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Posts Tagged ‘playground politics’

Beating The Bullies-Draw The Line On Bullying

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Are you afraid your child is being picked on by a bully in school? Do you know how to talk to your kids about bullying and methods for beating the bullies at their own game? How do you draw the line on bullying?  How do you and your child succeed at beating the bullies? Is bullying that bad?  YES.

Left unchecked, bullying can be disastrous for children and their self-esteem.  Some of the long term effects of bullying may lead to depression or make it hard to form lasting trusting relationships.

Bullies Cannot Be Allowed To Harm Our Kids

But as a caring adult, what can you do that will not make the situation worse?  You may very well think that playground bullying is between the children and adults should not get involved.  However, left unchecked, bullying will only escalate and your child will be left feeling vulnerable and unsafe.

Granted I am older that most parents who are dealing with this issue.  But, even when our kids were younger, bullying wasn’t much talked about. If teachers or parents saw a blatant case of bullying, they stepped in and put a stop to it – often with a smack to the head or a threat of one. Even if the smack was not delivered, most kids were scared enough of the principal and teachers that the abuse stopped.

Many times the teachers would look the other way when someone had the courage to confront the bully and fight it out behind the school.  That may very well happen today, but it is not condoned. Times have changed. As a society, we don’t discipline in that manner any longer.

Teachers and administrators are so afraid of a law suit that they frequently jump in too soon.

cyberbullying, protect children from bullies, online bullies, facebook bully, help for kids who are bullied

New ideas to help you and your child beat the bullies. Check out for more information. You will be glad you did.


New Way Of Responding To Bullies

Many schools practice some sort of “bullying control.”  I am familiar with Kelso’s Choice which is an excellent program for elementary schools.

One middle school I know, practices the concept of ‘the line.’ Individual students either operate above the line or below the line. Above–the-line behavior includes self-control and respect for others – especially respect for fellow students.

Below the line is the domain where the bully operates. Bullies don’t care so much about respecting others. Bullies choose to elevate them selves by putting others down. The bullies own lack of self-respect is most likely a root cause of their bullying behavior.

Let’s be clear, the bully is a leader who leads others below-the-line. The bully gains power when others follow. Without a following, the bully loses power.

Teach your children to pick up on what the bully says but to reply in a way that neutralizes the insult.  For example:

“You stink.”

“Yep, it is a new shampoo.  I think it smells great.”

Help them to understand they have a choice. Either choose to lead and live above the line or lead and live below the line.
Either choose to follow the leaders who operate above the line or follow the bullies who operate below the line.

Bullies Are Cowards

A great method for defussing bullying incidences is to ask the bully to “say it again.” Encourage your child to keep asking the bully to repeat the insult until it becomes less offensive. Since most bullies are cowards and lack the courage to repeat the insult and are more likely to tone it down.

Teach your kids to imagine themselves inside a protective bubble that bounces off bullies’ words.  If they practice visualizing this with you, they will be able to have some control in a potentially disempowering encounter.

Empower Your Child

 Make sure your children have chances to make friends and have successes away from where bullying takes place.  Try a drama group, sports club, band, or choir where the group provides a shared activity than can rebuild confidence eroded by bullies.

Share your comments and ideas at  You will also receive a two page list of resources to help beat the bully and draw the line on bullying.

Judy Helm Wright is an author, coach and parent educator.  Schedule a free consultation with her at   You will be glad you did.

Starting School Without Being Afraid Of Bullies

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Starting School Without Being Afraid Of Bullies

Teaching children proper protocol for handling school bullies is a complex issue today. Increasingly, parents find themselves trying to protect their children from bullying personalities and worry about their child’s safety. Ultimately, it is children who must cope with the difficulties of exposure to unacceptable bully behavior. Parents need to reduce their child’s fears before they can help them avoid problems with bullies.

There are several points to consider so children can start school without fear of bullies:
1. Address children’s’ fears
2. Provide safety guidelines
3. Clarify Children’s’ Options
4. Teach Bully Awareness

1. Address Children’s’ Fears
The most important aspect of providing a child with quality of life is to help them live with less fear. Discuss their fears openly and with understanding.

2. Provide Safety Guidelines
Children need to know when they are in danger. Most important is their need to know how to protect themselves from bullies.

3. Clarify Children’s’ Options
When they are exposed to a bully, children need to think first about their options. Help your child to know the options available to them to protect themselves and to insure their safety.

4. Teach Bully Awareness
Children need to be sensitized to aggressive behavior that goes beyond the bounds of normal. They need to be taught to identify what constitutes bullying.

Reducing the sting of the fear of bullies helps children recognize their own strengths. Help children to build a healthy sense of self-confidence and self-identity. They do this by reinforcing their sense of community and affability with others in their social networks. Children who build strong bonds of friendship are less likely to be targets of bullies. The axiom, “There is safety in numbers,” should be pointed out to children so they understand the importance of their personal friendships as a unifying part of their lives.

Inevitably, every child faces a bully sooner or later. Preparing a child for this possibility may prevent a serious situation. Expose them to books and venues that reinforce their preparation for a bullying episode. Less fearful, self-confident children who are fully oriented to their options may still recoil from a bully. With regular support and awareness, children will survive a bullying episode and know the proper methods to protect themselves.

It’s important to point out to children that a school bully is just a child like them. The menacing behavior of a bully is less dangerous when the bully realizes other children are prepared to isolate aggressive behavior and report their bullying. A bully may not express concern for his/her unacceptable behavior. When consequences for that behavior are consistent, bullying can be less of a problem.


About the Author:


This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of full time nanny.

She welcomes your comments at her email Id: – jdebra84 @


Victims, Bullies and Bystanders Are Harmed By Violence In Schools

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Victims, Bullies and Bystanders Are Harmed By Violence In Schools

Studies have shown that if those who tend to belittle or pick on others are taught basic communication skills and conflict management when young, lead more successful lives. Many children honestly do not know what is right and what is wrong in relationships. Respect for others must be taught and modeled for  children by caring adults in their lives.

The longer the abuse goes on, the greater the trauma and emotional stress continues not only for the victim, but the bystanders and the bully.

Children need to feel safe in school. They also need to be taught to respect the rights of others. Bullying hurts everyone involved.

Victims of Bullies

If a situation such as this is not recognized and cared for, the bullied child may become extremely depressed, and develop issues which could effect them for the rest of their lives. Low self esteem, distrust, lack of confidence, fear, anger, resentment, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in school, activities, and friends are common results.

Bystander or Witness

Bystanders or a witness to a traumatic event are frequently bothered by nightmares, flashbacks, lack of confidence and feeling ashamed or powerless. This may be a pivotal turning point in their maturity, helping them decide next time they will speak up or get help or the reverse side to make a decision to step away from all confrontations and not get involved at all.

Bully or Bullies

Bullies who get away with traumatizing others, develop a warped sense of justice. They begin to feel invincible and that they can use violence to get what they want in life. Without intervention, they may very well think it is normal to cross personal boundaries to harm others and to feel “entitled” to be mean to others.

Bullies do not outgrow the tendency to bully.  They simply grow bigger and learn to do it in more subtle ways.  They become the abusive husband, boss or neighbor.  It is a service to them and the people in their lives, to teach them respect and tolerance.

Bullying  Programs in Schools

Teachers should work to know each of their students and recognize any unusual symptoms or behaviors. Likewise, students should be educated on the matter of bullying and encouraged to seek the help of an adult when it is going one. There are usually many bystanders when one is being bullied, and if those bystanders could gather up the courage to take a stand, they could easily overrun the bullies in sheer numbers. Children need to be taught that bullying is essentially a whole school problem, and they need to take it seriously.

You will want to claim your free report at

Please leave comments and share your thoughts below.  I care about you and the children you work with.

PS: Don’t forget Judy H Wright is available for keynote speeches. Recommend her to your program director.  You will be glad you did. Phone 406-549-9813 today.

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Help Children Make Friends – Playground Politics

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Help Children Make Friends – Playground Politics

Teasing is universal, its a fact of life. In my parenting classes when I ask any person if they were teased as a child the answer is always the same. Yes. Then I ask who they were teased by, there are a number of answers I get: siblings, the kid down the street, their teacher, or even their family. People are always able to remember who teased or bullied them. The torment they underwent becomes a part of them.

Teasing can be friendly or malicious. When we begin to look at the difference between the two, we realize that part of the teasing

If your child has at least one significant friend, he will be less likely to be bullied and can more easily cope with effects of bullying should it occur.

that goes on is done to find out where your hot buttons are. Teasing beings the process of weeding out if two people are a good match as friends, if their interests are the same, and acts like a mating game. Other people have dubbed it Playground Politics.

There is an absolute pecking order on the playground. If I were to ask you to look back into your past and think about who on that playground was popular, who were the kids who were accepted, who were the ones who were controversial? We are easily been able to remember who those people were.

Do you remember the kids who didn’t blend well? Who were the kids who always seemed to be in transition, adapting their personality to what ever situation or social group they encountered. You may be able to name those people too.

Our goal as parents is to help our child find out who they are as a person. We need to be concerned with teaching our children how to be a good friend, instead of helping them find friends. We need to teach our children how to be the kind of person that other people are drawn to. As parents our job is to teach our children how to be the person that will attract the kind of people they want to be around. When we teach them how to be that person we are really teaching them three things: Confidence, Character and Critical Thinking.


Here is what a confident person looks like shoulders back, their chest open. Their hands are not clenched or crossed, this posture shows that they are open and their heart is speaking to other peoples hearts. Our posture shows we are approachable. Confident people look other people in the eye, and smile. They smile without assuming the other person is going to smile back.


Our children need to learn character and values, so they will never be caught in situational ethics. Our children need to know what their values are before they are put into situations where those values are going to be tested. If children are put in a situation where another child is being picked on or teased, they should know the kind of person they are, or want to be, and be empowered to make a decision on how to get involved based on their values. They should know they don’t want to participate in a situation where someone may be hurt. A child should know already that they want to be a kind person, before they are ever put into a situation where they are required to decide.

If children have made the decision early in life to be kind, they will easily be able to make the decision that they don’t want to be involved in teasing others, even if it means going against the group.

Critical Thinking

Our children need to be taught to think critically and be problem solvers. Over the next decade the ability to solve problems is going very important to our children. We need them to learn not only to solve conflict, but manage it. Children need to learn these skills so they do not become whiners or tattles, but empower themselves to be strong. Learning to determine if conflicts that are happening are small problems and can be solved easily, or if there is a larger problem,(like someone being hurt) that may require intervention by an adult.

There is a program called Kelso’s choice which empowers young people, their parents and other caring adults with the ability to determine their own behaviour. It teaches how to master emotions which is a critical skill in conflict resolution. Kelso’s Choice teaches youth not to take it personally when they are being teased. The program teaches when children are being teased it is very seldom about them, and is more often about the child who is doing the teasing. Children are taught the teaser is often involved in some sort of power struggle. This knowledge can drastically reduce the amount of tattling that goes on and keeps small problems from ballooning into huge problems.

As parents we are encouraged to help our children develop the ability to decifer when something is a small problem, like a pebble, and when a problem may be bigger like a mountain. This also helps to improve the child’s self esteem as the become more confident to solve problems on their own. This tool is not just a solution for today, but something which can be used for their entire life.

We can help our children learn critical thinking skills in a number of ways. Children need to learn tools like redirecting to another activity, sharing, taking turns, talking it out, walking away, or just ignoring conflict. One important skill they will learn is teaching them it is OK to tell someone they need to stop when what that person is doing makes them uncomfortable. By using body language such as an upheld hand, they learn to set boundaries. Many times these little things are all we need to do to stop a behaviour.

If its something your child has done to cause a conflict we as parents need to teach them is OK to acknowledge they did something wrong and apologize, as well as do their best to correct the situation. Our children need to know it is OK to walk away and take a cooling off period.

Helpful Hints To Be More Likeable

I always hand out Q-tips in my classroom as a reminder to Quit Taking It Personally. This serves as a reminder to young people that not everything that goes on is about them. They should know they have the power to solve their own problems unless there is a danger involved.

Allow children to find their own peer group, and feel comfortable with who they are. Don’t push them to be in a peer group they don’t feel comfortable in.

When discussing the events of the day and you as a parent hear a lot of negative comments, make sure you ask them “but then….” and prompt them to say something positive about what happened next. Encourage them to end what they say on a positive note. Don’t let them end it on a negative because the negative will be ingrained it in their brain.

Teach them blame, shame and focusing on the pain won’t work. Help them to look for body language. Body language tells us a lot about whether someone wants to be around us, if they are lonely or simply want to be left alone. Being able to read body language is a skill that will help them to be sensitive to others and know how and when to approach people. Make sure that as an adult you model the relationships you want them to have.

Also, be careful not to tear down other children. If they come home and tell you another child won’t play with them, don’t respond by telling them they don’t want to play with that child anyway. Don’t tell them they don’t want to play with another child because that other child isn’t good to play with anyway. Eventually the two may become friends and inevitably your child will tell their new friend what you have said. This is going to cause hurt feelings and harm your relationship with their new friend. Our job as parents is not to tear down other peoples children, but to build up our own.

Express confidence in you child’s choices and their ability to draw others to them. This goes a long way to making our children into the people we want them to be.

For more information visit where you will find an e-course that teach you to teach your child to be more personable and more likeable.