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Behavior Makeover: Bullied

Behavior Makeover Plan
First, review your own behavior. Do you model the behavior of a victim, or do you stand up for yourself? Victim behavior is learned. So is there a behavior you'd like to change to improve your example to your kid? Is so, what will you commit to doing? Write down your plan.

Next, talk to other parents about how prevalent bullying is in your community and school. Find out if their kids are being bullied, who the bullies are, where the bullying is happening, and what, if anything, they are doing to help their kids. If bullying is a problem in your child's school, consider creating a parent group to discuss your concerns with the administration and teachers.

Now it's time to take action to begin making over your kid's behavior. Use your Makeover Journal to write down your thoughts and develop your plan:

  1. Reread Step One. Listen carefully to your child's story, or if you suspect your kid is being bullied, ask. Try to find a pattern to the bullying. For instance, is it happening usually at the same time or place? List what you discover.

  2. Review your notes from Step One, and then reread Step Two. Is there at least one thing you can do to make your kid safer? Develop a plan.

  3. Review Step Three. How can you help your kid be more assertive? Do you encourage your child to assert himself and be independent, or do you encourage compliance and dependence? Write a plan of how to help your kid learn to stick up for himself. Make sure you rehearse the strategy.

  4. Review Step Four. How does your kid respond to the bully? He may not be able to tell you the answer, so try to observe his social interactions a bit more closely. Is there anything he does that might increase the likelihood that he will be a victim? What about behaviors that might set off the bully? List your ideas, and then develop a plan to eliminate those behaviors and boost your child's assertiveness.

  5. Review Step Four, and consider your child's self-esteem. What could you do to boost his confidence? Write a plan.
There are times when we should not put all the responsibility on a child to stop a bully. That's when adult intervention may be the only way to handle the situation. Use your instinct so your child does not get hurt. If there's even the possibility your child could be injured, step in.

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From No More Misbehavin' by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2003 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.

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