If your beloved child is being picked on, teased or harassed unrelentingly, there are several techniques/strategies they can use to shut their bully down in his or her tracks. Of course, some are more effectual than others.
“Outsmart the bully” is a piece of advice often given by well meaning parents to their distressed
kids. On the surface, it seems like a sound plan of action moving forward. In all reality, this flawed, but heart in the right place formula has some problems to be sure.
Being picked-on is extremely stressful. Being threatened or publicly embarrassed creates such
high anxiety that it triggers an instant flush of powerful hormones into the blood stream. This
‘survival mode’ has profound effects on the body and thought process, causes a person to fight,
flee, freeze or submit. As you can imagine in your minds eye, this state is not conducive to clear thinking; the laws
of physiology prohibit it. Forget about ‘outsmarting’ the bully at this point -more than likely, the targeted child probably
wont be outsmarting anyone.
That said, through the assiduous practice of visualization, mental rehearsal, and relaxation techniques, a
person can prepare themselves for a confrontation. If your child can stay cool when they face
an antagonist, there is a way to undercut and undermine the bully’s power and take the wind out of his (or her)
Let’s say Richie is the mean kid and he loves to belittle Jeff in front of his classmates. It’s a
regular occurrence,and Jeff is expecting it. As Richie makes his approach, Jeff announces,
“Hey everyone, pay close attention to Richie, because he doesn’t get enough attention at
home. Okay, we’re ready. You can make fun of me now.”
Suddenly Richie doesn’t feel so good. Instead of getting upset, his intended victim isn’t
bothered at all. And the group dynamics have shifted, too- instead of being amused by his
antics, they’re looking down on him. His game has been reversed, and his ego has been
deflated. This technique isn’t just for kids – it can work for anyone, regardless of age or
Of course, there is a chance that instead of skulking away, the bully might get so flustered that
they get violent. Now the targeted child has a fight on their hands (and another compelling
reason why children must learn some basic self-defense).
Before advising your child how to deal with peer-abuse, you’ve got to sort the useless cliches
and gimmicks from practical game-plans. Giving a bullied kid the wrong advice can be
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