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Excerpts from PsychConsult’s seminars

I attended these seminars given by PsychConsult Inc. last Saturday, March 5, 2011. These seminars were “Improving Social Skills in Children” and “Strategies in Dealing with Bullies in School”. These seminars are very rich and insightful. I’m still in the process of transcribing and digesting my notes. However, I’d like to share some salient points that were mentioned:

  • Friends can help. Our most important resources in a bullying incident are the quiet ones – the bystanders. Their silence contributes to the prevalence of bullying in schools. We sometimes encourage them to silent so that they wouldn’t be in harms way. “Kung hindi mo away, huwag ka nang makialam Baka ikaw pa ang mapag-initan.” Do we give this message to our children? Maybe we could analyze the reminders we give to them so that we encourage them to become advocates rather than unaffected onlookers during a bullying incident.

 

  • Stop the urge to bully. We often attend to the bullied; however the kid who bullies have needs also which are not met. These unmet needs are often the cause of the urge to bully. Some of them may have unrealistic high regard (but empty) for self, lacks attention and supervision at home, poor impulse control, and poor empathy for others. Some may even have unresolved issues because they have been bullied in the past as well. If we are able to address these and highlight their competence and talents, then the urge to bully may also be minimized.

 

  • Conflict is not a fight to win, but a problem to solve. Even adults like us could learn this lesson. 🙂

 

  • Sumbungero vs. Nagsusumbong. There is a big difference between the two. Dr. Alianan clarified that a “sumbungero” is someone who tells an elaborate and false tale in order to get someone in trouble. A “nagsusumbong” is someone who merely reports the truth. Again, students we should empower students to be advocates. One of the things we should get out of the way in school is the stigma of being the “tattler”. Edmund Burke once said that. “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” This statement rings truth even in society at large.

 

  • Do not think about green mangoes. Repeat that to yourself a number of times, and what do you think of? Are you successful in removing the image of green mangoes from your mind? I didn’t think so. Bullying campaigns help but, just as how futile it is to forget green mangoes by telling oneself not to think about green mangoes, it does not take our students’ mind off “bullying” Maybe, instead of coming up with “No to Bullying” campaigns, we could make “Yes to Kindness” and “Yes to Tolerance” campaigns.

 

  • Violence begets violence. This is one of the more controversial points of the talk. Dr. ALianan mentioned that spanking justifies violence in children. It shows them that it is okay to hurt someone for as long as he has done something which is wrong and offensive. Children who are spanked often may also take it out on their classmates who they perceive to be weaker and more vulnerable than they are. We should also regulate the amount of violence our children are exposed to from the video games, movies, and TV shows they see. It makes them desensitized to people’s suffering which, in turn, makes it all too easy to hurt one another. Finally, studies show that punishment does not necessarily encourage new behavior, but affirming new behavior encourages the rate of its occurrence in the future.

 

I will write an entry about everything that I’ve learned from those seminars soon. Many thanks to Dr. Boboy Sze Alianan, Ms. Berny Go, and the rest of the PsychConsult Inc. staff for a wonderful and insightful back-to-back seminar.

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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Bullying, Parenting Tips

 

“Not Cool” by Fluttershy

Let’s look at ourselves and remember.

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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Bullying

 

Is Your Child a Bully?


“HELP! MY CHILD IS A BULLY!”

Being told that our child is exhibiting bullying behavior can come as a huge shock. It’s likely that our first reaction will naturally be a defensive one. It can be a very hard thing to stomach, the thought that the child we love so dearly might be ill-treating other children.

In this situation, the most important thing to do is to stay calm. We need to face the facts, and gather as much information as possible, while buying ourselves some time to fully understand what is going on and formulating the best possible reaction.

WHAT TO DO FIRST?

1. Defuse the situation if you can. If the person telling you that your child is a bully is another parent, and very upset, it’s imperative that you remain calm yourself, and try to get the other party to calm down and discuss the issue with you rationally. Try saying, “If my child is behaving in a bullying way, I want to understand exactly what is happening so that I can address it and solve the problem.”

2. Take deep breaths, and keep an open mind. As a responsible parent, you need to understand the situation from the point of view of everyone involved – especially from the point of view of your own child. Most bullying stems from insecurity or unhappiness.

3. Formulate some kind of plan before you open the subject with your child, if at all possible, yet remain flexible and willing to have an open conversation and to listen closely to your own child’s point of view before proceeding with anything.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

There are lots of reasons that bullying can start, but what they usually have in common is that the child who is doing the bullying (like the victims in most cases) has a low self-esteem.

In addition, a child who bullies is likely to have a limited repertoire of social skills – not having many alternative behaviours to draw on in situations that make him or her upset or angry.

The other characteristic common to many bullies is a lack of empathy – which is a learned skill and one that you can help your child develop.

DISCIPLINE

If you establish that there is indeed some bullying going on, clearly some form of discipline is in order. It’s important not to get uncontrollably angry, or to try to solve the problem merely with physical punishment.

Make it very clear to your child that bullying and aggression will not be accepted, and spell out the consequences for any future bullying behavior. It is important to be completely consistent so that the child understands exactly what will happen if he repeats this behavior.

Suitable punishments could include loss of privileges, and especially freedoms that are perhaps being abused – for instance if your child is allowed out to play in the evening, and is bullying other children at this time, a suitable punishment could be having to play in the yard only for one evening, or for a week, depending on the child’s age and severity of the behavior.

Or, if your child has bullied someone by email or mobile phone, loss of use of the PC or phone for a certain amount of time could be more appropriate. Whatever you decide on, make it extremely clear and consistent.

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT

Praise and rewards might seem like they should be the last things on your mind if you are dealing with bullying behaviour, but they are in fact crucial.

Discuss with your child what some appropriate alternatives to aggression are when he or she feels angry or upset. Then observe your child’s interactions and make sure to praise when you see these behaviors.

For example, your child might agree with you that if someone doesn’t play a game the way your child wants, instead of arguing it might be appropriate to walk away. Then, if you see your child storm away from his playmates, be sure to recognize that he is taking a non-confrontational approach to the problem, and praise him for it.

Allow your child to earn special rewards and privileges. Keep track with a calendar (perhaps with stickers for a young child) so that you and your child can measure the positive behavior, and celebrate and reward it accordingly.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

If your child is young, reading books about bullying together can help.

Talk to your child often about the diversity of people in the world, and explain that everyone has feelings and is a valuable person.

Taking care of a pet is a good way to help a child develop the skill of empathy.

Maintain an atmosphere of love and calmness at home. Don’t allow older siblings to tease a younger child, and don’t allow any destructive criticism. “Home should be a haven of love for all the family” is a great message to get across to your children.

MORE HELP

If the bullying is severe or has been going on for a long time, or if you don’t feel confident you can address the situation effectively on your own, it’s very important to get help. You are likely to find that everyone is supportive and appreciative of your efforts to address the problem.

Your school may have a counselor that can help, or your doctor may be able to recommend someone.

By Cassie

 

Article from http://kidsgoals.com/


 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Bullying

 

Poster: Teasing Hurts


 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Bullying

 

Dealing with Bullies

Bullying is a BIG problem. It can make kids feel hurt, scared, sick, lonely, embarrassed and sad. Bullies might hit, kick, or push to hurt people, or use words to call names, threaten, tease, or scare them.

A bully might say mean things about someone, grab a kid’s stuff, make fun of someone, or leave a kid out of the group on purpose.

Some bullies threaten people or try to make them do things they don’t want to do.

Bullying Is a Big Deal

Bullying is a big problem that affects lots of kids. Three-quarters of all kids say they have been bullied or teased. Being bullied can make kids feel really bad. The stress of dealing with bullies can make kids feel sick.

Bullying can make kids not want to play outside or go to school. It’s hard to keep your mind on schoolwork when you’re worried about how you’re going to deal with the bully near your locker.

Bullying bothers everyone — and not just the kids who are getting picked on. Bullying can make school a place of fear and can lead to more violence and more stress for everyone.

Why Do Bullies Act That Way?

Some bullies are looking for attention. They might think bullying is a way to be popular or to get what they want. Most bullies are trying to make themselves feel more important. When they pick on someone else, it can make them feel big and powerful.

Some bullies come from families where everyone is angry and shouting all the time. They may think that being angry, calling names, and pushing people around is a normal way to act. Some bullies are copying what they’ve seen someone else do. Some have been bullied themselves.

Sometimes bullies know that what they are doing or saying hurts other people. But other bullies may not really know how hurtful their actions can be. Most bullies don’t understand or care about the feelings of others.

Bullies often pick on someone they think they can have power over. They might pick on kids who get upset easily or who have trouble sticking up for themselves. Getting a big reaction out of someone can make bullies feel like they have the power they want. Sometimes bullies pick on someone who is smarter than they are or different from them in some way. Sometimes bullies just pick on a kid for no reason at all.

Gemma told her mom that this one kid was picking on her for having red hair and freckles. She wanted to be like the other kids but she couldn’t change those things about herself. Finally Gemma made friends at her local swimming pool with a girl who wished she had red hair like Gemma’s. The two girls became great friends and she learned to ignore the mean girl’s taunts at school.

Bullying: How to Handle It

So now you know that bullying is a big problem that affects a lot of kids, but what do you do if someone is bullying you? Our advice falls into two categories: preventing a run-in with the bully, and what to do if you end up face-to-face with the bully.

Preventing a Run-In With a Bully

Don’t give the bully a chance.As much as you can, avoid the bully. You can’t go into hiding or skip class, of course. But if you can take a different route and avoid him or her, do so.

Stand tall and be brave. When you’re scared of another person, you’re probably not feeling your bravest. But sometimes just acting brave is enough to stop a bully. How does a brave person look and act? Stand tall and you’ll send the message: “Don’t mess with me.” It’s easier to feel brave when you feel good about yourself. See the next tip!

Feel good about you. Nobody’s perfect, but what can you do to look and feel your best? Maybe you’d like to be more fit. If so, maybe you’ll decide to get more exercise, watch less TV, and eat healthier snacks. Or maybe you feel you look best when you shower in the morning before school. If so, you could decide to get up a little earlier so you can be clean and refreshed for the school day.

Get a buddy (and be a buddy). Two is better than one if you’re trying to avoid being bullied. Make a plan to walk with a friend or two on the way to school or recess or lunch or wherever you think you might meet the bully. Offer to do the same if a friend is having bully trouble. Get involved if you see bullying going on in your school — tell an adult, stick up for the kid being bullied, and tell the bully to stop.

If The Bully Says or Does Something to You

Ignore the bully. If you can, try your best to ignore the bully’s threats. Pretend you don’t hear them and walk away quickly to a place of safety. Bullies want a big reaction to their teasing and meanness. Acting as if you don’t notice and don’t care is like giving no reaction at all, and this just might stop a bully’s behavior.

Stand up for yourself. Pretend to feel really brave and confident. Tell the bully “No! Stop it!” in a loud voice. Then walk away, or run if you have to. Kids also can stand up for each other by telling a bully to stop teasing or scaring someone else, and then walk away together. If a bully wants you to do something that you don’t want to do — say “no!” and walk away. If you do what a bully says to do, they will likely keep bullying you. Bullies tend to bully kids who don’t stick up for themselves.

Don’t bully back. Don’t hit, kick, or push back to deal with someone bullying you or your friends. Fighting back just satisfies a bully and it’s dangerous, too, because someone could get hurt. You’re also likely to get in trouble. It’s best to stay with others, stay safe, and get help from an adult.

Don’t show your feelings. Plan ahead. How can you stop yourself from getting angry or showing you’re upset? Try distracting yourself (counting backwards from 100, spelling the word ‘turtle’ backwards, etc.) to keep your mind occupied until you are out of the situation and somewhere safe where you can show your feelings.

Tell an adult. If you are being bullied, it’s very important to tell an adult. Find someone you trust and go and tell them what is happening to you. Teachers, principals, parents, and lunchroom helpers at school can all help to stop bullying. Sometimes bullies stop as soon as a teacher finds out because they’re afraid that they will be punished by parents. This is not tattling on someone who has done something small — bullying is wrong and it helps if everyone who gets bullied or sees someone being bullied speaks up.

What Happens to Bullies?

In the end, most bullies wind up in trouble. If they keep acting mean and hurtful, sooner or later they may have only a few friends left — usually other kids who are just like them. The power they wanted slips away fast. Other kids move on and leave bullies behind.

Luis lived in fear of Brian — every day he would give his lunch money to Brian but he still beat him up. He said that if Luis ever told anyone he would beat him up in front of all the other kids in his class. Luis even cried one day and another girl told everyone that he was a baby and had been crying. Luis was embarrassed and felt so bad about himself and about school. Finally, Brian got caught threatening Luis and they were both sent to the school counselor. Brian got in a lot of trouble at home. Over time, Brian learned how to make friends and ask his parents for lunch money. Luis never wanted to be friends with Brian but he did learn to act strong and more confident around him.

Some kids who bully blame others. But every kid has a choice about how to act. Some kids who bully realize that they don’t get the respect they want by threatening others. They may have thought that bullying would make them popular, but they soon find out that other kids just think of them as trouble-making losers.

The good news is that kids who are bullies can learn to change their behavior. Teachers, counselors, and parents can help. So can watching kids who treat others fairly and with respect. Bullies can change if they learn to use their power in positive ways. In the end, whether bullies decide to change their ways is up to them. Some bullies turn into great kids. Some bullies never learn.

But no one needs to put up with a bully’s behavior. If you or someone you know is bothered by a bully, talk to someone you trust. Everyone has the right to feel safe, and being bullied makes people feel unsafe. Tell someone about it and keep telling until something is done.

Reviewed by: D’Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: October 2010

 

This article is lifted from http://kidshealth.org

KidsHealth Comes From Nemours

The award-winning KidsHealth comes from Nemours, one of the largest nonprofit organizations devoted to children’s health.

Established in 1936 by philanthropist Alfred I. duPont, Nemours is dedicated to improving the health and spirit of children. Nemours supports a number of renowned children’s health facilities, including the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware; Nemours Children’s Clinic with specialty practice locations in the Delaware Valley and North and Central Florida; and primary care offices in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Nemours is currently developing a new children’s health campus in Orlando, Florida, including the Nemours Children’s Hospital.


 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Bullying

 

How to Say Sorry

This article is also posted in the student’s Guidance website: Ask Teacher Joseph

When you realize that you’ve hurt someone, the first thing that crosses our mind is to apologize to that person.  But experience would show us that it isn’t easy to do.  Even when we are really really sorry for what we’ve done, finding the right words to say to that person may not be that easy.  Here is a guide on how we should apologize:

1. Acknowledge Your Mistake

The first step is to know what your mistake is.  You cannot be fully sorry if you don’t know what you should be sorry for.  Once you realize this, the other person should also see that you know by saying what you are sorry for.  For this step, it would help to say…

“I’m sorry because _____________________________”

 


2. Realize the Effect of Your Action

Making mistakes is OK when we learn from it.  If we think really hard, we would realize how our mistake hurts other people or ourselves.  It would also help the person whom we have offended to forgive us more easily when he sees that we’ve learned from our mistake.  For this step, it would help to say…

“I’ve realized that _____________________________”

 


2. Repair the Damage Done

After realizing the effect of our actions, the next step is to take positive actions that would undo the harm done by our mistake.  Apart from apologizing, there are things we can do to restore broken friendships and renewing the trust and confidence of other people.  It would also be important to commit to this action.  For this step, it would help to say…

“I promise that _____________________________”

 


To end, your apology should sound something like this:

“I’m sorry because _____________________________.  I realized that  _____________________________.  I promise that _____________________________.”

 

At first, saying sorry can be hard, but it becomes easier with practice.  Eventually you can get to the point that it would be easy to see when you’ve hurt someone, and you can say sorry quickly and sincerely.  😉

picture credit: ~hebi-mamecafe http://hebi-mamecafe.deviantart.com/

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Bullying, Conflict Resolution

 

Words Hurt

this is also posted in the Gr. 3 Guidance students website: http://askteacherjoseph.wordpress.com/

This is what happens whenever you use words like GEEK, LOSER, or GET LOST.

Your words can hurt.

 

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Posted by on February 6, 2011 in Bullying