Friday, September 19, 2014

10 Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Bullying

There’s nothing worse than discovering your tween or teen has been targeted by a bully. As a parent, you may experience an entire range of emotions including anger, fear, pain, confusion and maybe even embarrassment. But regardless of what you are feeling, overcoming bullying requires immediate action on your part.

Bullying is not something that goes away on its own and it’s not something kids can just “work out.” Even if you are not sure if your child is being bullied, your participation in the situation is crucial to a positive outcome.

Here are 10 steps you can take to help your child overcome bullying.
Mom and teenager in conversation - Mother Image/Digital Vision/Getty Images

1. Create an environment where your tween or teen feels safe talking to you.

Make sure your teen or tween feels comfortable sharing with you. Avoid having an emotional reaction and don’t shame your child for being bullied. Instead, ask questions in a calm manner gathering as many details as you can. Applaud your tween or teen’s courage in telling you about the incident. This not only encourages future disclosures, but also helps build a stronger relationship between the two of you.

2. Make a commitment to help resolve the issue.

It’s always a good idea to ask for your child’s opinion before you go straight to teachers or administrators. Sometimes a tween or teen will be afraid of retaliation and you need to be sensitive to this concern when addressing the issue. If there is a fear of retaliation, you will need to be discreet in talking with school authorities and be sure they will do the same. Make sure they will not put your child at risk by calling both kids into the office at the same time or asking them to sit down with the guidance counselor together.

3. Discuss the bullying incidents in detail with school personnel.

Be sure to bring notes about when and where the bullying took place. The more concrete documentation you can provide, the better. Also ask them to share the school’s bullying policy and stress that you want to partner with the school to see that the issue is resolved.

4. Emphasize that your goal is to see that your child feels safe at school.

Ask the principal and guidance counselor how this will be accomplished. For example, what other adults, like duty aids, physical education teachers, bus drivers, hallway monitors and cafeteria staff, will be notified to be on alert? Can your child have a new class schedule or a new locker assignment? In other words, what steps can the school take to ensure your child’s safety? It’s very hard for a child to heal, if the school environment feels threatening or hostile. Even if the bullying has stopped, being around the bully may still cause your tween or teen anxiety.

5. Consider outside counseling.

Bullying can affect your child in a number of ways and regaining self-confidence is a process that may require outside intervention. A counselor also can assess your tween or teen for depression and thoughts of suicide. Even if you suspect your child is fine, never underestimate the power of bullying. Kids have taken drastic measures to escape the pain it causes including committing suicide without ever admitting the hurt they were feeling.

6. Encourage your tween or teen to stick with a friend at school.

Having a friend at lunch, in the hallways, while riding the bus and during the walk home is always a good idea. Bullies are more likely to target kids when they are alone. If finding a friend is an issue, consider driving your child to and from school and ask the school if they have a mentor or someone who can be available to your child.

7. Teach your tween or teen skills for overcoming the negative impact of bullying.

One way to do this is to emphasize your child’s strengths, skills, talents and positive attributes. Then, help your child find activities and events that help build on those strengths. Some parents have found that Tae Kwon Do or a self-defense class helps kids develop self-confidence.

8. Keep the lines of communication open with your child.

Be deliberate in asking about your tween or teen’s day and acknowledge any negative feelings or emotions. Watch for signs that your child is being bullied again – either by the same person or a new person. For non-bullying incidents, you also may want to brainstorm strategies for dealing with difficult peer situations. If your child is getting outside counseling, the counselor can give you additional strategies on actively listening and communicating with your child as well.

9. Foster opportunities for socializing with friends outside of school.

Encourage your tween or teen to invite friends over, to the movies or other fun activity. By doing so, you are helping your child develop a strong support system. If your child needs help finding friends look for opportunities within your child’s circle of interests. Keep in mind kids who have friends are less likely to be targeted by bullies. And if they are targeted, having friends helps ease the negative affects.

10. Follow up with the school to ensure that the bullying has been resolved.

If the bullying hasn’t been resolved, or if the school is not taking the situation seriously, you may want to consider removing your child from the situation. Is the bullying serious enough that you can involve law enforcement? Can your tween or teen attend another school? Are there options for online learning programs that are done at home? It’s important that your tween or teen feels like they have options. Feeling like there are no options or that the bullying must be tolerated, leads to feelings of hopeless, depression and even suicide.

By The Bully Blog with 3 comments

Thursday, September 18, 2014

You don't need to look like everybody else. Love who you are.

You don't need to look like everybody else. Love who you are.

By The Bully Blog with 1 comment

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

8 Facts About Bullying Everyone Should Know

Fact #1: Bullies come in all shapes and sizes.

It’s a mistake to assume that all bullies are loners or have low self-esteem. In fact, there are at least six common types of bullies. While some bullies do suffer from self-esteem issues, there are others who bully because they feel entitled. Other kids bully because they too have been victims of bullying and others bully to climb the social ladder. Some kids even bully due to peer pressure.
Bullying involves having power over someone. As a result, many kids who bully have a craving for power. In other words, the bully is looking to improve his status. Meanwhile, other kids participate in bullying because they view it as an effective method for controlling and manipulating the social hierarchy at school.

Fact #2: Anyone can become a victim of bullying.

While there are certain attributes that often lead bullies to target someone, it’s a mistake to assume there is one type of target. In fact, even the most popular kids at school can be victims of bullying. It’s important to remember that kids are bullied because the bully made a choice to target them.
As a result, it’s wrong to assume that some kids are bullied because they have a victim personality. When this idea is embraced, it removes the blame from the bully and places it on the victim. The responsibility for bullying always falls on the bullies. They are the only ones with a choice in the matter. Likewise, labeling kids who are bullied lets the bully off the hook and implies the victim deserves to be bullied.

Fact #3: Bullying can happen at any age.

While bullying often starts in late elementary school and peaks in middle school, it’s important to point out that bullying can start as young as preschool. While the majority of school bullying takes place in middle school, some bullying carries over into adulthood. In fact, workplace bullying is a growing problem.
It really doesn’t matter what age a person is, bullies focus on anyone who doesn’t fit the accepted norm and focus on that. They also will bully others they feel threatened by or those that have something they want. People also have been bullied because they look, act, talk or dress differently.

Fact #4: There are six types of bullying.

When most people picture bullying, they imagine a group of boys punching and kicking another boy. But physical bullying is only type of bullying. There are in fact six different types of bullying including physical bullying, verbal bullying, relational aggression, cyberbullying, prejudicial bullying and sexual bullying.

Fact #5: Boys and girls bully differently.

When it comes to bullying, boys and girls tend to bully differently. For instance female bullies tend to be “mean girls” who use relational aggression and cyberbullying to control and manipulate situations. Girls also resort to more name-calling and tend to bully only other girls.
Boys on the other hand tend to be more physically aggressive. This is not to say that they don’t call names and cyberbully others, but when it comes down to it, boys tend to punch and hit much more than female bullies. Additionally, male bullies will bully both girls and boys. They also are impulsive, menacing and enjoy the status they get from a fight.

Fact #6: Those victimized by bullying often don’t report it.

Despite the number of negative emotions and consequences of bullying, manytargets of bullying do not tell anyone what is happening to them. The reasons for remaining silent vary from person to person. But for some tweens and teens, they are embarrassed, confused or feel they can handle it on their own. A number of young people also question whether or not telling will do any good. Unfortunately, some adults and school systems have established a pattern of not addressing bullying and young people feel that telling is won’t do any good.

Fact #7: Usually there are witnesses to bullying.

Frequently, when bullying occurs, other kids are present. Yet, the common reaction for these bystanders is to simply stand by and do nothing. For this reason, bullying prevention efforts should include ideas on how to empower bystanders to take action. Included in those programs are ideas on what bystanders can do if they witness bullying. Many times, kids remain silent because they are unsure what they should do or they feel it is none of their business. But the goal in bullying prevention is to capitalize on the audience a bully has and turn it toward helping the victim rather than silently supporting bullies.

Fact #8: Bullying has significant consequences.

Being targeted by a bully can have significant consequences for the victim. In fact, many victims feel alone, isolated and humiliated. And if bullying is left unaddressed a number of other issues can crop up including depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and even suicide. For this reason, it is important that parents and teachers realize that bullying is not a rite of passage and it won’t make victims stronger. Instead it has lasting consequences and should be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

By The Bully Blog with 2 comments

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How to Bully-Proof Your Middle School Daughter

Middle school is full of ups and downs. From power struggles and the rumor mill, to conflicting impulses and strong emotions, girls have a lot to deal with in middle school. But it's not all bad.
Middle school also can be an exciting time for girls. They are developing close friendships, gaining some independence and forming their social circles. The key to success is knowing what to expect and how to navigate the sometimes-unpredictable waters of middle school friendships.
There are a number of things you can do to prepare your daughter for middle school and the friendships that go with it. Here are the top 14 things you can do.

Understand that the nature of friendship changes in middle school. Unlike when they were in elementary school, now when girls get together, they mostly want to talk. They talk in person about music, movies, clothes, crafts, books and sometimes even boys. And when they can't talk in person, they will talk online or through texting. Parents who understand this change will be more prepared to help their daughters with challenges.

Keep the lines of communication open. Listen to what your daughter is saying about school and friends. Don’t immediately jump in and try to fix things, but instead allow her to talk. And if you empathize with what she is saying, she will be more likely to keep you in the loop when things do go wrong.

Take steps to build your daughter's self-esteem. In fact, a healthy self-esteem is one of the best ways to prevent bullying in your daughter's life. Be sure you are doing all you can to help her feel good about herself because middle school can do a lot to unravel a girl's self-esteem.

Be prepared for changes in social hierarchy in middle school. Cliques get stronger, the need to be the one in control intensifies and some girls get meaner. And much of this behavior stems from wanting to belong. For some girls, the need to belong is so intense that they will do whatever they can to eliminate the competition. These girls are known as mean girls. They use rumors, ostracizing and gossip to control situations and bully other girls.

Familiarize yourself with the types of bullying your daughter may experience. From cyberbullying and sexting to ostracizing and other forms of relational aggression, you need to be sure you know how kids are bullying today. While face-to-face bullying still exists, technology has created a new platform for bullying and girls especially seem to embrace it. Don’t get left behind. Educate yourself and then educate your daughter.

Talk with your daughter about what constitutes a good friend. A good friend is the one who will look out for her, care about her, include her in activities and treat her with respect. Good friends are also empathetic, loyal and cooperative. Encourage her to find friends with these qualities. Help your daughter identify which girls might make suitable friends.

Caution your daughter about toxic friendships. These friendships are often characterized by subtle put-downs, manipulation, exclusion and other hurtful behaviors. If your daughter has friends like this, she will struggle with negative feelings about herself. Frenemies often fall into this category. These are the friends who are nice to your daughter’s face, but gossip about her behind her back. Frenemies also try to control their friends and will use subtle put-downs to undermine self-esteem.
Advise her to avoid friendships with mean girls. Mean girls often spread rumors, whisper or laugh when other girls walk by and talk loudly about exclusive parties. They also gossip, tell lies and ostracize other girls. Although these girls may appear popular and well liked, many students just tolerate their behavior to avoid being the next victim. Urge your daughter to steer clear of these types of girls.

Encourage your daughter to have a wide range of friends from a variety of places. Although having a BFF (best friend forever) may look appealing, at this age girls need more than just one, exclusive friendship. It's wise for your daughter to have friends in a variety of areas of her life, such as friends from the neighborhood, school, church, and sports. This means she will have other people to turn to if something goes wrong with one of her other friendships.

Get to know your daughter's friends. Encourage your daughter to invite her friends over. When other girls are visiting, you get the chance to quietly observe your child's social interactions. You also can pick up on any issues. If you notice anything that is unsettling, be sure to talk with your daughter about it later.

Pay attention to how she is feeling. Although middle school is an emotional time for girls because of all the changes taking place in their bodies, it's also important to still watch for clues that something else is bothering them. Be on the lookout for any bullying warning signs. And take notice if she says there is a lot of "drama" at school or that she "doesn’t have any friends." Oftentimes, these are signs that bullying is taking place.

Give your daughter a chance to sort out friendship issues on her own when they occur. Don’t step in unless she is being bullied. Allowing her to work out the problems on her own teaches her valuable life skills. She will learn conflict resolution, assertiveness and problem solving.

Help your daughter learn to value and express her own opinions. While it is important to think of other people's needs, it's also important for girls to learn to be assertive, especially around potential bullies. The goal is that your daughter will learn to express differences of opinion in a respectful manner. You also want her to learn to stand up for herself when others are belittling her or bullying her.

Remember parents are the biggest influence when it comes to long-term decisions. While it can be disconcerting to see friends influencing clothing choices and music, remember that these choices are short-term. If you foster a positive and open relationship with your daughter, you will have the greatest influence on her values and morals. So don’t get discouraged by the little changes you see. Instead, focus on the big picture.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Monday, September 15, 2014

8 Ways to Cope With Mean Girls

Mean girl behavior from frenemies and fake friends often leaves girls feeling puzzled and distraught with no clear idea on how to respond. Despite what adults may think, mean girl behavior is not normal girl behavior. And you should never expect your daughter to know how to respond without some coaching from you.

To most adults, mean girl behavior is perplexing. But there are a number of reasons why girls choose to be mean or use relational aggression. These reasons include everything from climbing the social ladder to peer pressure.

Mean girls also use social media to harm others through cyberbullying. Now, in addition to in-person gossip, they also use online gossip, sexual bullying and other hurtful tactics. Social media also can be used to hurt girls when cliques are reinforced in cyberspace. Girls often post pictures of exclusive parties and events where only a select few were included.

If your daughter comes in contact with mean girls, don't be surprised at how painful it will be for her. But there are things you can say and do. Here are eight things you can tell your daughter to help her cope with mean girls.

“Smile and stay strong.” Mean girls often have a natural ability to discern whom they can control and manipulate. So, encourage your daughter to smile and to remain confident. She should avoid looking nervous, insecure or defeated. Work with your daughter on being resilient and building self-esteem. Mean girls are less likely to repeat their tactics if your daughter can remain confident and in control.

“Be confident and assertive.” Every girl needs to learn how to stand up for herself, especially against mean girls. The best way to do this is to learn how to be assertive. The goal is that your daughter can defend herself in a respectful manner without being aggressive or mean in return. She should find a way to communicate that this girl’s bullying and mean tactics are wrong and will not be tolerated. Remind your daughter that mean girls count on her being passive about their behavior. She should show them that they miscalculated when they targeted her.

“Consider your response.” Remind your daughter that although she has no control over what other people say or do, she does have control over her response. Stress that no matter what a mean girl says or does, she should try to keep her responses free of emotion. And if she can’t respond in a calm manner, she should ignore the comments and walk away. Then, encourage her to talk with you or another adult about how to deal with future attacks. The goal is to prepare her for future attacks by mean girls.

“Disengage from the conversation.” If your daughter is a bystander to mean girl behavior, she needs to know that standing by and saying nothing communicates that she accepts this type of behavior. And if she doesn’t have the courage to say something at the moment, she should walk away. When mean girls don’t have an active audience, they lose some of their power. Remind her that it’s also important to report unjust behavior to an adult. She also can befriend the target of the mean girl. All these things reduce the likelihood that the mean girl’s behavior will continue to be successful.

“Keep an adult informed.” Too many times, girls think they can or should handle mean girl behavior on their own. While there are a number of reasons why kids don’t tell anyone about bullying, stress to your daughter that you and other adults are there to help her. Be sure she knows that you have her back and that you will work with the school to put an end to this behavior. Be committed to helping your daughter through this and she will be more likely to keep you informed.

“Find another group of friends.” Oftentimes, the mean girl is someone your daughter thought was a friend. Your daughter may be part of a group that now has become a clique and the girls in it are no longer true friends but frenemies instead. Talk to your daughter about how to spot fake friends. Also discuss the signs that exist when a friend is a bully. Then brainstorm who might be good friends to pal around with. Encourage your daughter to branch out and invite those girls over. Be willing to help her develop friendships. Healthy friendships are one of the best deterrents of bullying.

“Focus on school.” It is easy for kids to allow what others say and do to impact their everyday lives. And often the first thing that is impacted is their schoolwork. Help your daughter change her focus. Monitoring cell phone and computer use is a good place to start. But don’t prevent your daughter from using these means of communication. Instead encourage her to spend less time on social media. Stress that she should not let the turmoil caused by another’s actions control her life and her time. She needs to take back the control and focus on something she has control over like school or sports.

“Find healthy ways of coping.” Let your daughter know that what she is going through is hard and that she shouldn’t try to handle it on her own. Help her by being willing to listen to her without judging or trying to fix things. Let her know that you are a safe person to talk to. And if she doesn’t want to talk to you, help her find someone she can talk to. Also, be aware of the consequences of long-term bullying like eating disorders, body image issues, PTSD, self-harming behavior, depression and even thoughts of suicide. And don’t be afraid, or delay, in getting outside help for your daughter. It is not a sign of weakness to seek out medical professionals and counselors for bullying. In fact, it shows wisdom. You need to do everything you can to help your daughter cope with mean girls.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some tips on helping teens cope with cliques

Some tips on helping teens cope with cliques:

* Reinforce to your kids what true friendship is. Demonstrate that you value being nice to others and not excluding anyone.

* Encourage them to get involved with different groups or activities outside of school, such as church youth groups and other clubs or teams. Besides developing new skills and interests, they’ll learn how to relate to others in new social situations. This will also help them to become better-rounded so their entire sense of self is not based on how popular they are.

* Enjoy time together to make your children feel valued and loved.

* Role-play together regarding how to handle situations where they’re excluded or picked on.

* Allow your kids to work things out on their own. However, if you’re concerned that bullying has gone too far and your child is in real danger of physical or emotional harm, don’t hesitate to intervene. As a first step, notify your child’s principal or teacher about the situation.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Thursday, September 11, 2014

App offers parents tips to help combat bullying


U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides detailed advice on bullying. Click here for information.

WASHINGTON - Some parents joke that raising kids would be easier if children came with instruction manuals.
When it comes to addressing the very serious issue of bullying, a new smart phone application might be just what's needed.
Created by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration the KnowBullying app has easy to follow tips to prevent, recognize and stop bullying.
"Not just information, but good information," says Masami Stratton, who teaches social studies at Howard County High School. Advice included in the app is supported by research findings and is well vetted.
Stratton say parents will find particularly helpful the fact that the app provides age-appropriate conversation starters.
Information and advice on the KnowBullying app specifically targets teenagers, children ages three to six and ages seven to thirteen.
One theme that's universal for all the age groups is to get kids talking.
Research shows "that if you're able to engage in at least 15 minutes of regular conversation on a daily basis with your children you're going to see some very significant outcomes later on -- including reducing the impact of becoming involved in bullying," says the administration's expert on bullying, Ingrid Donato.
Donato says asking questions about things that seem innocuous and are easy for kids to talk about "will open up a world of dialog for them, so that they're regularly engaging with you."
Examples of conversation starters:
  • 3 to 6 years: What was the best thing that happened to you today?
  • 7 to 13 years: Share one person you met or played with.
  • Teens: Share one thing that happened today, or talk about the day's schedule.
Warning signs of bullying include:
  • Changes in eating habits such as skipping meals or coming home especially hungry
  • Not wanting to go to school or loss of interest in school work
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoiding social situations
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Stomach aches, feeling sick or faking being ill
  • Damaged or lost clothes, books, electronics or jewelry
Bullying can be harmful and traumatic for victims, aggressors and witnesses. Potential long term consequences include depression, anxiety, substance abuse, criminal activity and even suicide.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tips to keep your children safe from bullying

Now that school is back in full swing, I would like to touch a little bit on bullying and hope that you share this with your children or grandchildren. Ask them if they are being bullied? Do they see bullying at their school? There are things they can do to keep themselves and other kids safe from bullying. Here are just a few:

Treat everyone with respect

Nobody should be mean to others. Stop and think before you say or do something that could hurt someone. If you feel like being mean to someone, find something else to do. Play a game, watch TV, or talk to a friend. Talk to an adult you trust. He or she can help you find ways to be nicer to others. Keep in mind that everyone is different. Not better or worse. Just different. If you think you have bullied someone in the past, apologize. It makes everyone feel better.
What to do if you’re bullied
There are things you can do if you are being bullied.  Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard. If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
There are things you can do to stay safe in the future, too. Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. He or she can help you make a plan to stop the bullying. Stay away from places where bullying happens. Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.
Stand up for others  
When you see bullying, there are safe things you can do to make it stop. Talk to a parent, teacher, or another adult you trust. Adults need to know when bad things happen so they can help. Be kind to the kid being bullied. Show that you care by trying to include him or her. Sit with the kid at lunch or on the bus, talk to him or her at school, or invite them to do something. Just hanging out with them will help them know they aren’t alone. Not saying anything could make it worse for everyone. The kid who is bullying will think it is OK to keep treating others that way.

Get involved
You can be a leader in preventing bullying in your community. Find out more about where and when bullying happens at your school. Think about what could help. Then, share your ideas. There is a good chance that adults don’t know all of what happens. Your friends can go with you to talk to a teacher, counselor, coach, campus police or parent and can add what they think.
Talk to the principal about getting involved at school. Schools sometimes give students a voice in programs to stop bullying. Be on a school safety committee. Create posters for your school about bullying. Be a role model for younger kids.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

I don't know they key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.

I don't know they key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Bully Effect | Stop Bullying: Speak Up | Cartoon Network

The Bully Effect | Stop Bullying: Speak Up | Cartoon Network

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Staying Strong: Everything will be okay in the end!

Staying Strong: Everything will be okay in the end!

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Don't be bullied or pressured into being less than you are.

Don't be bullied or pressured into being less than you are.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Monday, September 8, 2014

Taylor Swift sends heartfelt message to bullied Mass. girl

You know something? If it wasn’t for that whole “internationally renown singer-songwriter” hobby, Taylor Swift could have quite the successful career as an advice columnist.
“Dear Taylor” has a lovely ring to it, don’t ya think?
The “Shake It Off” songstress took a brief respite from going completely boss mode on the music industry to offer a few comforting words of wisdom to a fan who wrote her a message about being bullied.
“Taylor, why are people at school so mean? Why do they always try to bring me down? I’m sitting here crying while I write this. I don’t know what to do anymore. No matter what I do, it’s never good enough. There’s always something that I do wrong. I get made fun of for having big dreams or what I wear or things that I like. I just want to know why they do it Taylor. Why do they do this to me?,” the fan, Hannah, reportedly wrote.
Hannah went on to say that she was no longer excited about entering high school because of the constant bullying.
According to USA Today, Hannah is a singer and guitar player who has covered many of Swift’s songs on Youtube. Swift apparently did a quick background check on the young fan before getting back to her with the following heartfelt message:
“Reading this made me so sad because I love seeing you in your videos and photos being so happy and wide eyed, like the world isn’t as harsh and unfair as it actually is. I hate thinking about your pretty face covered in tears, but I know why you’re crying because I’ve been in your place. This isn’t a high school thing or an age thing. It’s a people thing. A life thing. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t end or change. People cut other people down for entertainment, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them. Or for no reason at all.
It’s just what they do, and you’re a target because you live your life loudly and boldly. You’re bright and joyful and so many people are cynical. They won’t understand you and they won’t understand me. But the only way they win is if your tears turn to stone and make you bitter like them. It’s okay to ask why. It’s okay to wonder how you could try so hard and still get stomped all over. Just don’t let them change you or stop you from singing or dancing around to your favorite song.
You’re going into high school this week and this is your chance to push the reset button on how much value you give the opinion of these kids, most of whom have NO idea who they are. I’m so proud of you and protective of you because you DO. If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more. Every time someone picks on me, I’ll think of you in the hopes that every time someone picks on you, you’ll think of me… and how we have this thread that connects us. Let them keep living in the darkness and we’ll keep walking in the sunlight. Forever on your side, Taylor.”
If there’s one person who is truly an expert on dancing to your favorite song, well…

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Staying Strong September 8, 2014

Staying Strong September 8, 2014

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Staying Strong September 6, 2014

Staying Strong September 6, 2014

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Friday, September 5, 2014

4 Rules to Help Kids Stand Up to Bullying in Schools


As sure as kids return to school each Fall in the U.S., bullying will be encountered in the classroom each school year. In these early days of September classes, would-be aggressors are getting a feel for who they think might be an easy mark in the class. As the days wear on and a young person confirms that he or she can pick on specific classmates without their standing up for themselves, their bullying behavior escalates.
Assertive responses are particularly effective in countering bullying because the child who masters this type of direct, emotionally honest communication demonstrates that a bully's attacks will be answered in a fair, but formidable way. Finding the initial target to be too powerful to provoke, the child who bullies will most often move on.

Before the school year gets into full swing, parents and teachers can teach their kids these four easy-to-remember, simply-to-apply rules for using assertive communication to STAND up to bullying behavior.

Rule 1: Show Strength
Showing strength does not mean flexing muscles or challenging a bully to arm wrestle. Rather, teach kids to show their inner strength by speaking with a confident, even voice and standing an appropriate distance from the bully (not in their face, not shrinking back). Also, encourage your child to look a bully directly in the eye. Making eye contact is one of the best ways that young people can demonstrate strength to a bully.

Rule 2: Tell a Trustworthy Adult
The main strategy of a child who bullies is to make his victim feel alone and powerless. The best way for a child to counter that strategy is to tell a helpful adult about what is going on and ask for that adult's support. When the aggressive young person realizes that he will not be able to keep a victim isolated -- that the victim is strong enough to reach out and connect with others -- he begins to lose power.

Sometimes adults fail to acknowledge the seriousness of bullying, but more often, grown-ups are not aware of what is going on. These days, intimidators use non-classroom time, including the internet, to bully their peers. It is a kid's job to bring these behind-the-scenes methods to light and to create awareness in adults about bullying.

Many kids worry that they will be called a "tattletale" if they tell an adult what is going on. Guess what? That is exactly what the bully wants his/her target to think! A child who bullies others specifically aims to make his victim feel all alone and powerless. When kids tell an adult about what is happening and get their support, they regain their voice!

If your child has tried to manage a bullying situation on his own, but has been unsuccessful in stopping the bullying, reassure him that telling an adult is the next step and the most powerful thing he can do.

Rule 3: Assert Yourself

In the heat of an encounter with a physically, verbally or emotionally aggressive peer, it can be very challenging for a child to respond effectively. When kids learn and practice assertive phrases for standing up to bullies, they become well-equipped to handle incidents of conflict and bullying with their peers.
Parents and educators can teach, rehearse and role model short, to-the-point, assertive phrases that let others know that they will not participate in their bullying, nor will they be bullied. In my workshops with kids, I nickname these types of phrases Bully Bans and give kids practice generating original phrases such as:

• "Not cool!"
• "Knock it off."
• "Cut it out."
• "I like the way I look."
• "That was not funny."
• "I can take a joke, but what you said was not funny--it was mean."
• "Friends don't do that to friends."

The important thing to remember about assertive phrases is that they do not put down or attack the bully, which is never a good idea. Likewise, Bully Bans are not effective when said through tears or a whining voice. Bully Bans are simply brief, assertive statements used to stand up to bullies and stop bullying behavior.

Rule 4: Now!
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are up against a bully is to ignore repeated bullying and hope that the problem will go away. While bullying usually begins in a relatively mild form -- name calling, teasing or minor physical aggression -- it often becomes more serious when the bully realizes that his victim is not going to STANd up for himself. The longer a bully has power over a victim, the stronger the hold becomes. Taking action against the bully -- and taking it sooner rather than later -- is the best way to gain and retain power.

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Marvel Comics Reveals Anti-Bullying Variant Covers For National Bullying Prevention Month

Marvel Entertainment has just announced that they are teaming up with STOMP Out Bullying for an anti-bullying awareness program to take place this October. STOMP Out Bullying is the leading national bullying and cyberbullying prevention organization for kids and teens in the U.S.

Marvel will be launching a special variant cover program to commemorate National Bullying Prevention Month and support STOMP’s relentless efforts to stop this growing epidemic. Throughout the month of October, the world’s most popular Super Heroes – Captain America, The Avengers, The Guardians of the Galaxy and more -- will be featured on all-new variant covers to spotlight both National Bullying Prevention Month and STOMP’s Blue Shirt Day® World Day of Bullying Prevention. The variant issues will be available exclusively at comic shops.

"The center of Marvel’s storytelling history is the eternal struggle between good and evil, with many of its greatest Super Heroes having to contend with -- and rise above -- bullying, in all its forms," said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics. "We are proud to join forces with STOMP Out Bullying on its important bullying prevention awareness mission. We hope that all our fans take a moment this month to educate themselves on the need to stop bullying among our youth by checking out the free resources STOMP Out Bullying has to offer.”

“We are privileged to join forces with Marvel Entertainment on this critically important bullying and cyberbullying prevention campaign,” said Ross Ellis, founder and Chief Executive Officer of STOMP Out Bullying. “Bullying and cyberbullying have reached epidemic proportions, with one out of every four kids being a victim. And bullying transcends race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation; in fact, some of Marvel’s greatest Super Heroes were themselves bullied as kids and teens. But just as Spider-Man, Captain America, and Marvel’s many other Super Heroes were able to triumph and go on to combat evil, so can every one of us be a Super Hero in our own right by standing up and joining the fight to eradicate bullying.”
The following comic books, on-sale in October, will feature special STOMP Out Bullying variant covers: Rocket Raccoon #4, Guardians of the Galaxy #20, Avengers #36, Inhuman #7, Hulk #7, Captain America #25, and Legendary Star-Lord #4.

Bullying Guardians of the Galaxy

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Staying Strong

Staying Strong
September 4, 2014

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A special request....

A special request....

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Advice for Wednesday!

Advice for Wednesday!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School: How to help your child deal with bullying

Angela Bogan, Dearborn Park International School principal in Seattle, recommends parents try three simple things.
Listen - Let your child explain what's happening to them at school.
Empower – Empower your child to make friends and speak up, instead of being a bystander.
Communicate – Talk to a teacher or school counselor immediately if you notice changes in your kid, especially if your child claims to be sick often.
"Instead of asking 'how was your day at school?' tell me three things that happened in school today. Give your child an open-ended question as opposed to a yes-no question, so you're able to dig deeper into how their day went," said Bogan.
Administrators say they're on the lookout and parents should be too for subtle forms of bullying, for example a student not having anyone to sit with at lunch or no one to play with at recess. Also, cyber-bullying is a serious issue where parents should beware of what their child is doing online and set rules on technology use.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Coz We Can, From Beating Bullying to Random Acts of Kindness - Alex Holmes at TEDxMiltonKeynes

Alex Holmes - "Estimates suggest that half the population is bullied at some point in their lives. Bullying is alive in schools, workplaces, the media, parliament and society! 
For me it was a real issue that was affecting generations, but where to start? I figured that because young people spend an average of 11,000 hours of their lives in full time education it was so important to use this time to shape their understanding of what it means to be a community.
My talk is going to look at some of the creative techniques I adopted to change my school and community, the barriers I faced, the success and how I now want to change the world... Coz I Can!"

Alex Holmes is 24 years old, from Milton Keynes and was bullied at school when younger. As a result he has made it his mission in life to prevent this happening to others. He's received 3 Princess Diana Awards, has made his own TV advert against bullying, introduced 'Smile and Compliment days' into schools and helped young people shape the world around them. He now runs The Diana Award's Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme and is looking to create a national programme called 'Coz I Can' that will build a network of young people who take over their local areas and high streets to carry out good deeds and bridge community gaps.

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