Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bully the New School Year

It's time for school to start all over the nation, and as our kids go back to school we have to address bullies. It's a topic that has become hot over the past few years, especially with cyber-bullying opportunities.

Bullies are not really isolated to just school. They are part of our everyday life. The other day I witnessed a teenager intimidate an older person at Wal-Mart over a parking space. I also attended a meeting and witnessed bullying amongst adults. As a matter of fact, I was one of the victims of a "bully couple" at that same meeting. I'll admit, I handled it wrong. I gave them the outburst they were looking for and told them all off. My temper really flared.

I'm glad my son wasn't there to see it because it was the WRONG way to handle a bully. I knew that afterwards. As one half of the bully couple sat there and smirked, I realized I gave her what she was looking for. My temper flared even more and I reacted even worse. They won the battle that night. What's worse, is I knew that this couple acted like that. They have a habit of acting like they are better than everyone else, and they turn on their "friends". Before the meeting, I thought that we were friends. Our children sometimes play together, we talked at the bus stop, and we were friendly towards each other. However, I should have remembered how she treated another friend that lost their use to them and been prepared for this attack.

I have a ten year old child who gets bullied, and he's been learning to bully right back. That's completely wrong. I need to teach him to check his anger that develops when the bullies start, how to deflect the bully's taunts, and then how to handle the emotions that build up inside after dealing with a bully (even if it was a positive outcome for yourself).

I have found plenty of curriculum online to use, and plan on introducing to him the BrianPOP movie about Bullying tomorrow afternoon. He and I are going to do our own study on how to handle these social pests so we can be part of the solution, and not the problem.

For older kids who tend to be the bully, even slightly, I recommend reading the book "19 Seconds". More on that later.