Bullying (14): How to help bullying victims

Bullying victim cryingBullying, as you may remember, is the 4th common reasons kids call helpline services. 13% of children aged 15-18 experience continual harassment and 14-48% of children say they have been cyber bullied.

85% of kids who have been bullied via their mobile phone know the bully and 87% of cyber bullies do it through text messaging (SMS), yet 58% of kids do not know how to report cyber bullying.

The results?

75% of victims have symptoms of post-traumatic stress and 65% of them still have those symptoms five years later. In the long term, bullied children are more likely to drop out of school, to use drugs and to use alcohol.

It is critical to our society that we stop this phenomenon.

How to help bullied victims (tips 50-75)

Here are the next 25 tips to help victims of bullying:

  1. When you are scared, ask yourself “What is the worst thing that can happen? Sometimes, thinking about it will help you realize that your bully might just say something annoying or hurtful, but you can choose to ignore it, so it is not that bad.
  2. Avoid arguing with a bully. Bullies create conflicts to make you upset. Do not give them ammunition. Just walk away.
  3. Do your best to have a good relationship with your family. Kids who grow up in supportive and caring families are less likely to be bullied. It is the same for grownups. If they have good relationships at home, they are less likely to be bullied at work, because their home is a source of confidence for them.
  4. Do not seek the approval of a bully. If you need their approval for anything, they will identify it as a weakness and use it against you.
  5. Do not cover up for a bully. Bullies are afraid of being caught, so they will tell you to keep quiet for your own good. When you accept it, you cover up for the bullying. Break the silence!
  6. Never join in when someone else is being abused. Next time, the bully may not have a target and choose you, so make it clear you are against bullying of any kind.
  7. Do not tell other people about your weaknesses. Bullies search for weaker kids to use as victims. Talk about your achievements and strengths more than your weaknesses. Over time, this will also increase your self-confidence and really make you feel stronger.
  8. When someone pressures you to do things you do not want to do, use your parents as an excuse. Say things like, “My mom doesn’t allow me to leave home at night” or “If I do this, my dad will ground me/punish me/take away my mobile phone”.
  9. Limit the time you spend with bullies. If they ask for your time, say, “I only have 2 minutes and then I need to go”. Never say why you need to go or where, because that will be an opening for an argument. When you are busy, it makes you seem confident and confidence is a bully repellent.
  10. If a bully tries to get you to spend private time with them, do your best to avoid it. Say, “I don’t have time now”, “I’m busy” or “Maybe we can meet during lunch time” (when there are other people around).
  11. If someone bullies you on the phone, say, “Oh, I need to go, my mom is calling me” and hang up.
  12. Don’t ask a bully for favors. It makes them feel you need them and they might use it against you.
  13. Bullying victim cryingLearn to stand up straight and shout “NO”. If you say it loudly enough, the bully will be afraid someone might hear and come to help you.
  14. Learn to stand up straight and say “Go away!” If you say it loudly enough, the bully will be afraid someone might hear and come to help you.
  15. Learn to say “Leave me alone” in a solid voice. Do not threaten. You will not really harm the bully, but when you say it confidently (as opposed to whining), it should convince the bully not to mess with you.
  16. Learn to say “Don’t bully me!” Many bullies do not know that what they are doing is bullying. Sometimes, calling their action by a scary name will frighten them too.
  17. Threaten to tell a teacher, parent or another adult. Even if you do not do it, it may be enough to scare the bully away.
  18. Be friendly and associate with kind and caring kids. Bullies stay away from them and it will keep you safe.
  19. If your friends are bullied, go and help them. Even if you go after the bullying is over and show sympathy, it helps. Other victims are likely to do the same when you are bullied.
  20. If someone says bad things about your family, ignore it. If someone says your mom is a monkey, does that make her a monkey? NO. People say all sorts of things when they are angry and weak. Forgive them (even pity them) and move on.
  21. Learn to lose in a game and not make a big deal out of it. Bullies do not like losing, but when they win, they sometimes make a big thing out of it and if you are not a good sport, they will attack you.
  22. Gossip is natural, but sometimes it is used in a bullying way against others. Do not gossip about others. Make the habit of saying only good things about people behind their back. They will pay you back when the time comes and they talk about you. When talking about others, the rule is “Only say things you would say to their face”.
  23. If someone spreads a rumor about you, join in the fun. Do not try to defend yourself. When you defend yourself, you are trapped. Bullies recognize this easily and sometimes even set those traps themselves to find your weakness. When Gal lived in West Granby, CT, his high school sports mascot was the Granby Bear. Some of his friends noticed that Baras sounds like Bear Ass, but Gal thought it was funny too, so it never stuck.
  24. Learn to have a “poker face”. When you seem like nothing bothers you, bullies will leave you alone. See Bullying Defense Skills – The Poker Face.
  25. Learn comeback sentences. Sometimes, saying something in return makes you feel a bit more confident. Make sure it is not intended to humiliate the bully, because they might retaliate, but try saying something like, “Aren’t you tired of this?” or “You are wasting my time”. This will give you an opportunity to walk away with a bit of pride. See these 101 Great Comeback Lines and practice them at home in front of the mirror before you use them.

Join me next week for the last 25 tips to help victims avoid bullying situations and gain confidence. As I said before, confidence is a bullying repellent and is a very good way to stop the cycle of bullying in our life.

Powerful parenting,

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  • http://www.askthejudge.info Judge Tom

    After 23 years in juvenile court, I believe that teenagers often learn from the experiences of their peers, not just from being lectured by those in authority. Consequently, “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” was published in 2010.

    Endorsed by Dr. Phil [“Bullied to Death”], “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” presents real cases of teens in trouble over their online and cell phone activities. Civil & criminal sanctions have been imposed on teens over their emails, blogs, text messages, Facebook and YouTube posts and more. TCI is interactive and promotes education & awareness so that our youth will begin to “Think B4 U Click.”

    Thanks for looking at “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” on http://www.freespirit.com [publisher] or on http://www.askthejudge.info [a free website for & about teens and the laws that affect them.]
    Regards, -Judge Tom

  • http://www.ronitbaras.com/index.php/about/ Ronit Baras

    HI Judge Tom,

    Thank you so much for referring to excellent sites.
    Cyberbullying is really a problem that destroys lives.
    I know of two kids that were bullied for a long time together with cyberbullying. One of them dropped out of school as a result and the other one moved to another school and life is hell for the family still.
    Scary stuff!