impact your life.

8.When trying to avoid a fight keep eye contact and also try to keep an eye on the hands. Discuss the problem and apologize for anything you have caused, even if you're right.


  • While attempting to defuse the situation, it is important to keep your hands in a defensible yet non-aggressive position, ie. ready to block sucker punches to your face/body, but not in a "fighting stance." Use i) the "prayer position" with both palms pressed together, which looks non-threatening, but keeps your hands up near your face; ii) the "stay back" position, hands facing your aggressor palms outward; iii) the "I'm thinking" position, with a hand on your chin/head. Remember, try to seem natural while you do this. Keep protected at all times.
  • Some people are scared and don't want to confront their opponent, but you should never assume your opponent won't fight.
  • Do not take the moral approach in your attempts to defuse the situation. For example, saying something like "I've got better things to do than fight on the streets" or "fighting is so childish" can cause your aggressor to go out of his way to prove you wrong. It's just another way to try to "win" the fight by making yourself seem better; your objective is not to win: it's to not be a part of the fight whatsoever.
  • For people unfamiliar with adrenaline bursts, walking away can be nearly impossible. People who get their adrenaline pumping regularly in a peaceful manner have more control of themselves in a stressful situation. Regardless, try to keep a level and clear head.If you can't get away just tell someone that you want to get away just dont use many details. When someone threatens to kill you just find the closest (civilizedish) adult and tell them or your in some deep water
  • If you are in a car or vehicle, lock the doors and refuse to come out. Drive away if possible.
  • Remember walking away from a fight doesn't determine you're a coward it determines you're mature and thinking responsibly.
  • Be careful when and if you do try to walk away. If the other person is very angry, they may simply attack you from behind. When walking away face the person who is causing your trouble as to prevent them from attacking you from behind while walking away. Also to make sure to glance back every bit to check for potential escape routes. Do not turn you head as you look back.
  • In a truly dangerous situation, the most important thing is to leave your ego aside. Tell him what he wants to hear. He/She wants their ego gratified, and if you can do that without taking a beating so much the better. Think of the people who are important to you, and swallow your pride.


  • In some situations, the person might say something provocative. But again, be the better person and ignore it.
  • Sometimes the person that wants to fight you is looking for it and will hit you anyway. Your best option is always walking away, but if the person is a threat to you, and backing off isn't an option, you must defend yourself. Usually the first hit can be the strongest and can also catch the person off guard. A follow up can quickly end the fight if it is well timed and delivered.
  • Of course, if there's authority around you, don't hesitate to alert them.
  • Fighting is not a game and should not be used to resolve petty conflicts. Serious legal as well as physical consequences may result. The worst thing that could happen in a fight is that someone may end up dead. There are no rules or referees on the street and the person who ends up dead could be you.
  • Always keep in mind that there is no shame in turning down a fight. If you are around people, this is no different. People calling you yellow is not something to make you have to fight. Remember that it is what you think of yourself when a fight is about to start and when you turn it down that is important. Besides, there is more maturity in turning down a fight, and remember: "War does not make one strong".
  • When walking away, do not turn your back on the enemy. That makes it too easy to get jumped. Walk away to the side at an angle and keep them in your sight or head towards a crowd. Be mindful of obstacles because if you fall you can get jumped.
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What is Verbal Bullying?

Verbal bullying is using harsh words or comments to tease, taunt, or insult the victim. Such bullying can happen with anyone, males or females, children or adults, and at any place including home, schools, colleges, or workplaces.

The bully purposely tries to harm the victim verbally, either by insulting in public or in person. There are several kinds of bullies. Now that we know what is verbal bullying, let us have a look at the kinds of bullies one can commonly find.

Some bullies have extremely high self-confidence, which makes him believe that he is on top of the world. Hence, he insults everyone in general, and few people in particular, whom he dislikes. Another kind of bully may have low self esteem, and tries to improve his status in front of others by verbal bullying.

There are several people who involving in bullying involuntarily. These people are known as impulsive bullies. They react to their impulsiveness, and often are victim of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Everyone can be a victim of bullying, but there are some kinds of people who are more prone to such bullying.

First kind of such victims of bullying are the people who very low self esteem and lack of self-defensiveness. They are very easy victims of the bullies. Many a times, people from different background are also victimized due to their difference in language, culture and religion. People with certain physical disorders like obese or too thin are common victims.

One of the best ways to reduce this bully is to fight back, not by responding similarly, but by addressing the issue to the others like teachers and parents. In case of workplace bullying, one can approach and discuss the issue with bullies. However, if they don’t seem to understand, feel free to escalate the issue to the management.

School bullying is commonly found in schools today. In order to deal with such situations, kids can do several things like:

  • Stay in a group. Bullies usually pick up on victims who are alone.
  • Simply ignore the comments and move on. Don’t react. This will discourage the bullies.
  • When you respond to a bully, remember to respond firmly, having strong eye to eye contact.
  • Let them know that you aren’t afraid of them at all.
If these things don’t help, asking your parents for help may seem to be good idea. Dealing with bullies can sometimes be tough. If parents too are unable to resolve the issue, teachers or even police may be contacted. Remember, bullying causes mental stress among children, which can lead to several negative actions like resorting to drugs or ending lives. Save them before it’s late.

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How to avoid getting jumped or beat up by bullies

You wake up, go to school or work, and next thing you know, a bunch of stuck-up bullies shove you around like a ball. If you decide to act like a tough guy and a fight is imminent, here's how to back down your opponent.

   1. Get in a threatening stance—not too overbearing, or you'll look stupid; you don't want that because there will most likely be others watching. But overall don't worry to much about what people think. If you can hit more and take more punches then there's no problem. Just make it out ALIVE.

   2.  Say something that might make your opponent think that you're not worth it, such as "What do you want?" or "I don't want to fight you." If they don't seem to listen, be prepared to defend yourself.
   3. Speak up to intimidate the bully. Don't be timid or whiny. Practice speaking firmly, loudly, and with assurance. If you can't shake the bully, you might be able to convince the people watching, and bullies lose a lot of power when the people watching question his or her superiority.
   4.  Make eye contact. Don't shift your gaze down, look around, try not to cry. Look straight at them or—if it's too difficult—focus on their eyebrows. To look away is to invite a nasty sucker punch that can lay you out flat and vulnerable.
   5.   Change the subject. The only thing that will discharge and redirect the tension that's feeding a potential fight is if you learn how to change the subject to something else, whether it's by cracking a non-threatening joke or, better yet, asking a question. It's better if the topic you're shifting to is somehow relevant to your interactions with this person, because if it's too obvious that you're changing the subject, it'll be ignored and the tension will continue to develop.
   6.   Know how to defend yourself and be prepared to let the bully know. Hopefully, if you've been threatened or harassed repeatedly by this person, you've sought to learn self-defense skills. If you haven't, consider lying and saying with a strong but calm voice: "Listen, I've been taking karate for a year; I don't think this is a good idea." Then walk away, but watch your back!
   7.  Tell a trusting adult like parents or teachers.
   8.    Don't recommend lying about your non existent prowess! That's an invitation to fight for any bully. Let them find out the hard painful way by keeping what you know a secret. Sometimes, the unknown is just enough to shake a bully's confidence. Maybe just enough.
   9.   Smile. Act like you are going to enjoy this, even though more then likely it will be the opposite. Normally if you look at him and smile he will think something is up. It is an easy way to start to psyche him out and may be that little extra nudge to make it so he won't start fighting. And if he asks why you are smiling don't say anything, keep smiling and just relish in the thought that he is now a little scared.
  10.  Brace yourself. If you are forced into a confrontation and feel that a fight is going to happen as a last resort there are several things you can do to protect yourself.
          * Hands up by your face, as if you are talking with your hands, this protects against a sucker-punch, or an unprovoked punch by the bully. Also, tighten your stomach in case he tries to punch you there.
          * Turn a little sideways so your body is not as big a target.
  11.  Watch your back. Bullies usually have a following. Like the mouse and the lion, you are now fighting for your life. Accordingly, the only rule is to survive by doing whatever it takes to put him down with you walking away.
  12.  Think About the consequences: Your life is not set in a movie, beat the wrong person up and you will have to think about how his friends would react when you are shopping, going to the bar, walking to school (and what not). Beating people up in real life has consequences. Don't get involved in something you aren't ready to back up by any means necessary.
  13.     If fist fighting is iminent: Act and fight like you've got nothing to lose, and try to make it in public. You may think you will look ridiculous by being beat up in front of your whole school, but this is a suicidal attempt to get the proof you need for the bully to get punished and your problem solved.


    * If you are getting picked on by a bully, they probably are bigger and stronger than you. They probably have more fighting experience or possibly were even abused. Therefore, you should try not to fight them.
    * Know your bully and what his intentions are. Is he looking for a cheap laugh or does he want to see you hurt? If he wants a cheap laugh, odds are he is no better than you as a fighter. But if he constantly tries to push for conflict, make sure your guard is up, because he must know what he is doing to be so confident.
    * Don't strike at his/her crotch. He/She can pivot and block your strike very easily. A kick towards the knee is more effective, since it can't be blocked, only avoided. This will give you room and time to escape and get somewhere safe, or at least more strategically advantageous.
    * (VERY DANGEROUS! Do Not Attempt Unless Your Life is in Danger!) If the bully has already pushed you into conflict and is really trying to hurt you (not just punches, but kicks to the face, or has a weapon) FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE. If you some how tip the odds in your favor, keep them there, use a nonfatal fight finisher, like breaking a bone. This sounds extreme, and it is. Therefore, it should only be used if you are in a serious fight. If you do this, and he goes down, RUN, end it with that. DO NOT LET THE SHIFT IN YOUR FAVOR GO TO YOUR HEAD, odds are he is down and out, and that fight is over.
         1. Definitely agree. Once the fight starts, never stop punching, kicking, or whatever else comes to mind, until the fight is officially over and you are out of there. You can rest, cry, shake or change your clothes later in private. If the guy is bigger, go for kicks to the knees, dodge his hands and arms. Keep moving so he can't get you on the ground. If on the ground, bite, scratch, gouge, etc. Answering to the school principal or cops is better than spending months in intensive care!! Do not be afraid to hurt the bully, they brought it on them self. You are fighting for survival not for pleasure so you have no cause for guilt of anykind.
    * if you can get behind them you should attempt to choke them out the more they struggle the more oxygen they use up. This will cause them to lose control of motor skills allowing you to think better then them, once their light headed then get them on the ground an make sure they wont mess with you again, do whatever it takes so they will remember you.

    * Report every crime when it is safe for you to do so, but understand that it is not easy to go through that process. Many police, parents, teachers, etc., believe that it is wrong to report crimes of children in a school setting. And you may have to listen to them. Be completely honest in reporting to adults. It is the best way to build trust with them.
    * Understand self defense, but know its limits. It is protection from harm. Sometimes it is physical; sometimes it is running or evading a problem in other ways. Its purpose, when it is physical, is nothing more than to stop yourself from being physically hurt. Self-defense can sometimes incriminate you (make you seem like a criminal, which may require a judge to decide). You must decide whether or not to report the crime after you use self-defense.
    * If you do report to an adult, be sure to report any self-defense that you used accurately, so that when they discover it later they will know that you are the law-abiding one rather than automatically thinking that you are a dishonest troublemaker.
    * Keep in mind that somebody purposely touching you without your permission (or the permission of an adult who has true authority over you) may be a crime, even if the perpetrator is a child, and should be reported to an adult you trust unless it is so small that you give your permission after the act.
    * If your parent (or another adult) is the bully, it is more complicated to report it because they have a lot of power over you. If it could be illegal touching (such as physical beating or sexual touching) then report it to an adult who you trust.
    * Report emergencies such as very recent crimes that involve an immediate threat to health, life, or property when there has not yet been any competent adult intervention by calling 9-1-1 as quickly as possible. Report crimes with no current threat or when you can reach them faster than police, to a teacher, principal, nurse, counselor, your parents, and let one of them help you report it to police.
    * Assert yourself with adults (and bullies) who think that children should be ignored, but realize that all adults are not supportive of children reporting crimes. Reporting makes you heard, and creates a paper trail that give evidence that you are law abiding citizen (and not a trouble maker). Will bullies not like this? Of course they will not like it. Do not give in to their psychological pressure. Reporting to authorities will eventually create a wall of support around you that is hard to beat.
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Facebook : Thinking before post

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Think before you post!

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How to Teach Your Kids Basic Self-Defense

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ABC News: Bullying story

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Bullying Prevention Summit

Speakers talked about the role of law enforcement agencies in the prevention of bullying. Thomas Perrelli in his remarks talked about the relationship between childhood and adolescent bullying and the commission of crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault as adults. Russlynn Ali talked about the role of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Education. Among the issues she addressed were how to file complaints and the difference between harassment and bullying. After their speeches, they answered questions from the audience. A second panel of administrators talked about anti-bullying efforts in their schools. Among the topics they addressed were staff training, the Iowa Safe Schools Law, teaching strategies, and the creation of student groups to assist in prevention. Following their prepared remarks, panelists responded to questions from members of the audience.

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Teen Bullying Prevention - A Cyber Bullying Suicide

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Bullied boy battles back

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What To Do If You Are Being Bullied

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School Bullying

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Bullying-- A Survivor's Inspirational STORY

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Preventing Bossy Behavior

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For Teachers: School and Classroom Bullies: Bullying Solutions

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Stop Your School Bully

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Cyber-Bullying: Tips for Parents

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Raising Courageous, Compassionate Kids

While it's important to protect and reassure our children in today's turbulent times, it's also important to focus on courage and understanding.  If we completely shield our children from every challenging situation, they are likely to become more vulnerable to manipulation, fear and intimidation.  Today, it's especially important to find a balance between protecting our children and teaching them to courageously and compassionately protect themselves and others.

By nurturing courage and compassionate understanding in our children, we can give them the tools to put their hearts into action.  Courage is not necessarily the absence of fear; it can be standing up to or facing our fear—even though we're frightened.  Fear and anxiety are a normal part of life and are not always negative.  Anxious or fearful feelings can warn children of real problems and help prevent them from making poor decisions.  For example, "street smarts" can be a beneficial state of anxiety; when children activate their nervous systems to a higher level of attentiveness, it can keep them alert and safe from harm.

But anxiety and fear can also be extremely destructive if it escalates into intense terror and panic. Much more so than the actual events themselves, children's reactions to fear and anxiety will affect the quality of their lives, both emotionally and physically.  Their response can lead to personal growth, or it can impair that emotional growth.  When children respond to the emotions of fear and anxiety by become stressed, it can affect their ability to take effective action as well as to be happy and experience pleasure.

Courage is an important virtue which can help a child to attain a goal such as jumping off of a diving board.  But when courage is combined with understanding it can enable children to do the right thing and take action in a situation.  For instance, courage and compassion might motivate a child to tell a friend to stop teasing or playing too roughly with a puppy and it might inspire a teenager to come to the defense of a friend who is the victim of malicious gossip.

Confucius taught that to become a warrior one had to practice one essential rule, "As you wish others to treat you, so you must treat others." Kids need to learn that the golden rule means courageously putting your compassion into action.  Genuine understanding and compassion is a wish for the well-being of other people and for every living being in the universe. It comes from a feeling of empathy—an ability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and understand how they feel.

We cannot control all of the things that will happen in our children's lives. As parents, it takes a great deal of understanding and courage to realize that the best way to protect our children is to teach and allow them to protect themselves.

Ways to Nurture Courage and Understanding:

Encourage children's dreams.  Anticipate success and encourage the belief that your child can do, be, or have anything that he or she desires.

Encourage perseverance.  When we encourage our children to try, try, try again, we are helping them to develop the courage to get up after a setback and to have faith in their ability to succeed.

Teach children relaxation and self-calming skills.  Children become more resilient to fear-inducing situations when they can mindfully quiet and relax themselves and interrupt the fight-or flight response.

Desensitize your child to his or her fear.  By gradually exposing your children to their fears, you will be helping them to take progressive steps toward overcoming them.

Clear up misconceptions.  Discuss the reality of your child's fear in a manner that's appropriate for their age and developmental level.

Demonstrate compassion and empathy through your actions, words, and thoughts. 

Teach children to seek a win-win situation.  Replace the idea of "I want me to win and you to lose" with, "I win when everybody wins."

Build a child's self concept.  Children who have a positive self concept will be more likely to see the good in others.
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Parent's Guide to Bullying

Almost 10% of school age children are the victims of a bully. Bullying is most common by the second grade and then supposedly declines by the high school years. Bullying can be either physical or verbal, and can range from mild teasing to pushing and hitting.

Victims of bullies are usually stereotyped as being loners, passive, quiet, sensitive, anxious, with low self esteem and they are often smaller and/or weaker than other children of the same age and may come from an overprotective home. More importantly, they usually react to bullying by crying, acting out or withdrawing.

Some victims may actually bring on the bullying attack by teasing or provoking a bully. Being the victim of a bully can lead to your child avoiding school, and developing fear and anxiety about going to school. It can also cause your child to feel insecure and have feelings of low self worth and poor self-esteem and can ultimately lead to depression and/or violence, either against himself or against the bully.

Because victims of bullies often do not seek help or confide in anyone about the bullying, either because of shame or embarrassment or fear that it will be worse if the bully finds out, it is important to look for signs in your children. School avoidance behaviors, especially chronic nonspecific complaints, such as headaches or stomachaches, or they may have trouble sleeping. Also, if your child seems afraid or anxious about going to school, has a change in his personality or his behavior, or a change in his grades, you should consider that he may be a victim of a bully at school, especially if he fits the stereotypes described above.

If you suspect that your child may be a victim of a bully, you can ask him if he is being teased at school, or ask more open-ended questions, such as 'What do you like to do at recess?' or 'at lunchtime?'
Children are most often bullied at school, usually on the playground or at lunchtime when children are more likely to have minimal supervision, or it may occur in the hallways between classes or on the school bus. In any situation, the better supervised children are, the less likely that bullying will occur.

Children who are bullies may have problems with low self-esteem, but newer theories argue that bullies are driven more by a desire to have power over others and to be 'in control' than because they have poor self-esteem and that they have little empathy for their victims. They may also be aggressive, bossy, controlling, have a low level of self control, and have difficulty making friends. Bullies are also more likely to develop criminal behaviors as adults.

While this may help you understand why a bully acts the way he does, this doesn't necessarily help your child deal with the problem. Things that you should avoid include teaching your child to fight back, since he may get hurt and it may also get him in trouble at school, but that doesn't mean that you can't teach your child to be assertive and to show self-confidence.

Parents often turn to enrolling their children in a martial arts class, and while this can be helpful to build his self-esteem and help him be more assertive, the aim of the classes should not be so that he can fight back.
It may also help to talk with school officials about the problem (so that they can better supervise your child, observe the bully and intervene when necessary) and teach your child to not respond too strongly to the bully (either by crying or giving in to demands), because the bully is more likely to continue bullying your child if he knows that he will get a response.

It may also help to schedule a meeting between the parents of the children involved and school officials.
You can teach your child to walk away (but while staying calm and not running), tell the bully to stop and leave him alone, or to use humor and come up with a good comeback when a bully teases him. It can also help if your child has high self-esteem and if he has some strong friendships, so that he is less of a target. Teaching your child to make eye contact with others (especially the bully) and to talk with a strong voice may also help. Role playing situations where he is bullied may be helpful in teaching how to respond.
It is also important for the bully to understand that bullying is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. If the bullying behavior or other aggressive behaviors persist, then he may need to see a child psychologist for further help.

Also keep in mind that while bullying most often involves boys (both as the bully and victim), girls can also be the victim of bullying and they may bully other children (usually with gossip or isolating someone socially, instead of physical bullying).

It may also help to educate all children about bullying and its consequences. Even if your child is not a victim of a bully, you can teach him to inform an adult if he sees a child being bullied.
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Bullying Quotes for Kids: Overcoming Obstacles

Where there's a will, there's a way.
- Anonymous
One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.
- Albert Schweitzer

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
- Booker T. Washington

Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
- John Quincy Adams

The key to happiness is inner peace.
The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions
such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion,
while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility
are the sources of peace and happiness.
- Dalai Lama

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
- Nelson Mandela

Every calamity is to be overcome by endurance.
- Virgil

You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.
- Rabindranath Tagore

Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
- Raymond Lindquist

Choose rather to be strong of soul than strong of body.
- Pythagoras

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.
- Moliere

He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions.
- Louisa May Alcott

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
- William James

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
- Mohandas Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi)

Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm.
- Arnold J. Toynbee

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.
- Helen Keller

The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome.
- Helen Keller

All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.
- Helen Keller

Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life.
- Elie Wiesel

You must do the things you think you cannot do.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

So many fail because they don't get started - they don't go. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin.
- Ben Stein

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.
- Confucius

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.
- Peace Pilgrim

Quotes about Adversity - Quotes on Adversity

Adversity has ever been considered the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself.
- Samuel Johnson

Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache, carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.
- Napoleon Hill

Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.
- Zig Ziglar

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.
- Horace

Quotes about Overcoming Adversity - Overcoming Adversity Quotes

We develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.
- Stephen R. Covey

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.
- Anonymous

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that?
We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.
- Marie Curie

Hard times don't create heroes.
It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed.
- Bob Riley

Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
- John Wooden

In spite of unseasonable wind, snow and unexpected weather of all sorts - a gardener still plants. And tends what they have planted ... believing that Spring will come.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
- C. S. Lewis

Fall seven times, stand up eight.
- Japanese Proverb

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
- Mark Twain

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength,
not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
- Vince Lombardi

Being defeated is often a temporary condition.
Giving up is what makes it permanent.
- Marilyn vos Savant

Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success.
They quit on the one yard line.
They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.
- Ross Perot

All things at first appear difficult.
- Chinese proverb

One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don't invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.
- Michelle Obama

It is never good dwelling on good-byes ... it is not the being together that it prolongs, it is the parting.
- Elizabeth Bibesco

When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough.
- Maurice Maeterlinck

Standing in the inspiring vision of my future, I boldly take every step - large and small - with courage and intent.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I Receive ALL of Life with Thanksgiving - I have gratitude for EVERYTHING that has ever occurred to bring me to this moment. I give thanks for the joys and the sufferings, the moments of peace and the flashes of anger, the compassion and the indifference, the roar of my courage and the cold sweat of my fear. I accept gratefully the entirety of my past and my present life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I release the familiar that I may better discover my inspiring future.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I Say NO to the demands of the world.
I Say YES to the longings of my own heart.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Life is lived in the living. Set aside convention, caution, and arbitrary "rules" about how life is supposed to be lived. Choose! Explore! Adventure! Live life to the fullest.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Quotes about Overcoming Fear - Overcoming Fear Quotes

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.
- Rabindranath Tagore

Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.
- W. Clement Stone

Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.
- Eddie Rickenbacker

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.
Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
- Marie Curie

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
- Marianne Williamson

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
- Joseph Campbell

Choose what lies in the shadows to be a matter for discovery and adventure, rather than fear.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Training yourself to live in the present - without regretting the past or fearing the future - is a recipe for a happy life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Choose what lies in the shadows to be a matter for discovery and adventure, rather than fear.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I make friends with my fear. I am unstoppable.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I breathe in my courage. I exhale my fear.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I Walk Today's March With Courage.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
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Bullying Quotes for Kids: Not Caring What People Think Quotes

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
- John F. Kennedy
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
- Judy Garland

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends,
of most of the people you see every day,
is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.
- Theodore H. White

To thine own self be true.
- William Shakespeare

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
- The Buddha

It is our choices ... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets)
Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
- William James

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I say NO to the demands of the world.
I say YES to the longings of my own heart.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one can give you better advice than yourself.
- Cicero

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
- Mark Twain

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
- Mark Twain

He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.
- Lao Tzu

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.
- George Burns

I don't care what people think or say about me, I know who I am.
- Jonathan Davis

Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
- Isaac Asimov

The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white.
Neither need you do anything but be yourself.
- Lao Tzu

Live and let live.
- Anonymous

Not Caring What People Think Quotes

Allow the world to live as it chooses, and allow yourself to live as you choose.
- Richard Bach

Trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life isn't about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.
- George Bernard Shaw

He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions.
- Louisa May Alcott

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.
- Leonardo da Vinci

One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don't invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.
- Michelle Obama

If you don't see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.
- Zig Ziglar

Quotes about Not Caring What Others Think

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.
- Oprah Winfrey

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities!
Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
- Norman Vincent Peale

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself,
and know that everything in life has purpose.
There are no mistakes, no coincidences,
all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.
- Brian Tracy

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.
- Rick Warren

Quotes on Not Caring What People Think

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
- Mark Twain

Value your own opinion more, and others' opinions less.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You're just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway.
You've got to get down to your own God in your own temple.
It's all down to you, mate.
- John Lennon

Everyone believes that their beliefs are the right ones - that is why they are called beliefs.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You have to believe in yourself.
- Sun Tzu

Choose the World You See, and See the World You Choose.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We see Life through the fun-house mirrors of our point-of-view.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Apathy, indifference, not caring... It may sound insensitive for me to say, "I don't care," but ask first to what I am indifferent. I choose to be caring, compassionate and kind toward all people, and I also choose to be indifferent to gossip, petty complaints, and idle chatter. About those, I just don't care. - - Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Honor tradition AND question tradition.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Having a personal opinion is great. Believing that one's personal opinion is absolute truth leads to most of the world's troubles.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Forgiveness is the cleansing fire that burns away old regrets and resentments.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I have no need to conform to the stereotypes others have defined for me.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Today is my day to laugh at life.
Laugh loud - laugh often.
Laugh at what's funny - laugh at what's sad.
Laugh at me - laugh at you - laugh at life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I do not need anyone's permission to be my true self.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Quotes about People Not Caring

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
- Elie Wiesel

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings.
- Helen Keller

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
- Mother Teresa

By not caring too much about what people think, I'm able to think for myself and propagate ideas which are very often unpopular. And I succeed.
- Albert Ellis

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
- Winston Churchill

People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think.
- George Carlin

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
- Oscar Wilde
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The Bully Poem

   The Bully Poem
Don’t laugh at me, don’t call me names,
Don’t take your pleasure from my pain.
I’m a little boy with glasses
The one they call a geek,
A little girl who never smiles
‘Cause I have braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep
I’m that kid on every playground
Who’s always chosen last
A single teenage mother
Tryin’ to overcome my past
You don’t have to be my friend
But is it too much to ask: Don’t laugh at me
Don’t call me names
Don’t get your pleasure from my pain…
Don’t laugh at me. I’m fat, I’m thin, I’m short, I’m tall
I’m deaf, I’m blind, hey aren’t we all.

-Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin,
“Don’t Laugh at Me”
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Youth Self-Esteem

You can't touch it, but it affects how you feel. You can't see it, but it's there when you look at yourself in the mirror. You can't hear it, but it's there every time you talk about yourself. What is this important but mysterious thing? It's your self-esteem!

What Is Self-Esteem?

To understand self-esteem, it helps to break the term into two words. Let's take a look at the word esteem (say: ess-teem) first. Esteem is a fancy word for thinking that someone or something is important or valuing that person or thing. For example, if you really admire your friend's dad because he volunteers at the fire department, it means you hold him in high esteem. And the special trophy for the most valuable player on a team is often called an esteemed trophy. This means the trophy stands for an important accomplishment.

And self means, well, yourself! So put the two words together and it's easier to see what self-esteem is. It's how much you value yourself and how important you think you are. It's how you see yourself and how you feel about your achievements.

Self-esteem isn't bragging about how great you are. It's more like quietly knowing that you're worth a lot (priceless, in fact!). It's not about thinking you're perfect — because nobody is — but knowing that you're worthy of being loved and accepted.

Why Self-Esteem Is Important

Self-esteem isn't like a cool pair of sneakers that you'd love to have but don't have to have. A kid needs to have self-esteem. Good self-esteem is important because it helps you to hold your head high and feel proud of yourself and what you can do. It gives you the courage to try new things and the power to believe in yourself. It lets you respect yourself, even when you make mistakes. And when you respect yourself, adults and other kids usually respect you, too.
Having good self-esteem is also the ticket to making good choices about your mind and body. If you think you're important, you'll be less likely to follow the crowd if your friends are doing something dumb or dangerous. If you have good self-esteem, you know that you're smart enough to make your own decisions. You value your safety, your feelings, your health — your whole self! Good self-esteem helps you know that every part of you is worth caring for and protecting.

How Kids Get Self-Esteem

Babies don't see themselves in a good or bad way. They don't think "I'm great!" when they let out a big burp or worry "Oh, no, this diaper makes my legs look weird!" Instead, people around a baby help him or her develop self-esteem. How? By encouraging the baby when he or she learns to crawl, walk, or talk. They often say, "Good job. Good for you!" When people take good care of a baby, that also helps him or her feel lovable and valuable.

As kids get older, they can have a bigger role in developing their self-esteem. Achievements — like getting a good grade on a test or making the All-Star soccer team — are things kids can be proud of. So are having a good sense of humor or being a good friend.

A kid's family and other people in his or her life — like coaches, teammates, and classmates — also can boost his or her self-esteem. They can help a kid figure out how to do things or notice his or her good qualities. They can believe in the kid and encourage him or her to try again when something doesn't go right the first time. It's all part of kids learning to see themselves in a positive way, to feel proud of what they've done, and to be confident that there's a lot more they can do.

A Little on Low Self-Esteem

Maybe you know kids with low self-esteem who don't think very highly of themselves or seem to criticize themselves too much. Or maybe you have low self-esteem and don't always feel very good about yourself or think you're important.
Sometimes a kid will have low self-esteem if his mother or father doesn't encourage him enough or if there is a lot of yelling at home. Other times, a kid's self-esteem can be hurt in the classroom. A teacher may make a kid feel dumb or perhaps there is a bully who says hurtful things.
For some kids, classes at school can seem so hard that they can't keep up or get the grades they'd hoped for. This can make them feel bad about themselves and hurt their self-esteem. Their self-esteem will improve when a teacher, tutor, or counselor encourages them, is patient, and helps them get back on track with learning. When they start to do well, their self-esteem will skyrocket!
And some kids have good self-esteem but then something happens to change that. For example:
  • If a kid moves and doesn't make friends right away at the new school, he or she might start to feel bad.
  • Kids whose parents divorce also may find that this can affect self-esteem. They may feel unlovable or to blame for the divorce.
  • A kid who feels too fat or too thin may start thinking that means he or she isn't good enough.
  • A kid who's dealing with an illness, such as cancer, diabetes, or asthma, might feel different and less confident than before.
  • Even going through the body changes of puberty — something that everybody does — can affect a kid's self-esteem.

Boosting Your Self-Esteem

Of course it's OK to have ups and downs in your feelings, but having low self-esteem isn't OK. Feeling like you're not important can make you sad and can keep you from trying new things. It can keep you from making friends or hurt how you do at school.
Having strong self-esteem is also a very big part of growing up. As you get older and face tough decisions — especially under peer pressure — the more self-esteem you have, the better. It's important to know you're worth a lot.
If you think you might have low self-esteem, try talking to an adult you trust about it. He or she may be able to help you come up with some good ideas for building your self-esteem.
In the meantime, here are a few things that you can try to increase your self-esteem:
  • Make a list of the stuff you're good at. It can be anything from drawing or singing to playing a sport or telling a good joke. If you're having trouble with your list, ask your mom or dad to help you with it. Then add a few things to the list that you'd like to be good at. Your mom or dad can help you plan a way to work on those skills or talents.
  • Give yourself three compliments every day. Don't just say, "I'm so great." Be specific about something good about yourself, like, "I was a good friend to Jill today" or "I did better on that test than I thought I would." While you're at it, before you go to bed every night, list three things in your day that really made you happy.
  • Remember that your body is your own, no matter what shape, size, or color it is. If you are worried about your weight or size, you can check with your doctor to make sure that things are OK. Remind yourself of things about your body that are cool, like, "My legs are strong and I can skate really well."
  • Remember that there are things about yourself you can't change. You should accept and love these things — such as skin color and shoe size — because they are part of you.
  • When you hear negative comments in your head, tell yourself to stop. When you do this, you take the power away from the voice inside that discourages you.
By focusing on the good things you do and all your great qualities, you learn to love and accept yourself — the main ingredients for strong self-esteem! Even if you've got room for improvement (and who doesn't?), realizing that you're valuable and important helps your self-esteem to shine.
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