Abstract: Bullying in our schools is a real issue. In this article Julie reviews a live presentation by Jodee Blanco, author of "Please Stop Laughing at Me." Jodee offered some practical tips not only for parents but for children and teenagers as well in dealing with bullies in the 21st century.
I had the pleasure of attending a presentation on bullying that was held at our local high school in Eau Claire, WI. Jodee Blanco gave an AMAZING performance (she had a few skits) on "Bullying in our Schools."
“Widely considered one of the nation’s leading experts on school bullying and peer abuse/pressure, Jodee Blanco is credited with inspiring a grassroots movement inside America’s schools. Referred to by many as “the anti-bullying bible,”Please Stop Laughing at Me… has set the standard in antibullying intervention and has defined itself as a modern day classic for students, parents, and teachers alike. Her book "Please Stop Laughing at Me"… shows how all of us can make a difference.”
I found Jodee to be interactive, engaging and entertaining. She really got you thinking about what was going on and how you could make a difference. Jodee had some EXCELLENT tips for parents on what to say (and NOT to say) to children when they are experiencing bullying.
The #1 thing I walked away with is that if your child is having a hard time fitting in at school make sure they fit in somewhere else. Whether it’s dance class, an art club or karate; find an alternative outlet where they have an opportunity to make other friends and feel like they belong someplace.
This does 2 things: 1) It gives them a sense of belonging which is crucial during the pre teen and teenage years and 2) It will give them strength to stand up and face bullying when it happens because they will have a stronger sense of self.
I personally found with my own daughter that getting a part-time job provided her with a new group of people that she could engage with as well as building self esteem in a job well done.
Some other tips Jodee shared include:
1. Don’t go on and on about your personal school day stories. My husband tended to do this which just left the kids rolling their eyes and tuning out.
2. Don’t tell them to suck it up or ignore it – that is one of the worst things you can do because it teaches your child to ignore inappropriate behavior and never take any action or stand up for themselves. This seems to be the archaic way of handling bullying - or at least that's what my parents told me. Nowadays we know better.
3. Don’t rationalize bullying by explaining that the only reason people bully is because they feel bad about themselves – although that may be true and also may help them understand or sympathize it doesn’t change the fact that someone is hurting them.
Teach your children how to confront their fears and face up to bullies. Often times bullies look for weak targets. When they realize that you are not going to take it lying down they’ll move to someone else and when they do your child can help the new target stand up as well.
4. United we stand divided we fall. Get involved in school – volunteer and be seen.
Jodee also gave tips on what to do if you think your own child might be a bully: Punishing bullies doesn’t usually get the results we desire. It’s much more effective if you find a way to help that child develop compassion for others. Here are some useful tips on helping your child be more compassionate.
1.Have your child keep a journal – require them to do one act of kindness a day or a week and write it down and discuss it with them.
2. Volunteer with your child – at a local animal shelter, crises center or soup kitchen. Connecting with those less fortunate helps us to be more sympathetic to the lesser conditions others have to endure.
3. Spend quality time with your child on a regular basis and get involved in their life.
4. Use a pet to build compassion and empathy for others by engaging them in directly caring for the animal. Animals are a beautiful source of healing ones own emotional wounds.
Whether your child is being bullied or is the bully these are all great tips to help children & teenagers establish firm boundaries, respect themselves and grow into kind, compassionate adults.
These aren't easy times we are living in and it takes a lot of effort to raise children to be kind and caring, but it's the greatest reward and biggest payoff when everything is said and done. I know, I have 2 children of my own plus a granddaughter as well. And even though it hasn't always been easy, it has always been worth it.
Julie Geigle is a gifted channel of Archangel Metatron, a 4th generation Psychic Medium and Spiritual Healer. Book a private session with Julie at heavensenthealing.us where you can pick up your free gift "Manifesting Miracles, listen to her weekly radio show, and purchase guided meditations. Watch Julie every Wednesday at 9am CST on FB live hosted by omTimes Magazine where she gives free psychic readings.