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Friday, February 11, 2011

Diffusing Potentially Violent Situations: Teach Kids How to Deal with Bullies

This is a guest post. Show some love to Kitty, for her awesome article.

Bullying has received much airplay in the media lately, and it has become a growing concern
now that more and more children are using technologies like cell phones and the Internet. Some
studies have suggested that bullying is more rampant now than ever before, especially in light of
several teen suicides resulting from excessive bullying. The truth, however, is there are now
more opportunities and venues to bully given the rising use of communication technology.
Despite the media attention, however, bullies have existed for centuries. It's not a very new
phenomenon. While some schools are responding to bullying very strictly, completely banning
bullying with threats of first-time offense expulsion, an article in the Huffington Post suggests
that children should learn how to deal with bullies.
For one, most bullies are the object of bullying themselves. Children are not naturally mean.
Whether taking their aggression out because of problems in the home, or being harassed by other
students, bullies project their own fears through aggressive and abusive tactics. Children who are
being bullied should, first and foremost, understand that this behavior, no matter how mean,
results from the bully's inherent insecurities. When a child who is being bullied realizes this, she
will be a little bit bolder in her desire to negotiate and diffuse a potentially violent situation.
For elementary-aged kids, the most important thing to remember is that bullies crave reaction. So
teach your kids not to react to bullies, whether it's by fighting back, crying, or getting flustered or
angry. While this is probably easier said than done, it will be much easier if you impress upon
your child a bully's relative harmlessness. Most don't resort to violence immediately, and a
potentially violent situation can be diffused by using words, calmly and carefully. Explain to
your child that words, if used intelligently, can be more powerful forces for change than acts of
Of course, if your child feels that she is actually in danger, and her attempts to negotiate with the
bully are in vain, she should report to you or another adult like a teacher or principal. However,
even though getting one bully to stop may work in the short-term, it's best to equip your child
with skills so as not to become a target of repeated bullying. Communicate with your children
often so that they will open up to you if they are being harrassed by bullies. Coach your child,
instilling her with self-confidence so that she won't be fazed when the next bully comes around.
Kitty Holman, regularly writes on the topics of nursing colleges. She welcomes your comments
at her email Id:

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