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Posts Tagged ‘Bullying’

Ellen, Drew, Cooper and Dr. Phil Speak Out Against Bullies

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Celebrity figures are speaking up about the high cost of bullying. Adding to the voices of those who have been bullied or had loved ones take their lives over bullying, many famous names are now taking a stand against bullies and those who deliberately humilate others.

In a plea during an appearance on the Ellen Degneres show recently NFL Football great Drew Brees had this to say:

“If you think that making fun of someone is harmless, you are wrong. If you think its OK to do because everyone else is doing it you’re wrong. Bullying has to stop, and it has to start with you. I want my fans to know that if you’re making fun of someone because they are different, then you are no friend of mine. If you are being bullied I want you to know that there is support. I support you. Making fun of someone because they are different from you, that’s not being tough. Its being ignorant. Appreciating people for how they are different from you, that’s what it takes to be a friend.”

Brees isn’t the only one concerned about bullying. The topic has been in the forefront of the media recently with the high profile suicides of four young people whose deaths were the result of constant bullying.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper has always been on the forefront of this subject, reporting on the issue regularly and trying to make a difference.

In a recent appearance on the Ellen Degeneres show Copper suggested that he doesn’t recall being bullied himself, but he does remember standing by and watching others be bullied. He said as a bystander he remembers having a sense of relief that he wasn’t the person being picked on.

Cooper said the bystanders need to intervene and stand up against a bully to help break the cycle. It is not easy to empower children

Working together we can build a world of mutual respect and kindness for all.

unless we can model and teach the skills.

We all know that growing up, particularly during the teen years is difficult for everyone. Parents need to understand that today’s teens have a much different experience than they had.

For more information on bullying and the effect it can have on individuals, families, schools and communities, please check out

You will be able to claim a free report for parents and teachers on what to look for if your child has been bullied or is a bully. You will also find techniques to use to build up the assertiveness skills and self esteem of children and teens.

Bully, Bullied and Bystander

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Hello from Montana,

Thanks for visiting this blog and joining a community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all. Dr. Phil McGraw is also part of this community against cyberbullying.

My goal as a “BullyAdvocate” is to:

  • Empower the bully to gain empathy and other ways of communication
  • Empower the victim or target to gain skills in assertiveness and setting boundaries
  • Empower the bystander to speak up and let others know that cruel behavior is not cool

According to National Association of School Psychologists, about one in seven schoolchildren has either been a bully or the target of a bully.

What If Your Child Is The Bully

Bullies come in all sizes, shapes and temperaments.  They may come for a dysfunctional home, but may also come from a great home with parents who care deeply and are mystified as to why their child would deliberately hurt or abuse someone else.

It may be teasing that got out of hand. It might be revenge. It might be part of “group think” or power of peer pressure.  It may be behavior that mimics what was seen in a movie or television show.  It can also be that the personality is manipulative and self-centered.

No matter why or how your child tries to dominate others, it is important to teach empathy and kindness.  Helping a child who has been bullying others for power or attention, may

As many bullies as there are in the world, the one common denominator is a desire for power. They want to win at all costs.

If your child
What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied

The first thing to do is remain calm and remember you are the adult, not the child you were when you were being bullied in the third grade. Listen to your child’s story and reinforce that you want to help him/her solve the problem and what would they prefer you do to help.  It is important to let them know it is not their fault and that there are mean people in the world who deliberately hurt others with words or actions.

If your child needs social skill training, help them role play some responses to the bully.  Teach them about being assertive and give them some words to say that will deflect the bullies anger or hurtful conduct. You will find some great exercises and techniques  in my book and classes at

Children who are different in some way or have behaviors that annoy or amuse their school mates still have a right to be treated with respect and kindness. But, as parents, we may need to coach our children in ways to increase “likeabilty.”

Bullied kids feel helpless and hopeless. This can lead to depression.

What if Your Child Witnesses Violence?

Remember to empower young  people by reminding them they are strong and capable and that you have confidence in them. Help them to see that they have a voice and a choice not only in their actions but in their reactions.

If they have witnessed bullying but did not speak up, they will be traumatized and feel they have betrayed their value system.  Help them to understand the power of the word.  A single word of kindness  or a pat on the arm can make the difference in not only how the victim feels but how they feel about the situation.

Practice with them as they speak in a polite assertive voice “Hey cut it out.” Or,  “Please stop. No one deserves to be treated that way.”

There are no winners in a bullying situation. The bully, the bullied and the bystander all suffer in some way.

By teaching respect and kindness for all, we can build a better world.  For more information, please see and leave a comment or claim your free report on bullying.

You can do it. I have confidence in you.

Judy Helm Wright

Even the New York Times is talking about it!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

A friend recently sent me a link to a New York Times Blog Post, “When Your Child Is the Cyberbully”, by Tara Parker-Pope.

The article takes a unique look at the opposite side of the parenting struggle, that of the parent of the bully. The reader wrote in to ask what to do, and how to handle their child. Parents have a natural ability to comfort the victim, but often find it hard to discipline their own. A very important point the article makes is that forcing the child to apologize right away is not in good form. For an apology to mean something, it needs to come from the heart and not just because a parent is forcing it. For information about using discipline to raise a child check out my other website:

Read the full Article Here.

Conflict Resolution – Assertive Communication

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Welcome to our community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all,

Conflict is good. It really is. Conflict teaches us about working with all kinds of people and situations and finding solutions and  a resolution that is reasonably fair to all.

Many of us have been taught that a conflict means a fight.  A fight usually means a winner and a loser.  If we don’t feel that we will be the winner, then it is best to stay out of the way of someone who disagrees with us.  We may feel that conflict should be avoided because it will only produce bad feelings and violent reactions.  but conflict has the potential and power to produce growth, adventure,  and clear boundaries of behavior.

Assertive Communication is Key to Manage Conflict

Setting boundaries and working towards a respectful resolution is what we do when we care about ourselves and others.

Stating what your needs and boundaries are allows the other person to be more respectful.

If we did not care about the people in our relationships we would not bother with the energy to disagree.  We will either become resentful or end the relationship. By using assertive communication skills and treating others as we would like to be treated, we have the opportunity to resolve conflict in a more productive way.

Some techniques of being assertive that I have found to be effective is to;

  • Talk in short sentences “I hear what you have said. I think there is a misunderstanding.”
  • Deepen your voice and slow down your speech.  We tend to become more shrill when excited and sends signal we are emotionally vulnerable.
  • Be firm, kind and consistent in what you want to happen “I recognize it will take time to accomplish the assignment, but it needs to be done by five o’clock.” Then repeat if necessary.
  • Do not interrupt or answer for the other person. After you have stated what you want to have happen and asked for feedback, be silent.

Opposite of Love Is Not Hate–But Indifference

Conflict with others is a normal part of our life.  However, we can learn to speak in an assertive and respectful tone that will help discover a fair solution. When we care enough about ourselves and the ones we share relationship with, we will want to learn techniques that will make getting along easier and more pleasant for everyone involved.

Learning to solve conflicts with assertive communication styles will enhance your life.  You can do it.  I have confidence in you.

Your friend,

Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and speaker

Sibling Rivalry- Family Fights

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Sibling Rivalry –Family Fights

Welcome to our community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all,

“He hit me first.” “She started it.” “I’m Telling Mom.”  “Dad loves me best.” “It is not fair.” “My brother is a brat.”

Yikes! Parents want to scream “Stop the Fighting NOW.”

Siblings who learn to get along make for less family fights and more cooperation.

Family Conflicts

Whenever there are more than one kid in a house, there are bound to be some conflicts. If some of the kids are there only on the weekends or in the summer, there is bound to be even more conflicts and power struggles.

Brothers and sisters borrow things without permission. Step-child one has much more toys and possession than half-brothers and sisters.  Younger kids sometimes feel that the older kids are more favored and get to do whatever they want.

Older kids or teens may feel that the baby of the family gets away with murder and they had live much harder when they were his age.

Sibling Rivalry

Take two kids in competition for their parents’ love and attention and then add envy, frustration, resentment and anger and you have sibling rivalry.  Sibling is generally understood to be a blood sister or brother, but it has come to mean much more complex relationships with blended families.

Rivalry means competition. The young members of the household are in competition to see who can gain power or the upper hand.  A little competition is not a bad thing and can help children learn to navigate in the real world.

However, too much completion and struggle for dominance in the parent’s love and attention can make for an unhappy family life.

If this is a concern in your family, you will enjoy reading Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.  They talk about how to help your children live together so you can live too.

Learn Life Skills

If one child is consistently picked on in the family, he or she may turn to bullying someone smaller in order to feel any sort of power. They may begin to believe and practice violence in order to win at all costs.

It is important to hold family councils and model good communication skills so the kids feel they can be heard and respected within the family. When parents put a high value on expressing feelings in a constructive, not destructive way, children will learn empathy for others.

In confidence,  Judy

PS: Be sure to check out

Innocent Bystanders to Bullying and Sexual Coercion?

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Welcome to our community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all,

Bullies have always been around.  Those who want all the power take it from those who appear to be less powerful.  Although we are used to seeing a bullying  or sexual coercion experience s one that is essentially between two parties, the victim and the offender, there is a third group involved.  That important part of triangle is the bystander or witness.

Bystander Bullies

Important research has been done by Ken Rigby and Bruce Johnson from the School of Education at the University of South Australia.

Bullies will often stop if a bystander or witness speaks up. Bystanders can help either directly or indirectly.

Their ground breaking studies have shown that while most bullying and sexual coercion takes place in at school and in the presence of bystanders, teachers are rarely present or find out what happened.

Although bystanders sometime will speak out to discourage the bullying, the most common response is to ignore what is going on and thus the bullying continues.

Step Up and Speak Out

When a witness or bystander does speak up and object to the treatment of a fellow classmate, in more than half the cases the bullying actually stops. A large number of the children interviewed indicated that as bystanders they would ignore what was going on as “it is not my business.”  A small minority admitted they would not only ignore the victim, but would yell encouragement to the bully.

This seemed to be true especially in teenage boys.  Over half of the boys interviewed indicated they would, as bystanders and witnesses, ignore both physical and verbal bullying.  However, when it came to sexual coercion fewer students were prepared to ignore what was going on.  They either helped the victim directly or helped indirectly by telling a teacher or adult.  But, sadly, there were still twenty percent of the witnesses, mainly boys, who were prepared to ignore what was going on.

What To Teach Your Children

When one observes or witnesses trauma, it affects our spirit and sense of values.  There are no innocent bystanders.

Schools, churches, clubs, sports and other places where children gather need to be aware of the dynamics of the group and the opportunity of some to misuse power by bullying and sexually coercing others. The positive feelings and self esteem

that those who step up and defend victims are important and need to be congratulated and encouraged.  By encouraging empathy and courage, we can all empower the bystanders to not just stand by, but to speak up when there is bullying and sexual coercion occurring within our circle of influence.

I have confidence in you, Judy

Why Do Kids Bully, Tease and Threaten Each Other?

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Welcome to our community of kind, thoughtful people who want to raise our children to have respect for all

Bullying is when there is an imbalance of power.Do you remember your own childhood? Did your siblings tease or taunt you? Did you pick on others who were smaller or less powerful than you were? Was it a chore to go to recess for fear of being called mean names or excluded from games? Were others in your class mean or unkind to you because of something that you could not help?  Do you still carry those scars with you as an adult?

Bullying, intimidation and inter-personal conflict are encountered by all of us at one time or another during our lives. If we were lucky, we had caring adults who helped us problem solve and recognize that the teasing had little to do with us and more with the thought process of the bully.

Bullying is about Power

Bullying is deliberate psychological, emotional and/or physical harassment of a person.  It can be one bully to one target, as in families. Or it can be group or gang oriented. Many children engage in bullying every day.  Even though each child and circumstance is unique, those who bully or demean others in order to gain power do share some common characteristics.

  • Likes to make fun of others
  • Prone to violence when  things don’t go their way
  • Aggressive with adults and siblings
  • Enjoys extremely physical contact activities
  • Has a manipulative personality
  • Likes to blame others
  • Frequently bends the rules
  • Enjoys the power of being a leader and having followers
  • Lacks impulse control

Why Do Some Kids Bully and Some Don’t?

When I was interviewing kids about friendship for my book The Left Out Child it was very obvious that there is a shorthand on the playground.  Everyone knows who is in the popular group, the jocks, the brains and the weird ones.  There is constant jockeying for position to be included and involved with the group. There is a hunger for acceptance and approval in every level, including home.

Those kids who do not give in to the temptation to tease or threaten others have developed social skills and have learned to find other ways to fit in and get along.

Adults Need to Teach and Model Respect

Children need to be shown other methods of solving problems by the important adults in their lives. Children see family and adult dynamics as how they should act in social situations. It will take a village to teach and show respect and kindness to one another.

We can do it. The world is counting on the next generation to be more peaceful than the last.