Not all fighting is bullying. This is
important to understand. Especially school-age boys mix it up —
they push, they shove, they get into fights…and fighting is
wrong, but not all fighting is bullying.
Bullying involves four things: Number one: aggressive behavior that’s
violent. What’s the difference between aggression
and violence? Aggression is the force you need to protect your boundaries. Violence is that same force used to
violate the boundaries of others. So if a kid is violating the boundaries
of another kid that’s called violence; its aggressive
violence, and that’s the first thing that’s needed in order for
it to be bullying. Number two: is the intention to cause harm or
humiliation. There’s the intent to humiliate the
other person. Bullies like audiences and so
they use other kids’ attention in order to
humiliate the victim and there’s the intention to do that.
Three is there’s an imbalance of power. Now that imbalance can be intellectual,
it can be physical, it can be social, it can be emotional…There are
different ways you can have an imbalance of power but there has to be an
imbalance of power in order for bullying to take place.
Number four is important: there’s the likelihood that it’s going to be
repeated. This isn’t just a one-off fight… This isn’t just a scuffle that happened
once in isn’t gonna happen again. This is something that has the threat of
being repeated: That’s bullying. Okay, what do we tell our
kids when they’ve been bullied? Number one:
tell your kid to look the bully in the eye and say “stop
it — it’s not funny” and you get out of the situation.
Bullies need an audience; don’t give them an audience. So you get
yourself out of the situation. If you see another kid who is being bullied
you say to the kid “Hey! Come here! I need to talk to you”…
and you guys leave — get outta there. You can grab him by the backpack if you
need to pull him out of the situation and go say “look we gotta talk about
homework let’s go” and you get out of the situation. Remove yourself from the
audience. That’s key. Tell an adult and keep
telling until somebody listens. It’s very unfortunate but most teachers
don’t understand bullying they don’t understand the criteria that
I just outlined for you so they don’t know it when it’s happening. They think it’s just a scuffle. They don’t
know that it’s going to be repeated and they don’t know there’s an intent to
cause harm or humiliation so the teacher doesn’t know how to deal
with it. So tell your kid to keep talking until somebody listens.
Keep your parents in the loop. If you are having this repetitive
bullying going on you’ve gotta be talking to your parents — you
gotta keep them in the loop. The school really has to get involved.
In order to really effectively stop bullying there’s a whole community reaction that needs
to happen. We all need to raise our awareness that bullying needs to stop and we need to
stop it together. And if it really gets bad seek professional
help. Now what if you’ve been the bully? You can make a decision right now today
to stop it. Stop bullying. Bullying is always wrong. Make a
commitment to yourself and to God: you’re not going to do it anymore.
And there’s a second thing — and it’s the most important thing you need to do: Make the decision to be kind to a kid
who’s been bullied. We know that kids who have been bullied say
the thing that’s helped them the most to deal with the bullying is when some other kid has decided to be
kind to them and has taken acts of kindness and directed
them towards the kid who’s been bullied. You can make a difference in the life of
another kid has been bullied by you deciding to be kind to that kid.
Bullying — whether you’re the victim of bullying or you’ve been a bully — needs to stop.
We can stop that together. Let’s work together to stop bullying.
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