What Is Bullying
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior which is repeated or likely could be repeated over a period of time. Before we know if we can kick bully butt, we need to first understand. The act of bullying is typically a power struggle between kids based initially on their ability to be bluntly honest about their observations on things such as appearance, behavior differences, popularity etc. The bullying tactics grow from there when unchecked and become mean, nasty methods to affect others or to gain control over others. In all cases bullying instances involved either physical or emotional damage or both.
The most important element needed to control or stop bully behavior is communication. No matter if it is the first time you have dealt with it or the one hundredth time, communication is key.
Can we kick bully butt or should we talk about it?
Communication is key
It has been learned that many times, in school aged kids, the bullying is accidental and can be stopped by simply explaining what their behavior is doing to the other person. Left unchecked it can grow into a “normal” behavior for them and create lasting problems for both the bully and the bullied. With discussion and understanding, most kids will make the effort to fix the problem in time.
More importantly, possibly, is the fact that when bullying is experienced it should be discussed calmly. Over reaction and explosive emotions will cause kids to try to protect you and even them from your own reactions! You do not want your children to avoid telling you someone is hurting them simply because they don’t want you to be mad.
Can Momma Bear Kick Bully Butt?
It is perfectly understandable to have that momma bear reaction to your kids being hurt or offended or mis-treated. See how way more effective it is to take a deep breath and calmly coach and provide love and support to them. Once that conversation takes place and they are safe, then have your reaction, but away from their eyes and ears. Talk to your friends! Discuss with the police! Have a conversation with the school! Just do it, JUST TALK! Do not assume you are alone and never assume it will go away without you saying a thing to anyone.
No-One is listening!
Even if you have reported bad behavior and you feel nothing is happening, KEEP REPORTING. They way I see it, I want to always keep the problem in their basket. If I give up the problem remains mine and mine alone. If I keep giving the information to those who should have it the problem may still be mine, but now I have a higher authority who becomes liable and even responsible to help…..eventually at worst. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease!
Respect & Self-Control may make the difference.
In our classes we are talking with our students about Respect and Self-control. We do this nearly every class. As the understanding of proper behavior grows the chances of bully issues decreases. Believe it or not most kids want to do the right thing! The more they are reminded what that is the more they will try to accomplish it. The more they see success and understanding the more their confidence builds. This creates better decision making and in turn safer kids. This practice helps protect, and may even save, both the bully and the bullied from long lasting damages of bullying. Sounds great right?
Kick Bully Butt – The Three T’s
Since bullying can still take place we get them prepared. We share the Three T’s of stopping bullies. It is not something new and we did not create this concept. I do not know who the first person was to introduce the three T’s but they are solid and we use them as the foundation of our bully talks.
TALK – to the bully
The first T in this anti-bullying process is “talk.” The first time a child gets bullied, he or she should simply talk to the bully and let them know that their words or actions hurt them. Children can be brutally honest, and sometimes children simply do not know that what they’re saying is hurtful. The first T, talk, teaches kids how to have a conversation with someone about their differences. The problem can easily be nipped in the bud at this stage.
TELL – A trusted or responsible adult
The second T is “tell.” Let’s say a bully walked up to your son and started making fun of his glasses. Your son did the right thing and spoke to the bully about how his words are hurtful, but the bully continually makes fun of your son’s glasses day after day. At this point, the right thing to do would be telling a trusted adult. This could be you (the parents), his teacher, the principal, or a school counselor. That adult can then mediate the issue and hopefully stop the hurtful words.
Tackle – Kick Bully Butt
The third T is “tackle.” This may sound violent, but the real objective here is for your child to show the bully that he or she is in control of the situation. If the bully from the previous example continues making fun of your son’s glasses and begins physically pushing him or hitting him, we believe it is then okay to tackle. Tackling means taking the bully to the ground, sitting on top of him, and asking him to stop. Once your child establishes that he is not scared of the bully, the problem will most likely end.
Kicking Bully Butt – May cause problems too!
Yes, it is true. In today’s world, even if you have every right to fight back you may find yourself in trouble with your peers, your mentors, your boss, your community and even criminal and civil law. What a headache to consider, but I would much rather come to the defense of someone who decided to act in self-defense than to visit someone in the hospital because they decided not to. Again, stay calm, don’t over react, and work through it together. No one has the right to hurt or threaten you! Accept or work out the consequences necessary and learn the laws of self-defense in your community.
“Then it is okay for he or she to go straight to Tackle.”(when injury is happening or about to be)
The most important thing to take away from this is teaching your child not to retaliate with violence on the first offense. It’s important to teach them how to communicate with their words and have a conversation about differing opinions. The only time that it’s okay to skip “Talk” and “Tell” is if your child is being physically attacked. Then it is okay for he or she to go straight to “Tackle.”
Kick Bully Butt – Easy as 1-2-3?
And, there you have it. Although these three steps sound easy, it is something that children need to learn and practice. The best way to do that is going over it with them often and making sure they understand why they’re doing each step. By having these discussions openly and positively a great side effect is that your kids now know your attitude toward the topic and a level of trust is being built making it easier for them to come to you. It is NOT EASY to admit to feeling weak or small or hurt. Communication will help make them feel strong in their trust in you! Talk openly and let the trust build.
- Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
- Talk to the bully.
- Stay away from places where bullying happens if possible.
- Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.
- Be okay with defending yourself and understand the “when” it is okay to strike back. For reference, we train to strike back physically only when injury is likely or you can not escape.
- DON’T overreact to reports of bullying and stay calm if your kid fights back. Shows calm, level headed support while insisting on an open dialog about feelings before, during and after the incident.
Many bullied kids will not defend themselves. You could save their lives by saying something! If you see bullying taking place, tell a responsible adult ASAP.
- 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 them that you care by trying to include them. Sit with them at lunch or on the bus, talk to them 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 and may get worse. The kid who is being bullied may feel helpless or try to tough it out alone. You just may save them by telling someone and/or helping support them. Adults will appreciate being given the information that allows them to help!
Be prepared, be ready and be supportive. Now we have kicked some bully butt!
You might like this video. Take a listen.