The major point that I make in my “The Bully Proof Kid: Bullying Prevention From The Inside Out” Program is that if I stop playing the part of the victim the bully gets no pleasure out of picking on me. So many other programs focus on the futile attempt to make bullies stop their bad behavior that I was starting to think I was alone in the wilderness.
There will always be people or events in our lives that seem intent on making us feel bad. But we have the ability to choose how we feel. It’s just that no-one teaches us how.
In fact I recently did a workshop for teachers in Houston TX, called, “Bully Proof Your School” where I taught my techniques for remaining calm and for managing the internal reactions and responses that would empower a victim to feel fine no matter what. At the end, one of the evaluations stated that “this seminar did nothing to help me bully proof my school it was only a ‘self help’ seminar.” For me it was helpful feedback to more clearly make my point the next time. So that was fine.
But, The standard approach is to seek ways to stop kids from being mean. How’s that working? To focus only on changing the bully’s behavior is to ignore the fact that victims attract aggression. In my own life I was a bully magnet. Kids teased me because it was fun for them to get a reaction. I didn’t have the tools to manage my own emotions and reactions in a way that would deny them their fun. Take away the reaction and the bully goes away.
Well, I stumbled on a website and some videos by a guy named Izzy Kalman http://Bullies2Buddies.com who totally gets that if we teach “victims” how to respond appropriately to teasing, the victim can stop it without a whole lot of adult intervention. Check it out.
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