Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don’t Judge the Bully

Even in our sweet little country town, there are bullies masquerading in clean-cut haircuts and Abercrombie polos. They can be found in the schoolyard, on the bus, and even in my neighborhood. They taunt, push, spit, steal seats and say stupid things like, “Nobody likes you,” and “You’re gay.”

In the Yahoo News article by Steven Nelson, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signs ‘Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights’ into law, State Sen. Diane Allen said, “We cannot change human nature, we can change how government and school officials respond to unacceptable behavior.”

Bullies are not new. I remember watching them beat up the same kid every day. I didn't know what to do and I still regret not doing anything.  My kids will not regret.  I put together four simple rules for my kids to follow:
  1. Don’t be The Bully. You can’t control others, but you can yourself. Joining a Bully makes you a Bully.
  2. Help the underdog. You don’t have a choice. You must help. Even if you feel weird, even if it makes you unpopular, and even if you’re scared. Helping may be telling a teacher. Doing nothing makes you a Bully.
  3. Never hit first. Always hit back. If someone lays their hands, feet or teeth on you, hit them back harder.
  4. Never hit a girl, even if she’s The Bully. Let God take care of her punishment.
I tell my kids to think about what a terrible life The Bully must have. Maybe The Bully has a mean daddy who hits him every night. Maybe The Bully has a mean older brother, or a dying parent.

Don’t be The Bully , Don’t put up with The Bully and Don’t judge The Bully.

How do you teach your kids about bullying?
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  1. Great looking book, congratulations on its forthcoming publication.

    Bullying; it needs to be stopped. There's too many school brushing it under the carpet, my daughter's first school for one. She has to put up with a lot of nasty and snide remarks from her peers - she's autistic, but she's still human.

    CJ xx

  2. I think you've got some good rules in place. I have a son and a daughter. I always tell my son never to hit a girl but with my daughter I have to tell her not all little boys are raised that way. I have to tell her not to hit anyone unless she's prepared to be hit back.

  3. I totally agree. I hate bullies and am often outraged at the stories I hear but at the same time I do think you have to fight back.

  4. I agree as well. Kids need to help put a stop to bullying as well as know to protect themselves!

  5. I’m glad to see everyone’s so passionate about bullying. Our school has a 0-tollerance policy. Kids are rewarded for kind behavior and reprimanded for bad. There are still those dark corners in the hall and back rows on the bus, where the rules above come in handy.
    Thanks for all of your comments!
    My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

  6. I think bullying has gone too far. Kids are so mean and I am not looking forward to my girls being in school for this reason. I hope that we have taught our daughter to respect others and herself, and that means not letting others pick on her. Thanks for the follow, I am following back

  7. Bullying is awful. I don't have children yet, but I already worry about what's ahead. Thank you for stopping by my blog...following back!

    Mrs. H

  8. What a wonderful lesson for your children. I remember some times in my youth that I wish I had done something ~ anything ~ when I faced with situations were action needed to be taken. I grew up a shy, timid little girl (believe it or not) where calling attention to myself would have been unthinkable. Wise words ~ "do something"

  9. I'm from the old school of parenting. One day when my stepson was fourteen, the school called me in. My stepson had broken a kid's nose. The other kid's father asked me what I was going to do about it. When I asked my stepson who threw the first punch, he said the other kid. The principal concurred. I then told the father that I wasn't going to do anything, his kid deserved what he got. My stepson still got detention and when he asked me why wasn't I going to say something in his defense I told him that if he didn't know how to avoid a fight, or wasn't smart enough to take it off the school playground, he needed to learn a lesson and detention was a good place to think about it. I think defending yourself against a bully is good. Learning tactics on how to avoid fights is better. Of course I taught him after that. I think if more bullies got their butts kicked and didn't have their parents protecting them, they'd stop.

  10. Hi, nice to meet you. Another writer and about children. I love the title of your book.
    As far as the questions, I share the same as 1-4, although not obvious, but I think my children understands me. I need to work on #3 & #4 -haven't really talked about it or brainwash them about it yet. :-)

  11. I chased some bullies in my car one afternoon when I saw them picking on a smaller, younger child on his bike. They were in a parking lot, and I blocked them from reaching the boy, giving him a chance to get away. Then I chased them! The ring leader managed to get away, but I caught up with the other two and gave them a tongue-lashing. They really looked ashamed of themselves. I hope they remember me!!

  12. Hello Buffi! First Thank you sooo much for stopping by my little blog and for being #199!! Your book sounds so exciting!! Ugh Bully's, brings back so many memories, and it continues to get worse and there are so many new ways to bully these days. I love how you have taught your kids to deal with them.

  13. I love the rules you have set for your children. Especially the part about helping when your the bystander. That is key to managing bullying in schools. The bystanders are the biggest culprits in continuing bullying. They have to speak up. Either to a teacher or as an advocate for the child being bullied. If enough kids got in front of the child being harassed that bully would have no choice but to back off. If we teach our children that standing up for others is normal then I think that we will see a downfall in the amount of kids being bullied. Great post!

  14. Congrats on your book! I'd love to pick one up when it's published. Fellow Jersey girl here :)
    Debbie from

  15. Thank for joining Surfin' Saturdays! Following back. Have a great weekend!

  16. Timely topic and much needed information for everyone...
    Stopped by to comment/follow your blog back from the blog hop... I already follow your blog
    Have an abundant 2011! :-)
    Positive Kismet Blog

  17. Yay, another NJ mom!! I'm following you back now. I love your site! Those are some great words and thoughts on bullying!

  18. This is a real concern for me. My daughter is 10 and I don't want her self esteem affected by these bully's nor do I want her to be one. Thank you for the post.