Okay, it is the start of a new year for your child. Your child is all excited about going to school. They have new clothes, and a new haircut. Your child gets on the bus and another kid starts to pick on him or her by saying they look "stupid". This happened last year and you were livid! Your child shut down and hated going to school.
But this year is going to be different. You did your homework and prepared your kid for the "teasing and bullying" going on in the neighborhood, bus, and school. Your kid knows they have the skills to manage the bullying "little stuff" and you are there for the "big stuff".
This is actually a great start for your kid because it gives them the chance to use their newly found skills on bullying prevention. You and your child have practiced these skills on each other and your child is ready.
Your child knows that some kids are mean and could be considered "a bully." Kids are often lacking in empathy. Empathy is a learned skill. Sometimes kids practice it, sometimes they forget about it and don't use their new empahty skills. Sometimes kids never learn the valuable skill of empathy. These kids will suffer their entire life for lacking this skill.
Your child has developed a certain level of empathy for this mean kid. They are learning to use their emotional intellegence. This will help them later on in life when they have to deal with the "bully adult". This adult could be their boss, their sister-in-law, or even a spouse. Emapthy also helps increase your child's self esteem.
So your child is now on the bus and they know that some kids are nice and some kids are not nice. They begin to use their bully prevention skills. They start off small. They don't use the "big" bullying prevention skills yet.
However, your child does do something. This "something" will not get them in trouble for bullying. Yet it will begin the process of letting the bully know they don't like what they are doing and will not take anymore bullying from them. This "something" is called "assertive action" not a "passive or aggressive action".
I often tell my students that they can't just walk away from a bully. This usually does not work. I say to them, "Try walking away from the bully the first time. If it works, then great!" But the sad news is that it usually does not work. The bully takes this as a sign of weakness and gets really excited because they feel they have found "a victim or target". It is sad that this happens, but it also true.
1. When someone says something mean to you pretend you just ate a sour lemon.
2. If you have never eaten a sour lemon, take a slice of one and put it in your mouth.
3. Watch your reaction to this in a mirror. You will see your "sour lemon face"!
Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.
*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed mental health professional immediately.
"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.
For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.
Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.
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