“You’re a freak!” “Everyone thinks you are a loser!” Nobody likes you.” “If you died no one would notice or care! Sound familiar? 50% of students are bullied by the time they finish school and 10% are repeatedly bullied. Bullying is a major issue and a buzz in the media. As a bullying expert I was interviewed by several news agencies, asked to speak to the County School system and present a bullying plan. MTV & Britney Spears have joined Obama’s Anti-Bullying Campaign. MTV is producing an anti-bullying movie based on the bully victim Abraham Biggs.
Victims of bullying often contemplate or commit suicide. Some go to the extreme of bringing weapons to school and some cause immense pain and loss by using them in the schools like Columbine High School and the Virginia Tech massacre. Victims of bullying are more at risk for depression, post traumatic stress, low self esteem, substance abuse as well and become angry and anti-social.
Bullies – “Misery loves Company”: As bullies get older they learn ways to be more covert when they bully and not get caught. Bullies can be so mean and insensitive and often bully because of their own insecurities or lack of control in their homes. The chaos in a bullies home can be so out of control that they try to take control where they can which is at school. Additionally, the bullies anger or insecurities about their own life circumstances is shared with their victims because no one likes to be angry or mad alone so “Misery loves Company.”
See Below Bullying Expert Jim West Interview by Fox 35
- They may act different
- Lack self-confidence
- They are a loner
- React easily when teased
- They may get angry or cry easily
- May not have a sense of how to dress with their peers
- Lack athletic ability
- Put a lot of emphasis on their academics and make other’s feel stupid
- Lack Social Skills
- Lack Personal Hygiene
- Can be racial
- Sexual Orientation
Kids that are on the bully radar often have a target on their head and bullies gravitate to them. There are some common things bullies look for that help them single out someone that looks weaker than they are and often alone. So what can parents do to help their kids get off or stay off the bullies radar.
- Create open communication with your child and school.
- Make your home a safe and loving environment. Listen First!
- Teach your child social skills so he or she develops a “posse.”
- Teach your child to make their peers feel like “a million bucks.”
- Maintain open and honest communication with your child about school and his or her friends.
- Talk with your child about bullies.
- Role play with your child what to do in a Bully situation.
- Help your child think of an escape plan.
- Teach your child to have a “Poker Face” and how to “Roll with Teasing.”
- “Your an idiot!” – Response: “That’s the Best thing I’ve heard all day!”
- “What a Freak!” – Response: “Thanks.”
- “I Hate You!” – Response: “Somebody needs a hug.”
For more tips on How to Roll with Teasing or Building a Posse you can download Jim’s Social Skills Workbook that teaches how to Greet, Start Conversations, Make their Friends feel like a million bucks, and over 10 Funny ways to Roll with Teasing without provoking the Bully.
Bullying Program – Jim also has a unique bullying program without talking much about bullying and it’s used in schools across Florida! He is called upon as a Bully Expert in the Schools to reduce bullying by having the bullies apologize to the victim and carry their backpack for the day instead of expulsion. By the end of the day often the trust is repaired between the Bully and the Victim and the Bully has respect for the Victim and often become friends. His program is called StressLess with Bullying – 3 Quick Tips to Repair Relationships