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Bullies are Easily Handled

by Joe Lawrence | April 20th, 2016 | Elementary, Safety
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bully“If he does it again, hit him and he will stop.” This is the advice many of us received as youth while discussing the school bully. For many generations the way to deal with bullies was to out-maneuver them or to stand up to them. Thankfully, there are much better ways to do this, and schools are finally getting it right.

I actually heard a teacher mentor another kid about bullying when I was in elementary school. He told him that if the bully in our class kept bothering him to go toe-to-toe. He went on to share how he did this with his childhood bully, and he was respected afterwards.

This advice is what many of us were taught for years. Very few times did the bully run away in fear after we stood our ground. Most of the time, there was a fight that followed, and the bullies often got the upper hand. After all, they are bullies for a reason. Afterward, they typically would not bother the person as much. However, they just moved on to the next person.

Fast forward to today, and schools have zero tolerance policies on bullying. These work very well to deter most bullies. Now when students approach a teacher with news of a bully, they are not told to stand their ground; rather, action is taken. Just the other day I went to a school function with my daughter, and some older kids were being punks. My daughter and her friend left the area saying, “These kids are acting like bullies, let’s leave.” I watched as these kids became petrified of being labeled a bully and quickly apologized.

The schools have taken care of step one: having strict policies against bullies.

The next step was demonstrated perfectly by my beautiful daughter and her friend. Teach our children to always play with at least one friend and stay together. This way they have strength in numbers and can look out for one another. Her friend saw the potential threat and removed herself and my daughter from the situation before it became an issue.

Lastly, if they do not have the numbers or if there is no teacher in sight, that is the time to stand your ground. Teach our children to confidently attempt to walk away. Teach them to look the person in the eye and then excuse themselves from the situation. Then if all else fails, it is time to go toe-to-toe. However, I have taught my daughter that if all else fails and she feels like there is no way out, to throw the first strike. She knows the main areas to cause enough pain for her to get away and get help.

Bullying will always exist. However, we are living in better equipped times, and we can truly teach our children to not be victims.

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