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Susie
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 9:21:07 AM
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Joined: 2/11/2010
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Location: United States
I need a little help here please. I am putting together a campaign about bullying; going to various schools and talking to kids about handling bullying, identifying, etc...
My problem is I want to relate to the kids (middle school- high school -about 11 to 17 years old) on their level.
I want my point to come across clear and yet I don't want to dictate to them or talk at them.
What are some words/phrases that I could use that are appropriate. I even have considered using some "curse" words as my daughter says it would be fine, kids swear all the time. I don't like that idea as it brings me to a different level, but kids do listen to that type of talk all the time.
I am at a loss here. What is a good way to reach these kids? What is some good "verbage" that will hit home with them? I have stories, videos and acutal victims that can help relay the message, but what can I use personally? I am a mother, but don't want to come across to the kids as someone's mother that is just scolding them.
redsxz
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 9:38:24 AM
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Joined: 9/27/2009
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Personally from experience the best educators are those who retain their own personality, so don't use "hip" speak jsut for the sake of it, yet are open, sincere, relaxed tone, a sense of humour though that's probably not applicable here. Coming as a student again, I always appreciate it when I'm talked to as an adult.
uuaschbaer
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 9:41:14 AM

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Joined: 10/18/2009
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I couldn't advise trying to connect with them this way. They will know what you'll be doing and it puts them in a position of power. Why not involve them in the talk themselves, organize a discussion of a kind, let them tell their own stories if they want to. Especially the older ones, they should be more mature and more capable of having a discussion themselves. The younger ones might need to be talked to, unfortunately.
I don't know what the kids are like which makes it difficult to be of any help. Good luck, though!
Kami
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 9:51:37 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/12/2009
Posts: 229
Neurons: 687
Susie wrote:
I need a little help here please. I am putting together a campaign about bullying; going to various schools and talking to kids about handling bullying, identifying, etc...
My problem is I want to relate to the kids (middle school- high school -about 11 to 17 years old) on their level.
I want my point to come across clear and yet I don't want to dictate to them or talk at them.
What are some words/phrases that I could use that are appropriate. I even have considered using some "curse" words as my daughter says it would be fine, kids swear all the time. I don't like that idea as it brings me to a different level, but kids do listen to that type of talk all the time.
I am at a loss here. What is a good way to reach these kids? What is some good "verbage" that will hit home with them? I have stories, videos and acutal victims that can help relay the message, but what can I use personally? I am a mother, but don't want to come across to the kids as someone's mother that is just scolding them.


That would be a great effort. What i can suggest is that you may first of all choose to dramatize the message across as it will produce more effective results. If you choose to dramatize it, you'll need to work with someone who's good at bullying,(probably some kids too)so that you, acting the part of the one being bullied, will actually demonstrate the practical and of course negative consequences the bullying had on you for others to judge. From there you may proceed with lectures.
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 9:55:33 AM
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Joined: 10/31/2009
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Congratulations on your taking up such a noble campaign, Susie!
I am fully in support of all those efforts that go towards putting an end to bullying.
I think you are right, you should try to use 'smart' or 'hip' language of the kids. Your daughter might be able to help you to know some of that. This would help you to relate to them, and vice versa. Start with a slightly light topic, and then move on to more serious issues like bullying. The transition has to be clever though. As others have said, and you being a mother yourself must be knowing it only too well, kids can be a bit hard to teach something if they think they are being dictated.
So, just take it easy and go slow on them.
My best wishes for your noble endeavor.
E-Minor
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 10:13:11 AM
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Joined: 11/4/2009
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Location: Ontario Canada
I have to agree with the others, trying to speak their 'language' may come across as false and defeat the purpose of your talk. I do safety training and I find visual aids and movie/tv references to speak louder than words. Perhaps using clips from movies or videos that the kids can relate to might be a good approach. But definitely getting the kids themselves involved would create discussion and debate, making it personal for them. Your role could be more of a facilitator and perhaps a couple of kids in each group who may be willing to speak out against it, might be more effective.

Luckily my son is older now (20), but when he was in grade school and high school, it was always a worry for me. He had said that he was occassionally bullied, but he chose to fight back, because he said if he didn't the bullying would only get worse. Unfortunately, this approach resulted in him getting into trouble with school officals (detentions, even a suspension). I think it has gotten much more difficult for kids to deal with bullying today, as so many schools have a 'zero tolerance for violence' and anyone involved, whether they are the bully or defending themselves, gets into trouble. His advice to a friend's child who was being bullied and was not the 'fight back' type, was to stay in groups, don't wander off alone and try to align himself with a couple of 'fighters'. My son has one really close friend who was often bullied - he told me that my son and a few others were his 'protectors' in school...I thought that was nice.
Sal
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 10:31:13 AM
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Susie, may I offer some suggestions. My son has been bullied and is now being called a "behavior issue" by his school because he is simply sick of the treatment and refuses to be a victim and thus has used some not so nice language in an attempt to defend himself.

My suggestions:
Telling kids to "ignore" or to "just walk away" simply does not work. The bad guys just follow.

Finding an advocate does not always work and kids are very good at figuring out that you have told on them and then acting all sweet and nice when the advocate is around and then attacking the first chance they get.

Stating that "that hurts my feelings or treat me with respect" does not work. The kids just laugh.

Please make sure the school staff understand that bullying is not just violent threats and language. It also includes language meant to hurt and crush. My son was adopted and has routinely been called "the abortion" this year. Our school does not recognize that language as bullying, but when my son replied "shut your f-n mouth or I will shut it for you" he was labeled as the behavior problem.

Keep in mind that many kids that bully have themselves been bullied. If a kid is treatening others, we need to find out why. Chances are they have been or are currently being degraded on a daily basis.

Zero tolerance policies which punish the use of violent terminology in language and which do not address mean and demoralizing speeech are inherently not just and unfortunately routinely embraced by school districts.

If you have any great lines to use in response to being called an abortion, I would love to share them with my son.
Cat
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 10:39:43 AM

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Joined: 4/10/2010
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Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
I second Kami's suggestion. Role Playing would be a strong message. Several "skits" that demonstrate bullying and ways of dealing with bullying. From personal experience I find bullying to be difficult to deal with. ANY response can fuel more taunts. Silence doesn't usually work either. It depends on the bully. Several examples of possible solutions might resonate with the students. A friend of mine has studied bullying and has written an unpublished manuscript on the subject of solutions. Basically, she told me the idea is to starve the bully of material to use against the victim. Any reactions feed a bully's momentum.
vhishious
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 11:16:55 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/6/2009
Posts: 83
Neurons: 171
Dear Susie,
Fueled by the well-meaning and humanitarian intentions underlying it, your post absolutely made my day! To think someone would singularly take it upon themselves to address such a worrying and sad phenomenon plaguing our society is nothing short of saintly. I will advise that you make your message as dramatic as possible,relaying real sad stories of victims of bullying, how some went to the "extreme" extent of quitting school altogether and committing suicide. It should be like a parable; teach them a moral lesson.
Good Luck!
Raparee
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 11:30:25 AM

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Joined: 3/17/2009
Posts: 1,228
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Sal has some excellent points. Most of the strategies adults recommend for bullying simply don't work. Short of standing up for yourself and getting in trouble for self-defense, there really isn't much that DOES work in my experience. Zero Tolerance policies are often overboard and fail to look at the situations; they also don't address the problem at all, just the results of the problem.
Susie
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 11:33:13 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/11/2010
Posts: 381
Neurons: 1,154
Location: United States
Sal wrote:
Susie, may I offer some suggestions. My son has been bullied and is now being called a "behavior issue" by his school because he is simply sick of the treatment and refuses to be a victim and thus has used some not so nice language in an attempt to defend himself.

My suggestions:
Telling kids to "ignore" or to "just walk away" simply does not work. The bad guys just follow.

Finding an advocate does not always work and kids are very good at figuring out that you have told on them and then acting all sweet and nice when the advocate is around and then attacking the first chance they get.

Stating that "that hurts my feelings or treat me with respect" does not work. The kids just laugh.

Please make sure the school staff understand that bullying is not just violent threats and language. It also includes language meant to hurt and crush. My son was adopted and has routinely been called "the abortion" this year. Our school does not recognize that language as bullying, but when my son replied "shut your f-n mouth or I will shut it for you" he was labeled as the behavior problem.

Keep in mind that many kids that bully have themselves been bullied. If a kid is treatening others, we need to find out why. Chances are they have been or are currently being degraded on a daily basis.

Zero tolerance policies which punish the use of violent terminology in language and which do not address mean and demoralizing speeech are inherently not just and unfortunately routinely embraced by school districts.

If you have any great lines to use in response to being called an abortion, I would love to share them with my son.



*** I am so sorry your son has been put through this. This is a very good example of why something has to be done and now.
My goal is to get through to the bullies mainly so to have them re-think this behavior. You are right, they are responding to something in their own life and that is where the problem stems.
I read that kids who are overweight are more the target, followed by lower income and "nerdy". Being an adopted child never crossed my mind. Something he may be able to respond to, is "if know anything it would be that abortion is death and I am alive because my family loves me". And nothing else, let the bully consider that.
Also, there are more and more states considering and enforcing laws against bullying. Something you may want to relay to the school and let your son know that if it continues his family may take that route. I hate to answer a threat with another or bullying with more- but where to do go?
This is my mission to help kids who are bullied to know where to go for help and for those who bully to end it!
It has to stop and much of the responsibility comes from the parents- second the kids, and lastley the schools. We put so much on the schools to deal with our kids. I could go on forever, so I will have to end now. But I hope this helps a bit and I commend you for being supportive to your son even thought the school isn't-
Thanks all for the help.
Raparee
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 11:42:45 AM

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Joined: 3/17/2009
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Susie wrote:
Also, there are more and more states considering and enforcing laws against bullying. Something you may want to relay to the school and let your son know that if it continues his family may take that route. I hate to answer a threat with another or bullying with more- but where to do go?

I am actually for classifying extreme and repeated bullying as a hate crime with the juvenile arrests and penalties. Society is getting more and more vicious and yet we tend to treat all those below a certain age as "innocent." When have you met an "innocent" teenager? No, they haven't fully matured and they are not as cognizant of consequences, but they also know EXACTLY what they are doing when they do it, even if they have no concept of what it means long-term or the effects on the other person(s).

This is the problem with bullying: there is no respect taught for anything or anyone and there are often no consequences for ill-conceived actions. Parents are often "bullied" by the media and social convictions to not control and/or punish their children, so they don't learn how to parent and the children rule. This carries on into the children believing they can get away with anything. There was a story about a 16yo, I believe, who physically assaulted her parents because they took her cellphone away. Both parents required medical attention. Story here.

Bullying starts with the parents being parents and it has to start young. Trying to change that mindset in middle-school or later is almost like fighting a brick wall.
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 11:47:49 AM

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Suzie,

I've been out of this topic a few years now, we went in one side and out the other and it's going to take me a while to find my resources.

If you've not seen this: HRSA: Stop bullying now, there might be some help there.

I remember the counselor at my child's middle school used a program called "Full Esteem Ahead". It was preliminary at that time and I've not followed-up to see whether it still exists.

I do agree with those who said "Don't try to be one of the kids." You need to be you, older, more experienced, and wiser.

You might also try searching sites about peer counseling, peer advocates, peer dispute resolution.
Susie
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:03:52 PM
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Location: United States
RuthP wrote:
Suzie,

I've been out of this topic a few years now, we went in one side and out the other and it's going to take me a while to find my resources.

If you've not seen this: HRSA: Stop bullying now, there might be some help there.

I remember the counselor at my child's middle school used a program called "Full Esteem Ahead". It was preliminary at that time and I've not followed-up to see whether it still exists.

I do agree with those who said "Don't try to be one of the kids." You need to be you, older, more experienced, and wiser.

You might also try searching sites about peer counseling, peer advocates, peer dispute resolution.


@*@*@*@*@ Great site, thank you, it's just what I was looking for!!
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:05:36 PM

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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
I am so glad!
oxymoron
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:37:07 PM
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Luftmarque
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:42:25 PM

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Kids usually have excellent bullshit detectors (it's one of those skills that's hard to maintain as we age). Just be yourself, your intention is good and sincere, that should be ebough.
HWNN1961
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 2:26:56 PM
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Susie,

In no particular order, from my nephew's language:

"up in your/my grill". Someone trying to incite or piss you off.

"dis". Disrespect, mocking.

"peeps". Friends.

"crew". Same as peeps.

Those are what I can think of off the top. But, mostly agree with the earlier posts about being yourself.
pigwidgeon
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 2:40:05 PM
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Susie
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 2:51:53 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/11/2010
Posts: 381
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Location: United States
HWNN1961 wrote:
Susie,

In no particular order, from my nephew's language:

"up in your/my grill". Someone trying to incite or piss you off.

"dis". Disrespect, mocking.

"peeps". Friends.

"crew". Same as peeps.

Those are what I can think of off the top. But, mostly agree with the earlier posts about being yourself.


~~~~ much thanks to your nephew (and you). I will try being myself at first and see the response I get.
BTW:: I am a pretty witty person and have really good oneliners that even my 15 year old chuckles at. I feel really good about this endeavor I am embarking on. Thank you all for the assistance- greatly appreciated
Susie
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 4:28:52 PM
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Joined: 2/11/2010
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Location: United States


~~~~ Also a great site. I am very happy to see that there is so much help out there for kids, parents, teachers and others who are interested in helping. It is bitter sweet though as this just solidifies the fact this is a serious problem we face.
I am overwhelmed by the out pouring of responses- the majority positive. This really does drive my ambition further into wanting to make a difference.
chitta chatta
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 8:11:34 PM
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Joined: 2/22/2010
Posts: 407
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Location: Australia
Susie said: I need a little help here please. I am putting together a campaign about bullying... My problem is I want to relate to the kids... on their level... I want my point to come across clear and yet I don't want to dictate to them or talk at them.

My reply: So many good comments to make this thread worthwhile ingesting! May I suggest that because kids have so much reading to do, and if there is paperwork involved, do not give them hand-outs (1) due to their heavy homework commitment (2) because some are unskilled readers. Give only bullying-contact-referral-numbers of community/government support groups (phone/websites). If paperwork is necessary, do it within course. Plus, make it brief as possible due to kids having short attention spans - if longer, break it up into modules for different days. If the training must remain longer, use "Ice-Breakers" - three kinds which everyone can join in:- Alternate from (i) introducing each person to one-another in the room, to (ii) mental (i.e. start a silly "Chinese whisper" to show how things get mis-understood at the end of the line), and (iii) physical skits to relieve boredom. At the end of each break have "chew"-lollies in a jar available on your desk (i.e. Minties). Finally, do a re-enactment of the course in front of a private audience, asking for written (no-name) feedback on your performance (people are more critically up-front in writing than in person) - and do so with two "test" groups. Give examples of "SUCCESSFUL" disability and/or overweight people. Maybe, invite grown-adults to discuss how they handled bullies (be careful to check their "Child Safety Card", + do so only with school counsel approval). Hoping this will be of help.
runtonboy
Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 11:19:34 AM
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If you want to relate to "kids" on their own level stop calling them "baby goats" because that's what "kids" are!
Raparee
Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 11:21:27 AM

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Joined: 3/17/2009
Posts: 1,228
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runtonboy wrote:
If you want to relate to "kids" on their own level stop calling them "baby goats" because that's what "kids" are!

Quibble over that one all you want, it's not going away anytime soon.
Tovarish
Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 11:37:41 PM
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Location: Booligal, New South Wales, Australia
Sal, I have a friend who's daughter was adopted and her reply to bullies commenting on her adoption was,
"My parents chose me, yours were stuck with you" was always good for a few minutes peace.

I truly believe there has to be a school policy on 'harassment' not bullying, as that sound diminished, like 'joy riding' for stealing a car.

Name names, make an official complaint to the school.
Insist on a 'safe school' policy.
Request an interview with the harassers parents on a school level.
Do you home work on a civil level, regarding what action can be taken against the school and the offending children and their parents.
There have been children in Australian schools who have taken their own lives because of constant harassment.
The consequences are dire, GET TOUGH!
chitta chatta
Posted: Friday, May 7, 2010 3:34:12 AM
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Joined: 2/22/2010
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Location: Australia
Tovarish said: Sal, I have a friend who's daughter was adopted and her reply to bullies commenting on her adoption was, "My parents chose me, yours were stuck with you" was always good for a few minutes peace.

Applause, applause.. that is the BEST comeback I've heard!!
Tovarish
Posted: Friday, May 7, 2010 3:55:21 AM
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Location: Booligal, New South Wales, Australia
CC, another family I know had 2 adopted children then one of their own.
The little adopted girl rationalised it all by saying
"My brother and I, we came from the factory, our baby brother came from the hospital"
It worked for her!
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