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The Last Word on Bullying

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The Last Word on Bullying

Many people have attempted to teach children how to handle bullying. Some say not to be a bystander and some simply say to tell a trusted adult. These messages are good but they are incomplete. These messages alone will not have much impact on the bullying issue.

Children first need an accurate definition of what bullying is. It is more than harsh words and aggressive actions.

Bullying is gossiping, alienation, mocking, leers, condescending behaviour, Internet postings and much more.

Children then need to be taught how to be assertive. Children need more than the “walk away” and “tell a teacher” strategies. Children need to be taught the importance of eye contact and be aware of body language.

They also need to know what to say and not say when it comes to dealing with a bully.
Anger management strategies need to be taught as anger is one of the things that perpetuates bullying.

Peer pressure comes into play when it comes to how an individual responds to bullying when in a group. If, for example, they are part of a group who bullies, how will they respond ? Will they stand up for the person who I being bullied or will they stand amongst the bullies and not rock the boat? Children need to desperately be given opportunities to develop their leadership potential so they have the strength to stand up for what is right.

Finally, a child needs to be given opportunities that will foster success so their confidence increases and their self-esteem is strengthened. The best defence against a bully is confidence.

Steps to a bully-free child:
1. Establish an accurate definition of bullying.
2. Anti-bullying strategies must be learned.
3. Learn ways of dealing with anger affectively.
4. Learn strategies that help children against negative peer pressure.
5. Encourage experiences that will foster self-esteem and develop confidence.
6. Never stop learning. Never stop standing against bullying.

Be sure to check out my previous blog entries for the anti bullying and anger management strategies.

Next month I will be talking about what our schools are doing and not doing with regard to bullying.

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