A few years ago I worked as a school counselor in middle school. I was working on developing my list of coping skills to teach kids how to deal with bullies. I went from classroom to classroom to work with students on bullying prevention skills.
Before each guidance lesson we would role play some learned coping skills. Students would get up and role play with me. Coping skills take a lot of practice. Your body language and facial expression has to be "just right."
One of my favorite students (who was also the most popular kid in the 7th grade) gave me one of the best bullying prevention coping skills I have ever heard of.
Before I tell you what it is let me first say that this kid was a star basketball and football player. He was very popular and made great grades. The students and staff loved him.
What was shocking to everyone was that he admitted that he had been bullied in the past, and in the present. This kid who had it all still got picked on.
However, how this kid handled the bullies was very important. He taught all of us that even the most popular and well adjusted kid got picked on.
That day, I learned something from him and will continue to teach this to others. If all other coping skills fail, then use this one.
He said, "Dr. S. I just tell the bully to be cool."
Wow, so simple and it works. When you stay cool and tell the bully they are not being cool, you have the power!
That day we all looked at this kid with amazement! How simple and yet how brilliant! I have even used this with adults. Kids can use it with kids. No one wants to be "uncool". It works. Try it.
"Just Be Cool" he said to the bully. Then he walked away.
This bullying prevention coping skill is great to use in all levels of education from children, teens, even adults. I see this coping skill as one of the most effective ones in the bag of tools I use to teach people bullying prevention.
Make sure you use your body language and practice in front of the mirror. Use sun glasses at first to see if you can slowly pull them off your face and say, "Just be cool" in a slow and calm voice. This will take some practice!
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