Sunday, April 17, 2016

School Bullying - How To Handle Bullying in 5 Steps

A Practical Tip Guide for Bullying Prevention for Kids, School Teachers and Parents

Endorsed by The Phoenix BullyProof Project, The Bullying Prevention Initiative International, USA Martial Arts 

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Bullying can be rough!  Teasing, taunting, exclusion, manipulation and ongoing threats can truly hurt.  That is why it is so important to counter the negative with positive.  Here are some proven tips to turn around bullying.

Support & Empathy For The Bullied
The most important step in handling bullying is to be supportive.  That is to truly listen to a child and empathize with their feelings so they can feel safe and understood.  Children need a place and relationships to feel safe and loved.  This is best done by parents but can also be done by a caring mentor, teacher, relative or friend.

Bullying Dynamics - The Investigation
The next fundamental key is to do some investigation and understand the problem, facts, perspectives and all of it's dynamics.  Is this normal childhood teasing?  Is this normal childhood aggression?  How can we best help our child learn to put things in context?  These are all important parts of creating the best solution for your child to feel safe, confident and equipped for life.

Life's Not Fair and Bullying Exists
Clearly establish that the notion of 'fairness' is a detrimental path.  Life isn't fair.   People and situations are not always fair and that notion leads many people down a path of victim-hood and pain.  The sooner we accept the way things are, no better - no worse, the quicker we can focus on practical solutions.  That doesn't exclude the importance of making things better, it simply gives us a foundation from which to improve.

Bullying Solution = Love is Greater Than Hate
Next establish the important idea that love is greater than hate.  Love yourself enough to keep healthy, happy and calm in the midst of life's storms.  Love yourself enough to get tools, resources and set healthy boundaries.  Avoid hate because it escalates situations and makes them worse.  Love is the foundation for peace, friendships and forgiveness.  Forgiveness (not forgetting) lays a foundation for reconciliation or at least mutual respect and a happier life.

Buddies - Not Bullies 
Encourage friendship.  The person with the most friends usually wins.  Having friends is safer and better all the way around.  The most powerful person of all can turn enemies into friends.   Try consistent kindness, despite (and specifically in response to) cruelty.  It is very difficult to continually be cruel to someone who is kind to us.
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Bullying Victimhood - Don't Give Your Power Away
Our power is that we have the ability to choose how we receive something - how we put it into context.  We can let it better us or belittle us.  We can let it bounce off of us or bang into us.  We can choose to dismiss it or give it great weight.  This much is our choice.  We can even pity the other person.

Hurting people hurt others.  When we see their sadness and bad behavior, we can see that is more of a reflection of how they are hurting and lashing out, not as who we are.  We can be glad we are not like them but compassionate toward a hurting fellow human being.

Bullying Solution - The Opposite Game
Try the opposite game.  When someone attacks you with fire, you want to be water.  So when someone attacks you with hate, you can respond with compassion.  When attacked with bitterness, you can respond with genuine hope.  When attacked with envy, you can respond with understanding and generosity.  When attacked with taunting, you can respond with humor.

Bullying Block - You Are Not Others Opinion of You 
Help children understand that other people's opinions do not determine their worth.  Your values make you.  Your actions based on those values will become your reputation.  You have to think about the long game of life.  Play it so that you are proud of the choices you make.  You're not responsible for the choices others make - only the choices you make.  Make good ones!  You're worth it.  Be proud of who you are at the end of the day.

Bullying Help
If in the rare event that these things don't work after repeated tries, then you will need to move on to the next stage of setting crystal clear boundaries using voice and body language.  Assertion competence is needed.  Practice (role play) saying, "STOP!" and showing strong confident body language.  Square up, put your hands up, take a stance, shoulders back, chest up, direct intense eye contact.  Keep calm and be direct.

Bullying - Be Resourceful 
If the behavior continues after this point, it is time to get resourceful and get reinforcements.  Tell parents, teachers and mentors about the problem and have them give you tips.  Together, you will find good solution to make a positive outcome.

Bully Buster - Common Sense Before Self Defense
Last resort is to protect yourself.  Nobody has the right to abuse  you.  Protect yourself and escape to safety.

For more information on bullying, school talks, bullying prevention or resources contact or John Nottingham at

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(602) 896-8721 


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