Since we are right around the corner from the new school year I thought I’d take a moment and write a little about Bullies. I have some kids in my home who have to deal with this situation almost to regularly. It’s really hard to watch. Kids these days are very cruel and are exposed to way more then we were in the past due to technology and other things.
One of the very first things we teach and regularly talk about with our children is that they are NOT the real reason the bully is a bully. A kid who is regularly lashing out at children and teachers have much deeper issues then what is being seen on the surface. Generally they have home lives where they are not getting their needs met by their parents or guardians. These are also signs of possible trauma being inflicted on them and they are either repeating the behavior or taking their trauma out on other people.
Another thing in our home that we teach and use ourselves is to never match anger with anger. This is very important for anybody to learn. People are crazy these days and you just never know how far a situation can be taken if not handled in a good way. So meeting a bully with the same behavior is only going to escalate the situation and make you more of a target regularly. Yes they may be saying really mean things and may even put hands on you but if you can fully walk away from the situation without ever saying a word you will come out on top.
Now, when a child is being physically bullied this becomes complicated. Of course we don’t want our child to be physically harmed in anyway. We teach our children to do their best to get out of the situation without having to put their hands on anyone but if they absolutely must then do so! But this is last resort! We as parents really have to advocate at the school to make sure the school stays on top of the “no bullying” policy. I have seen many situations where the schools don’t take the bully situation as serious as they should and many kids suffer for this. So we must raise awareness.
I had a teacher give one of my children a paper that was labeled “100 comebacks for a bully situation.” He was excited and brought this home for me to read. I see where the teacher was going with this, but what I wasn’t real big on is that the teacher was teaching him to rebuttal to his bullying. As I read through these short one liner comebacks I think I only liked one of them lol. As much as the teacher thought this would help, these comebacks would only egg the bully on more!
Sometimes standing up for yourself is simply not saying anything at all. Standing up for yourself is being able to remain cool, calm and collected. Standing up for yourself is not letting anger get the best of you. Teaching your children to master their emotions and behavior is key to them being able to handle a bully. Our society unfortunately teaches us that we are badass If we are loud and get in peoples faces and get that last word or hit in. Well in true reality the badass ones are the ones who walk away and give no fuel to the fire. The badass ones are the ones who always keep a level head.
So that being said it’s not about the bully, it’s about teaching our children how to master their emotions in the moment dealing with the bully.