This morning, on the way to school, my daughter Kaidance, was telling me how this girl in her grade, who she has had trouble with since elementary school, still hates her and makes mean comments to her every day. She tells Kaidance she is ugly, that her hair is frizzy and tries to cut in front of her in lines.
What I love is that Kaidance will not tolerate it!
The school motto for dealing with bullies is
"Be a buddy not a bully, just walk away."
Our family motto for bullying is to fight back! No, I don't want my kids to get in physical altercations, nor do I want them to be unkind, I do want them to use their wit and confidence to cause the bully to stand down.
Kaidance told me when she will not let the girl cut in line, the girl ramps up the intensity by asking her why her hair is so frizzy or telling everyone she is ugly. No matter what the girls says or does Kaidance stands her ground and does not move. This infuriates the girl till she walks away!
I get what the school is trying to do, bullying has become an epidemic and they are trying to give kids tools to deal with it but ignoring someone does not work!
In my practice I see a lot of victims of domestic violence and abuse of all kinds. I never tell clients to just be a buddy to their abuser or walk away. It. Does. Not. Work. The person who is quiet and unwilling to defend themselves is seen as week by the perpetrator.
A woman who is being beaten, continues to be beaten if she just ignores or abuser.
A country who is threatening to nuke us will not stand down because we ignore them.
A husband will not stop using words as weapons because he is ignored.
The mean neighbor, who does stuff to get reactions, will not stop because you ignore them.
Ignoring people or problems do not make them go away. It just causes the intensity to increase. Why? Because the person is wanting a reaction, they do not care if it is positive or negative, they want something!
Here is how you deal with a bully:
- You show unwavering confidence.
- You use your words to fight back.
- You do not tolerate disrespect of any kind.
When the girl tells my daughter her hair is frizzy, I tell her to reply with “I actually love my frizzy hair!”
When the girls tells her she is ugly, I tell her to reply by saying “I am glad I do not look like you.”
Eventually, the girl will realize Kaidance is unmoved by her comments and will give up because bullies only bully those who think is weak. My daughter is not weak, so soon the girl will have to move on to someone else.
Raise your kids to be strong, confident and to demand respect! That is not unkind, it is loving yourself.