Bullying is Harmful

...to the Bully

...to the Victim

...and to the

Community.

 

Bullying and teasing take place at school, at the job site, and at every level of society.  It wears many disguises.  Often, it starts with teasing.

Where does the teasing start?  Does it begin with harmless teasing in the home?  The kind that is intended as a light-hearted correction to draw attention to a behavior or mannerism because it seems a better way than a direct discussion of the problem.

Victims live in fear.  Often, they endure the suffering in silence.  They don't know how to make it stop.

To be on the receiving end isn't fun!  Teasing may contribute to the onset of learning difficulties at school.

Watching your child struggle in school is a gut-wrenching experience.  Helping your child learn should be filled with love and free of stress.

Self-confidence and self-esteem are lower in children who struggle.  These children worry about being teased for their lack of success. 

They worry about being laughed at

for giving the wrong answer.

 

Soon ... they send out non-verbal cues that indicate a lack of confidence ... and a fear of teasing.  Bullies pick up on this behavior and seem to resolve to capitalize on it.

Some children isolate and withdraw from the group because they feel they no longer fit in with any group.  

Many parents are at a loss to find appropriate ways to help their children overcome school realities.  They recognize the behaviors ... but don't know how to help their child fix it ... effectively.

A child who doesn't know how to handle teasing is at a disadvantage.

How well your child knows how to handle teasing determines how long it lasts ... if and when it begins.

A child who suddenly stops liking school ... who becomes sullen ... and who takes out frustration on younger siblings ... may be giving signals that tease-proofing is in order.

Teasing events are part and parcel of school experience.  Many believe that, because of it, tease-proofing should come from the teacher and the school.

Should it?

If you think so ... consider this ...

Teacher intervention or protection may have counter-productive results.  It may result in resentfulness and aggression among the other children in the class.  It announces to those who were unaware to take note.  The situation escalates.

The request from the teacher TO BE NICE seems to mark the child.  It seems to set up the child for even more rejection or ridicule.  It gives them more fodder to increase the frequency of attacks.

Regardless, children need to be taught how to handle teasing or harassment.  We know that children who can handle teasing show it ... in their body language.

Here's a tip that may work for you and your child.

To deflect teasing ... teach your child to put on a cool look.  Practice it to the point where it can be sustained for the duration of a teasing incident.

At the end of the tease, teach your child to say, "Thanks for sharing that with me!" ... and to grin while saying it.

Teach your child to turn on the last word ... and to walk away with resolve... without looking back at the teasing child.

Children who are teased often tattle to the teacher and to the parent.  When they do that, they are looking at others to solve their problems for them.

How responsible is that?

Once taught how to handle teasing, parents need to reinforce where the responsibility lies!

When your child tattles, simply say to your child, "How sad you let him get away with it ... that you didn't take responsibility to let the teaser know his tease had no effect on you.  Or ... are you going to use your skill?  It's your choice, but tattling to me is no longer a choice."

We dont have to wait for teachers to tease-proof our children.

Parents can do it, too ... at home!

Isn't it a gift to both ... parent and child ... to send kids into the world tease-proofed?

Bullying and teasing aren't about anger.  They're about contempt.  They are powerful feelings of dislike toward someone considered worthless ... inferior ... or undeserving of respect.

Bullying and teasing come with a sense of entitlement ... a right to hurt others ... a right to control others ... and a freedom to exclude, bar, isolate, and segregate others.

Everyone has the right to be respected along with the responsibility to respect others.

Who best to teach that to your children than you ... the parent?

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