Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tips to help your child who is being bullied

Tips for Students

  • Write down what has been happening to you by answering the following questions.  When you and/or your parents report the bullying to school pesonnel, this will be valuable information.  (1) Who is involved? (2) What was said and done to you and by whom? (3) What happened or usually happens immediately before the bullying occurs? (4) Who were the bystanders (witnesses) and what did they say and do? (5) When does the bullying occur? (6) Where does it happen? (7) Was there adult Supervions and if so, who were they? (8) Are there video cameras in the area recording activitie? (9) How did you respond? (10) What happened or usally happens after the bullying event? (11) Who has been told about the bullying and what have they done? and (12) How long has this been occuring?
  • Report the bullying to an adult you trust. Talk openly and honestly with your parents and teachers about your mistreatment.
  • Keep in mind that no one deserves to be bullied. Bullies have a need to have power and control over others and desire to hurt people. Sometimes bullies also feel bad about themselves, but not always. Sometimes bullies are bullied at home by their parents and are determined not to be bullied at school – they would rather bully others.
  • Think of ways you can stay safe at school while the school investigates your situation.  For example, avoid the bully as much as possible. Give the bully space. When possible, don’t go near the bully. Go down a different hallway, or when you are on the playground, stay away from the bully.
  • Practice not looking like an “easy” target. Look and walk with confidence. Bullies usually pick on people who are smaller and physically weaker or whom they feel will not retaliate. Bullies look for potential victims who look like easy targets: smaller, physically weaker, nicer, and more sensitive than the bully. So practice not being an easy target. Stand up straight, hold your head up straight, hold your shoulders back, look into the eyes of the bully (not at the ground or somewhere else), stay calm, and walk away with confidence.
  • Don’t let those who bully you make you feel bad. When they say something bad about you, say something positive to yourself – reminding yourself of your positive characteristics.
  • Be assertive by moving closer to the bully (no closer than arm’s length – keep a safe distance), turn sideways, relax your hands and arms, and hold them down at your side. You do not want the bully to think you want to fight. Keep your feet about shoulder’s width apart – for good balance. When you stand this way, you are ready to walk away from the bully or even run, if you have to protect yourself.  (see Assertiveness Skills under "Free Resources" on this website).
  • Give your friends (the bystanders) the Assertiveness Skills for Bystanders" under "Free Resources" on this website.
  • Never fight back, but let the bully know you are not an easy target. Stay calm, and tell the bully with confidence and determination to “Stop it!” and to “Leave me alone.” Or, you might say, “No! You can’t have my pencil. I need it.” Then walk off with confidence. Don’t stand there.
  • Pretend you are a broken record (Ross, 1996). Look the bully in the eye and say, “That’s your opinion. That’s your opinion.” Then walk off with confidence.
  • The bully wants to hurt your feelings. So, act like it doesn’t hurt – don’t reward the bully with your tears. You can do this by admitting the bully is right. For example, when the bully calls you “fatty,” look the bully in the eye and say calmly, “You know, I am overweight. I need to start working out with weights.” Then calmly walk off with confidence.
  • Disarm the bully with humor. Laugh and walk away or don’t walk away (Ross, 1996).
  • Use your best judgment and follow your instincts. For example, if the bully wants your homework and you think he/she is about to punch you, give up your homework and then walk off with confidence and appear like the bully did not hurt you. Then, tell an adult what happened.
  • If possible, always walk with friends – never alone. If you are walking alone, join some other students or an adult and start a conversation.
  • If you’re in danger, RUN.
  • If you are out in the community and you are about to be bullied, walk over to some adults and pretend they are your parents.
  • Being bullied can make you tired and make you feel sick. To deal with the bully you need to feel good. So, be sure to get plenty of exercise and eat healthy foods. Also, make sure you get plenty of sleep.
  • Do not expect to be mistreated. When you are walking toward a group of students, think about them being nice to you, and do your best to be friendly to them. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  • Stand up for other students who are bullied, and ask them to stand up for you.
  • Try to make friends with others, and make lots of friends outside school. Find things you can do with them.
  • Develop a hobby or skill that will make you feel good about yourself and that other kids will think is neat.
  • Take a good honest look at yourself.  Are there any behaviors making it difficult for you to make friends? 
  • Make friends with extended family members: aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Do things with them that are fun.
  • If you have tried everything you can think of and nothing seems to help, talk to your parents about the possibility of transferring to a different school system. Sometimes this helps, but sometimes it doesn’t.

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