January 16, 2011

How to Deal with Bullies

Yesterday I was MAD AS HELL, learning from my son Rafael that his classmate bullied and hit him again for the nth time. The same boy has been the center of many parents' attention since last year. Many have complained about this boy already. The school talked to the boy's parents many times too, apparently it's not working.

In our home, we do not practice spanking. My husband and I talk to our kids whenever the need arise. Julia, Rafael and Juan, modesty aside, are good kids. Before entering primary school we have informed Rafael and Julia about bullies and what to do with them. We told them to just ignore. Rafael has been ignoring this bully for 2 years now, but this boy has his way of hurting my son and their other classmates. At one time, Rafael was about to go out when this boy 'pretending not to see my son, extended his arm, that hit Rafael's face. I sometimes pop up in school to surprise my kids with a little something (I'm cheesy and thoughtful by heart). This boy, took another boys lunch bag and threw it away. The poor boy wasn't able to do anything but pick his scattered stuff.

Yesterday too, I rant in Facebook about this boy. Thanks to all who express sympathy. I had to delete my FB posts about it because it is not the proper venue to air my son's grievances, but it did help me cool down a bit. Special gratitude goes to my cousin Ate Ricci Mercado for giving me insights on what to do. Ate Ricci is a school teacher based in the U.S., where bullying is more rampant than our country.

Sharing with you some informations about Bullying, in case your kids get in the same situation (I'd rather hope not).

Why Do Bullies Act That Way?

Some bullies are looking for attention. They might think bullying is a way to be popular or to get what they want. Most bullies are trying to make themselves feel more important. When they pick on someone else, it can make them feel big and powerful.

Some bullies come from families where everyone is angry and shouting all the time. They may think that being angry, calling names, and pushing people around is a normal way to act. Some bullies are copying what they've seen someone else do. Some have been bullied themselves.

Sometimes bullies know that what they are doing or saying hurts other people. But other bullies may not really know how hurtful their actions can be. Most bullies don't understand or care about the feelings of others.

Bullies often pick on someone they think they can have power over. They might pick on kids who get upset easily or who have trouble sticking up for themselves. Getting a big reaction out of someone can make bullies feel like they have the power they want. Sometimes bullies pick on someone who is smarter than they are or different from them in some way. Sometimes bullies just pick on a kid for no reason at all.
What to do if you end up face-to-face with the bully:

Preventing a Run-In With a BullyDon't give the bully a chance. As much as you can, avoid the bully. You can't go into hiding or skip class, of course. But if you can take a different route and avoid him or her, do so.

Stand tall and be brave. When you're scared of another person, you're probably not feeling your bravest. But sometimes just acting brave is enough to stop a bully. How does a brave person look and act? Stand tall and you'll send the message: "Don't mess with me." It's easier to feel brave when you feel good about yourself. See the next tip!

Feel good about you. Nobody's perfect, but what can you do to look and feel your best? Maybe you'd like to be more fit. If so, maybe you'll decide to get more exercise, watch less TV, and eat healthier snacks. Or maybe you feel you look best when you shower in the morning before school. If so, you could decide to get up a little earlier so you can be clean and refreshed for the school day.

Get a buddy (and be a buddy). Two is better than one if you're trying to avoid being bullied. Make a plan to walk with a friend or two on the way to school or recess or lunch or wherever you think you might meet the bully. Offer to do the same if a friend is having bully trouble. Get involved if you see bullying going on in your school — tell an adult, stick up for the kid being bullied, and tell the bully to stop.

If The Bully Says or Does Something to You, ignore the bully. If you can, try your best to ignore the bully's threats. Pretend you don't hear them and walk away quickly to a place of safety. Bullies want a big reaction to their teasing and meanness. Acting as if you don't notice and don't care is like giving no reaction at all, and this just might stop a bully's behavior.

Stand up for yourself. Pretend to feel really brave and confident. Tell the bully "No! Stop it!" in a loud voice. Then walk away, or run if you have to. Kids also can stand up for each other by telling a bully to stop teasing or scaring someone else, and then walk away together. If a bully wants you to do something that you don't want to do — say "no!" and walk away. If you do what a bully says to do, they will likely keep bullying you. Bullies tend to bully kids who don't stick up for themselves.

Don't bully back. Don't hit, kick, or push back to deal with someone bullying you or your friends. Fighting back just satisfies a bully and it's dangerous, too, because someone could get hurt. You're also likely to get in trouble. It's best to stay with others, stay safe, and get help from an adult.

Don't show your feelings. Plan ahead. How can you stop yourself from getting angry or showing you're upset? Try distracting yourself (counting backwards from 100, spelling the word 'turtle' backwards, etc.) to keep your mind occupied until you are out of the situation and somewhere safe where you can show your feelings.

Tell an adult. If you are being bullied, it's very important to tell an adult. Find someone you trust and go and tell them what is happening to you. Teachers, principals, parents, and lunchroom helpers at school can all help to stop bullying. Sometimes bullies stop as soon as a teacher finds out because they're afraid that they will be punished by parents. This is not tattling on someone who has done something small — bullying is wrong and it helps if everyone who gets bullied or sees someone being bullied speaks up.

What Happens to Bullies? In the end, most bullies wind up in trouble. If they keep acting mean and hurtful, sooner or later they may have only a few friends left — usually other kids who are just like them. The power they wanted slips away fast. Other kids move on and leave bullies behind.

Some kids who bully blame others. But every kid has a choice about how to act. Some kids who bully realize that they don't get the respect they want by threatening others. They may have thought that bullying would make them popular, but they soon find out that other kids just think of them as trouble-making losers.

The good news is that kids who are bullies can learn to change their behavior. Teachers, counselors, and parents can help. So can watching kids who treat others fairly and with respect. Bullies can change if they learn to use their power in positive ways. In the end, whether bullies decide to change their ways is up to them. Some bullies turn into great kids. Some bullies never learn.

But no one needs to put up with a bully's behavior. If you or someone you know is bothered by a bully, talk to someone you trust. Everyone has the right to feel safe, and being bullied makes people feel unsafe. Tell someone about it and keep telling until something is done. Source: KidsHealth, Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD. Date reviewed: October 2010


  1. will take note of this mommy joy, lagot ang mga bullies sa akin pag me nangbully kay jared!haha!mwah:)

  2. I had the same Bully Dilemma and our Bully Solution is to teach him to fight back :)

  3. I experienced a lot of bullying when I was a child. I totally hated it, but I trained myself to be strong. Actually, I am not this confident if not because of those names they called me back in grade school. High school was half a nightmare also. Thanks God those bullying prepared me to be tough enough in college.

    I think, this thing depends from child to child. If you take them seriously, you'll suffer a lot. But, if you take it like a challenge, they can really push you up.

  4. Jared's Mum: Prepare yourself, it hurts the mom/parents more than the kid. ang sakit gusto kongmanugod kahapon...

    Pehpot: Sa sobrang galit ko, I told Rafael, "bay--an mo anak!, ang sagot ba naman ni E, what is that Mommy?"...

    Jingky: Same here, I was bullied a lot of times too...made me a bully too, hehehe...made me strong...

  5. You have every right to be mad as hell and rant it all out! Poor Rafael. I'd be fuming too if my kids got bullied. And I'm following you back!

  6. My son, Frederick 9, has been bullied as well, though not to the same extent as your son. Thank you for posting this. Parents need to stick together and stand up for their kids, you have made it a little easier to recognize if their children are not telling them of the abuse. Thank you again. You have a wonderful blog!



Thank you for the joyful comments!