Nobody likes a bully. Every one of us has been told that at one time or another. However, there is a lot more to it than just trying to ignore a bully.

Bullies are not born, bullies are made. Sometimes, they can be the product of their environment at home. Violence and neglect, among other things, encourages a child to go elsewhere in search of the control and attention they crave, but can’t get at home.

Workshops are available for parents, teachers, and students on the affects of bullying, and how to stop it. In the case of kids who are abused at home, it’s especially important for them to realize that when they get to school, there are certain rules which cannot be bent, let alone broken.

One reason why kids tend to push other kids around is when they watch too much violence on television, or play violent videogames for a long period of time. It sounds simple, but the reality is that when a child plays a videogame with a lot of violence in it, they tend to take that violence out on others. Because they get frustrated playing these games more often than not, this can lead to letting their anger get the better of them when dealing with reality.

Some alternatives like playing tag, or any type of sport can give your child the release they need without having the anger pent up inside them.

It takes the whole community to tell a child to stop when he’s being a bully. The more people who discipline the child, the less likely he or she is to repeat it.

Statistics indicate that bullying will only stop when 60 per cent of any given community buys into the idea that bullying is not an acceptable behaviour, only then can you effectively influence change.

Talking to your child is always a good way to solve problems, but if that doesn’t work there are other ways.

One very effective method in putting a stop to erratic behaviour is taking something away from the child that they cherish. This could be anything from taking their toys away, to limiting their privileges for a certain period of time.

Encouraging children to stand up to bullying is a vital element in eliminating it. If everyone stands up to a bully, they won’t have anyone to pick on. This should not be done through violence, but by telling the bully to stop, and alerting the teacher or principal, or if it happens out of school, their parents. The victim’s anonymity should be respected.

Bullying is all about power. Some bullies will use certain things to attain that power. Fear is one of the main elements. If you aren’t scared of the bully, he won’t get anything out of it. If that’s the case, the bully will move on to easier targets. They will use anything they can against other children to give them that power.

Bullies, if not corrected at a young age, can grow up to be bullies when they are older. This ends up costing everyone in some way. Stopping the problem while we still have some measure of control over our children will go a long way towards building a stronger nation.

Susan Buchanan is a teacher/consultant with Cree heritage. She has been working in First Nation schools all over Canada assisting them in dealing with and eliminating the problem of bullying in schools.

Susan travels to schools on reservations and works with all members of the community (1-2 weeks depending on the size of the school). Bullying is a community problem.

1. First she works with all students in each classroom from pre-K to Grade 12 in a mini workshop. The students will learn what bullying is and how they can help stop bullying in their school.

2. In the evenings she offers Bully Free family workshops for the parents and all caregivers in the community. In this workshop she helps the parents learn skills that will help to deal effectively with their children if they are a victim or if they are a bully. Also young parents can learn how to raise a bully free family.

3. Susan also offers a Bully Proof Classroom workshop for all teachers and support staff in the school. This session is covered in a full day workshop. Teachers and support staff will learn new skills and be given a “recipe” handbook that will help them develop a Bully Free Classroom and a Bully Free School.

Susan is also trained in Pro Social Education which is a key ingredient in creating a happy and healthy learning environment where students learn how to behave to learn and teachers can do their job more effectively.

Susan is usually sponsored to offer the above workshops by Brighter Futures, the school/school board, or the band.

If you are interested in these very positive and very effective workshops, feel free to contact Susan Buchanan at:

902-665-2793 or Fax 902-665-4920