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Dear Dr. Cherrye,
What are effective strategies for transforming the school bully? I realize most people do not feel sorry for children who cause trouble. Most people do not have a heart for the bully’s meanness, and menaces, especially if they are parents with children who have been hurt at the hands of a bully. BUT, shouldn’t we focus on taking a closer look at this child? Yes or No?
Dear Yes or No,
As an advocate against bullying, it is my belief that we must first safeguard the child (the victim) being bullied. In doing so, however, one of the main avenues is healing the ails of the bully. I’ve spoken a lot about the antecedents which may be attributed to the onset of the bully’s inappropriate behaviors, and the activities which may have taken place prior to his/her actions. We need to find out what’s making this child so angry.
Advocates against bullying, parents, and educators must make a concerted effort broadening our scope in how we aggressively attack the bully pandemic. What can we do? How can we help the bully?
I’d love to see a massive campaign across school district’s focusing on a Bully Upstander Movement. We should teach students to stand up and speak out whenever they observe a peer being treated unfairly. In order to make this movement successful, however, ALL must be on board so that the bully will feel outnumbered and reasonably uncomfortable. There should not be one or two students taking on this heavy role alone. Why? The Upstanders will become victims of the bully.
Items/Questions to Ponder
A selected group of bully advocates, parents and educators can assemble and deconstruct the bully. The committee should focus on the total child.
What is the child’s history?
- What’s going on in the child’s home?
- Who does the child live with?
- What is the child’s relationship with family members?
- Does the child feel safe in his/her home
- What is the child’s academic/behavioral history?
- What are the child’s likes/dislikes?
- What makes the child happy/unhappy?
- What are the child’s favorite subjects?
- Who is the child’s favorite teacher?
- Does the child have a hobby?
- How can you help the child develop his/her hobby?
Strategies/Making a Connection with the Child Bully
- Try listening to the child. This will be difficult, but one can be trained
- Do not interrupt. Just listen
- Do not pass judgement
- Gain rapport and trust with the bully
- Ask probing questions only when necessary
- Be certain that probing questions positively attribute to the conversation
Who is Willing?
- Who is willing to allow the child to utilize his/her talents?
- Who is willing to help the child deconstruct his/her own actions?
- Who is willing to show the child how to deeply reflect on his/her actions?
- Who is willing to assist the child in taking ownership for his/her own actions?
- Who is willing to Help the child use the “I” Statement
- Who is willing to help the bully use his/her strengths to overturn the negatives?
- Who is willing to help the bully uncover his/her greatness?
- Who is willing to give the bully a chance?
- Who is willing to show the child how to use his/her strengths to become a positive leader?
- Who is willing to tap into the Social Emotional needs of the bully?
We must take notice of how we interact with the child bully. We must watch and take notice of our words, body language and how we treat the bully. While this may be very difficult, we must do it. We can train ourselves to become change agents for the purpose of reaching out to the child bully.
We must provide professional training to those who are willing to participate in this endeavor.
See My Resources
This book was written for parents and educators and will assist you with focusing on the child bully as well.
- BULLIES: How To Handle Them, Survive, and Be Happy
- Bullies, Targets, and Witnesses: Helping Children Break the Pain Chain
- The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children
- Bully Busters: A Teacher’s Manual for Helping Bullies, Victims, and Bystanders
- Bullies, Victims & Bystanders Board Game; Ages 7+; no. DD-500042
- I’m Not Bad, I’m Just Mad: A Workbook to Help Kids Control Their Anger
- Help Stop Bullying Stickers (1 roll)
- Be A Buddy Not A Bully Anti Bullying T-Shirt
I’ve made it my mission to assist parents in resolving the bullying issues their children are suffering. Offering your feedback and suggestions in the comment section could facilitate meaningful dialog on this critical issue among ourselves and I encourage this. I will respond to each comment in a timely way. Should you wish to speak privately with me, please email be at CherryeVasquez@gmail.com, and I will reply promptly.
Download My FREE e-books
Use my free resources, Self-Identity Worksheet: Sharing My Goals & Positive Attributes and The Bully Band: Parents in Rhythm as tools to help you help your child with bullying, and to help build your child’s self-esteem.