Are you a bully and don't know it? Maybe you know you're a bully, but don't know how to change your ways? Never fear! Help is here!
How do you know if you are or have ever been a bully? Ask yourself these questions:
Does it make you feel better to hurt other people or take their things?
Are you bigger and stronger than other people your age? Do you sometimes use your size and strength to get your way?
Have you been bullied by someone in the past and feel like you have to make up for it by doing the same thing to others?
Do you avoid thinking about how other people might feel if you say or do hurtful things to them?
If you have bullied other people, think about why. Think about how or what you were feeling at the time. Think about how you felt afterwards.
How can you stop being a bully?
Apologize to people you've bullied, and follow it up by being friendly to them. They may not trust you right away, but eventually they'll see that you're for real.
If you're having a hard time feeling good about yourself, explore ways to boost your self-esteem. Pick up a new hobby, do volunteer work, or get involved with a sport.
If you feel like you're having trouble controlling your feelings, especially anger, talk to a school counselor about it.
There are many reasons to kick the bully habit. Many bullies grow up into adults who bully their families, friends, and co-workers, causing all sorts of problems with relationships and careers. It's hard to think about the future when you're feeling something here and now, but take a moment to see how your behavior may be laying down some pretty negative groundwork.
Next up: How to make your school a Bully-Free Zone.
In a bullying situation, there are usually bystanders, but they aren't exactly "innocent".
Bullying usually happens with other kids around, right? Having an "audience" is very important to a bully. She wants people to see what she's doing, and that she has power over the person she's bullying. It's usually because a bully wants a reputation for being tough or strong, or because she thinks it'll make her more popular.
So what about the people watching the bullying? Why are they letting it happen? Here are some possible reasons:
The bully is someone other people look up to and want to hang out with.
They want to "side" with the bully because to do that makes them feel strong. Siding with the bully's victim, on the other hand, would make them feel weak.
They're entertained by the bullying.
They don't think speaking up will help.
They're afraid that if they say something, the bully will turn on them.
Watching the bullying is a way to bully "vicariously." This means that they feel like they're getting their frustrations out by hurting someone even though they're not doing the hurting, just watching the hurting.
Did you know that if one person watching a bullying situation says "Stop it!", half the time the bullying will stop? This can be hard to do, but it's important to try. When you stand by and do nothing, that's saying that bullying is okay with you. It makes you no better than the bully himself.
Here are some things you can do if you see someone getting bullied:
Tell the bully to stop. Examples: "Cut it out!", "That's not funny!", "How'd you like it if someone did that to you?" Let the bully know that what he or she is doing is stupid and mean.
If you feel like you can't speak up, walk away from the situation and tell the nearest adult. Get them to come help. This is not tattling!
If you see someone being bullied over and over again -- whether that person is a friend, sibling, or classmate -- you can make a big difference in helping to stop it:
If your school has a bullying reporting program, like a hotline or "bully box", use it.
Make sure the kid who's being bullied tells his parents, or a teacher. Offer to go with him if it will help.
If she doesn't want to talk to anybody, offer to talk to someone on her behalf.
Involve as many people as possible, including other friends or classmates, parents, teachers, school counselors, and even the principal.
Do NOT use violence against bullies or try to get revenge on your own. It's possible that by speaking up or helping someone, you've made the bully want to come after you. Be prepared for this, and hold your ground. You already have adult support on your side.
Try to remember the Golden Rule:
Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Stand up for someone when he or she needs it, and when you need it, someone will stand up for you.
Bullying is a serious problem. It makes people feel lonely, unhappy, and afraid. It makes them feel like there must be something wrong with them. It even makes some kids not want to go to school or play outside. If extreme bullying goes on for a long time, it can lead to violent cases of revenge, like you may have seen in the news. Many people who are bullied a lot as kids grow up with low self-esteem and all sorts of other problems.
In other words, it's very important to deal with bullying and not let it ruin your life!
Okay, so there you are, and someone is bullying you. What do you do "in the moment"?
Ignore the bully. Pretend you didn't hear him. Don't even look at him. Walk right past him if you can.
Don't cry, get angry, or show that you're upset. That's the bully's goal. Don't give her the satisfaction. Even if you're feeling really hurt, don't let it show. You can talk about or write down your reactions later.
Respond to the bully evenly and firmly. Example: "No." "That's what you think."
If you can, turn a comment into a joke. Example: The bully says, "Stupid outfit!" You say: "Thanks! I'm glad you noticed."
Turn and walk away, or run if you have to. Remove yourself from the situation. Go to a place where an adult is present.
Remember that you are not the one with the problem. It's the bully who has the problem.
If you're being called names or teased, try "The Fog Tank." Imagine that you're inside a huge fish tank filled with white fog. Then, imagine that the insults are swallowed up by the fog before they reach you. Nothing touches you. Practice by thinking of the worst things a bully can say to you, then letting the fog eat them up.
If you're being bullied again and again, there's one "Most Important Thing" you should do: Talk to an adult. This is so important, we'll say it again. Talk to an adult!
Start with your parents. It's not "tattling". It's asking the people who love you to give you help when you really need it.
If the bullying happens at school, make sure your parents discuss it with a school official, not with the parents of the bully.
If you feel you can't tell your parents, or your parents don't give you the support you need, talk to another adult you trust: a teacher, principal, school counselor, or someone at your church or synagogue.
If you feel you can't talk to anyone, try writing a letter about what's happening. Keep a copy for yourself and give it to an adult you trust.
If you don't want to talk to someone alone, bring a friend, sibling, or parent. It especially helps to bring someone who has seen the bullying.
Make it clear to the adult that you are really upset by what's going on. This is especially true if the bullying is "verbal bullying." Many adults don't take verbal bullying seriously, but the truth is, this is the kind of bullying that can hurt the most.
Discussion questions for kids to bring up with adults What's your definition of bullying? Were you ever bullied when you were younger? Did you ever act like a bully yourself? Where? Who was involved? Adults can bully each other too. Do you feel like you're bullied by anyone, either at work, in the neighborhood, etc.? I see you get angry sometimes. What's the difference between being angry with someone and bullying them? When I'm being bullied, what should I do? When I'm seeing someone being bullied, what should I do? How can I change what's going on in my school? Can we talk to my teacher or counselor? Can we try to set up a bullying prevention group or program? Remember:
--Make it clear how much bullying upsets you, whether it's happening to you or to someone you know. Tell your parents about all the feelings you're having. Tell them simply that you need their help. --You can have the same discussion with an older brother or sister. They probably know the territory and have their own experiences to share. --If you want to include younger brothers or sisters in the discussion, that's great-they probably have something to contribute too. But if you'd rather talk to a parent in private, you have a right to request that. --This doesn't have to be a one-time discussion. Once you break the ice, come back to the subject whenever you feel you need to, so you and your family can explore it together over a long period of time.
If the bullying is physical or violent, you can ask the adult to whom you speak NOT to reveal your name.
Do NOT keep it inside. Do NOT plan revenge against the bully or take matters into your own hands
Now that you've spoken to someone about the problem, there are lots of things you can do to prevent future bullying.
Don't walk alone. Travel with at least one other person whenever you can.
Avoid places where bullying happens. Take a different route to and from school. Leave a little earlier or later to avoid the bully.
Sit near the bus driver on the school bus or walk with a teacher to classes.
Don't bring expensive things or money to school.
Label your belongings with permanent marker in case they get stolen.
Avoid unsupervised areas of the school and situations where you are by yourself. Make sure you're not alone in the locker room or bathroom.
Act confident. Hold your head up, stand up straight, and make eye contact.
Brainstorm bully comebacks ahead of time, and practice them in the mirror. That way you'll have them ready when you need them!
Sometimes, a situation with one bully is settled, but then another bully comes along and takes his or her place. There are many things you can do to make sure that doesn't happen.
Bullies are really good at making people think they deserve to be treated badly. That's absolutely wrong. Keep telling yourself that you're a great person who deserves respect and kindness from others.
Learn to be proud of your differences. Why would you want to be like that bully anyway? Never be ashamed of an illness or disability. The sooner you feel okay with it, other people will too.
Spend lots of time with your friends. If you don't have any real friends, work on making new ones by developing interests in social or physical activities.
Keep a journal about bullying incidents and how they make you feel, as well as bullying that happens to other people. You can also fill a journal with positives: all the things you like about yourself, your plans for the future, etc.
A Pep Talk to Myself:
If none of this helps and the bullying you're experiencing is making your life very difficult, talk to your parents about the possibility of changing schools. You and your family might feel like this is giving in, but in the end, it may be worth it to get on with your life and be happy.
In the next section, we talk about bullying and Innocent Bystanders.
October 25-29 is Red Ribbon Week at Oviatt Elementary. The following activities will happen during the week and students are encouraged to participate.
OUR SCHOOL ROCKS DRUG FREE!!!
Monday – “You Stay Strong and Healthy”
Wear a jersey or your favorite team shirt.
Tuesday – “You Look and Feel Better”
Dress like a music or movie star.
Wednesday – “You Show Good Character”
Wear Red to show you “can” say NO to drugs.
*Bring a can or non-perishable food item to school. Thursday – “Your Future is Brighter”
Wear bright colorful clothing.
Friday – “You Make Your School and Family Proud”
Wear Purple and Gold Norwalk Warrior clothing.
Do you feel like you have a big target on your forehead, or maybe a sign on your back that says "Bully Me!" You're not alone. People who do research about bullies found that roughly 25% (that's 1 out of 4) kids experience bullying.
What makes someone that "one" out of the four? Here are some possible reasons:
He's a different size -- smaller or bigger -- than most of other kids their age.
She falls into some type of "minority": African-American kids at a mostly white school, girls in a shop class that's crowded with boys, etc.
There's something that makes him stand out, like a disability that makes him walk or talk differently, or even just his name.
She gets anxious or upset very easily.
He doesn't have any or many friends and is usually alone.
She doesn't have a lot of confidence and doesn't seem like she'll stand up for herself.
Some kids get bullied as a result of a single thing that happened, like an embarrassing moment that took place in front of other people.
You may even find yourself a bully target for no particular reason! Maybe the bully ran out of people to pick on, or you were in the wrong place at the wrong time when someone was feeling particularly mean.
Usually, once someone is singled out by a bully, other people will know that person is a target and start bullying her or him, too.
If you're a bully "target," you have something in common with famous people like Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, and Michelle Pfeiffer. These celebrities have all talked about their own experiences with being bullied. It happens to the best of us!
In the next section, How To Handle It, we look at ways to deal with bullying when it happens and after it happens, as well as how to prevent it from happening in the first place!
Happy Thursday to all and I hope to see everyone at Friday’s football game against Carlisle in Carlisle. The Warriors and Wildcats are both 6-0, so this should be an exciting night of high school football. Please remind your students of expectations while attending athletic events. All Students are expected to be seated in the bleachers during the play of the game, act appropriately, not to loiter in open spaces, and cheer loudly for the Warriors.
We had another great week at Oviatt, did your students tell you about Mr. Martinez's first school tube posting? Ask them if they haven't. School tube is a website used to be able to talk with students weekly and they seem to love it. Mr. Martinez is ready to start handing out his autograph, but no one has asked yet. HA
The month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month and at Oviatt Mrs. Chittenden and I have created PowerPoints teachers will share with students and then Mrs. Chittenden will follow up during guidance with booster lessons. We are working hard through PBIS to engrain the appropriate skills for the students to use daily.
Bullies: What is Bullying?
Bully. What does the word make you think of? For some people, it's that girl at school who always makes fun of them. For others, it's the biggest guy in the neighborhood who's always trying to beat them up or take their things. Sometimes "bully" means a whole group of kids, ganging up on someone else. No matter what situation or form it comes in, bullying can make you feel depressed, hurt, and alone. It can keep you from enjoying the activities and places that are part of your life.
Bullying happens everywhere, whether it's your town or Paris, France. It happens all the time, and it's happened since forever. Because it's so common, many adults think bullying is just a normal part of growing up. You've probably heard parents or teachers say things like: "Don't let it get to you" or "You just have to be tougher."
But why should something that can make a person so miserable have to be part of growing up? The answer is, it doesn't! Each and every one of us has the right to feel safe in our lives and good about ourselves. So IML put together this guide to give you all the basics of dealing with bullies.
Let's start by looking at the different kinds of bullying:
Physical bullying means:
Hitting, kicking, or pushing someone...or even just threatening to do it
Stealing, hiding or ruining someone's things
Making someone do things he or she don't want to do
Verbal bullying means:
Relationship bullying means:
Refusing to talk to someone
Spreading lies or rumors about someone
Making someone do things he or she doesn't want to do
What do all these things have in common? They're examples of ways one person can make another person feel hurt, afraid, or uncomfortable. When these are done to someone more than once, and usually over and over again for a long period of time, that's bullying.
The reason why one kid would want to bully another kid is this: when you make someone feel bad, you gain power over him or her. Power makes people feel like they're better than another person, and then that makes them feel really good about themselves. Power also makes you stand out from the crowd. It's a way to get attention from other kids, and even from adults.
So why would someone need to hurt someone else in order to feel good about themselves or get attention? That's what we explore in the next blog, Who's A Bully?
Did You Know...The word "bully" used to mean the total opposite of what it means now? Five-hundred years ago, it meant friend, family member, or sweetheart. The root of the word comes from the Dutch boel, meaning lover or brother. Big change!
Bullies:Who’s A Bully?
Wouldn't it be great to peek inside someone's head, reading his or her thoughts? Let's take a look inside a bully's head. It helps us understand why he or she acts the way she does, and also helps us know how to deal with it.
Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are bigger or taller than everyone. Some get in trouble a lot. Some are popular kids who seem to "have it all," with lots of friends and good grades. But look inside their heads and you'll find one thing that they all have in common: Something or someone is making them feel insecure, so they're bullying to make themselves feel better.
Remember, though, that everyone is different and lives with different experiences. If we looked even more inside a person's head, we'd probably find some extra reasons why he or she is acting like a bully:
She's having problems in other parts of her life, like something going on in her family or struggling with school.
He may not feel like he's getting enough attention from parents or teachers.
She's watched her parents or older siblings get their way by being angry or pushing other people around.
He's being bullied himself, maybe by another kid or a brother or sister...or even his own parents.
Her parents have spoiled her or haven't taught her about not hurting others.
He's getting exposed to a lot of violence in movies, TV, and video games.
What about the person who's always nice to you when he's alone, but will join in when his friends start teasing you? Well, as you probably know, peer pressure is a powerful thing. People like to do what their friends are doing. They might think they're just having fun and not even realize they're bullying someone.
Some people act like a bully for a year or two, and then grow out of it. It can also go the opposite way: some people are bullied when they're younger, and then once they're a little bigger and more confident, become a bully themselves. Some kids only act like a bully to one person, like they have their own personal punching bag.
Some bullies set out to hurt someone, with the goal of making him or her cry. Others don't even know that their behavior is doing so much damage. In fact, you may be a bully yourself and not know it! We'll talk more about that later.
So, wow. Lots of different types of bullies out there. The good news is that we can deal with all of them in the same way.
I am attempting my first blog and excited to try.I am taking a class with Mrs. Anderson titled Technology Boot Camp through School Administrators of Iowa (SAI).The training is Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday all day.Look out technology world; we will leave this training tomorrow being technology savvy.I hope to use this as a form of communication with parents, please feel free to leave comments on my blog or email me at email@example.com.
Remember that Monday will be a professional development day for the staff. You may ask yourself, "What in the world do teachers do during full day training?" The teachers will be trained on assessment measures in Reading and Math. They will also start working with Tony Wagner's book, Global Achievement Gap.Reading that book has really changed my thinking about some of the teaching practices that we choose to do. I hope that it makes your child's teacher think also.
A compliment to our kids and parents about being respectful during the National Anthem at home games. I have been to some of the away football games and have noticed how other schools’ students can be disrespectful during this ceremony. I am proud to say how respectful our kids have been during this part of the game.
The beginning of the year has be a great start at Oviatt.I feel both teachers and students have transitioned very well both socially and academically. Thanks for your support in allowing this to happen.
Here are some important dates that you need to be aware:
October 11th- NO SCHOOL
October 20th- Early Out
As always, if you have a concern, please feel free to email me a call.