Monday, December 22, 2008

Dealing with Bullies

hey all, I just recieved this in my email. This is very important especially for the parents I know that have kids who are DEAF/HARD OF HEARING and get bullied at school. PLEASE READ!! Remember this is from an email I got today. I didnt WRITE THIS!

I remember back in school was awful for me. I was scared of most of the kids because all I remember them saying was " deaf girl" " WHAT WHAT". Ill never forget these times because it happened mostly everyday. I also remember one time a kid threw my FM SYSTEM off my desk. I cried and I never told my parents ever even till this day THEY HAVE NO IDEA! I know alot about being bullied and I hate when I see children go through what I have been through. It is horrifying!

Here are some helpful things you may want to use:

Any student who is different in any way may be made fun of and bullied due to a lack of understanding, but special needs children are an easier target. Special needs children may talk differently, behave differently or interact socially in ways that appear inappropriate or strange to other kids their age because of their diagnosed condition.

While children should learn to accept constructive criticism, deal with occasional tactless remarks and forgive accidental touching, they often need adult help with bullying, whether verbal or physical. Here are some ways to intervene that will protect your children when you can’t be with them.

1) Make sure that communication lines are open and encourage kids to tell you about daily events. Listen carefully when children complain about being taunted, threatened, pushed or hit by other kids. Don’t dismiss their grief with, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Name-calling does hurt and can wound a child’s self-esteem.

2) Talk with children about these options for countering verbal or physical attacks without being mean or violent: Ask the bully to leave you alone and tell him or her that you are not interested in such comments, threats, etc.; If possible, walk away from the bully; Sometimes a humorous response might work. For example, if someone calls you a name, you might say, “I didn’t know that. Thank you very much.” Maybe the bully will be so surprised, he will leave you alone; Discuss the problem with a nearby adult such as a neighbor, a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, a school psychologist or a principal. Also ask your friends for advice.

3) Point out to children that when someone insults them with cruel words, these words do not make the insult true. Bullies often power-trip by trying to make others feel bad about themselves. Children can thwart bullies by retaining their own self-confidence and happiness. Remind kids that they have friends and family members who like them and care about them and see them as good and nice people.

4) Teach children that no matter how big, strong or popular someone is, he or she does not have the right to hurt our bodies or our feelings. All kids deserve respect.

5) Help children understand that other kids may need them to stand up against a bully. Kids should find a way to prevent bullies from hurting anyone, and a group of children may be able to stop harassment. It is not tattling to tell an adult that a bully or a gang is planning to attack someone. If one adult will not listen, children need to keep telling adults until someone assists them.

6) Urge children to tell you or other adults if they see kids carrying weapons.

7) If bullying occurs at school, talk with teachers or with the principal. Encourage them to hold class workshops on bullying with trained social workers or psychologists. Reading and discussing relevant juvenile literature, such as How the Moon Regained Her Shape, can help families and classes to open up the topic and discuss the negative impact of bullying. My sister, whose son has autism, sometimes goes to his school to explain to his classmates why he has so much trouble speaking. This gives the students and the teacher knowledge that fosters understanding. Also, suggest that the school officials establish a strong anti-bullying policy to keep kids safe. Many schools have a “Bully Box” to allow students to report harassment without signing their names. Occasionally, teachers or coaches may bully children, in which case parents or guardians need to intervene and inform appropriate officials.

8) Consider giving your children basic training in self-defense. There are many classes for youngsters in karate, judo, aikido and other martial arts. Such training can give children self-confidence and teach them how to block blows, discourage attackers and get away. Children with hearing loss, low vision or who are wheelchair-bound can do well in self-defense courses and competitions.

9) Dispel myths about bullies. Bullies can be any size, gender, age and skin color. We need to help children understand that bullying is not cool and that they have a right to counter bullies in any constructive way.

10) And lastly, if your child is the bully: The reasons behind bullying are numerous. Some bullies do not know how to treat others with respect because they see and hear disrespect from their parents or other relatives, they may not know how to react to differences or they may like to power-trip by insulting or hitting people. Depending on the issue that makes them behave this way, they may need the help of a good psychologist or social worker to find better ways to deal with anger, jealousy or other triggering emotions.

Teach your children not to bully others and to value their own bodies. Point out that everyone’s body is different and that we all have different strengths and weaknesses. Each one of us has a body that is right for him or her. Discuss questions like these with your family: Is anyone’s body perfect? What kinds of comments about someone’s appearance are appropriate? Do we have a right to make remarks that may hurt other people’s feelings? How can we have friendly arguments? What is appropriate to e-mail or post on the Internet?
By:Janet Heller

Janet also published a book about bullying: " How the Moon Regained Her Shape" from (Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2006 hardback, 2007 paperback). You can purchased it here


Jennifer Bruno Conde said...

Very powerful advice, Dani. Bullying is a very serious problem and you gave specific, concrete tips for dealing with bullies.

Good job!


Janet Heller said...

Dear Dani,

Thank you for posting my "10 Tips about Bullying" on your website. I would appreciate your including my name next to my advice on dealing with bullies. Also, please mention my book for kids about bullying, How the Moon Regained Her Shape (Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2006 hardback, 2007 paperback).

Thank you very much.

Janet Ruth Heller, author

Danielle said...

Janet- I got an email and It didnt say are name. I will deafinitely add you! thanks