how to stop bullying

The following is solely my own opinion, based on my own experience and the experience of others and as such it shall not be considered to be a rendering of legal, medical or psychological advice.

Bullying has been around for millions of years. It is, and has always been, part of human nature. Not a nice part of human nature but, unfortunately, a normal human action. And, no, I am not condoning bullying, or violence, I am only stating the facts, the reality, and how best to deal with that reality. If you think you can stop bullying and change genes, DNA and human nature with political correctness, good luck to you. It doesn't work. It won't work. Sorry. And if you refuse to, or can't, deal with reality then stop reading this and go stick your head back in the sand ... and let your children suffer from bullying.

What doesn't work
Passing rules or laws outlawing bullying does not work. Why not? Because kids who bully are not interested in, or capable of, properly controlling their behavior. They are not adults. They are children, or young adults. They have not yet developed a social conscience. This is not an excuse, it is simply a fact of life.

Parents (or teachers) telling or teaching their kids not to bully doesn't work either. For the same reason. Yes, it might work for 5 minutes then the kid reverts to being a bully. Kids may simply be incapable of controlling these types of impulses.

Why do bullies bully?
When bullies bully they get a sense of power, of control, a big dose of it ... and, even though bullying is bad, to a bully it feels g-o-o-d.

So, how do you stop bullying? You don't. You can't. What you CAN do as a parent is teach your children how to REACT to being bullied. When I was a kid, MANY years ago, like many other kids in my age group I was bullied by older bigger kids. Big kids used to demand my lunch or my money or just push me around or hit me. For them, it was fun. For me, it was not fun. I suffered this for most of my formative years. On my own, I tried different things. I tried to ignore the bully. I got hit anyway. I tried to run away. They ran faster, caught up to me, and punched me anyway. I tried to make them laugh. Occasionally this worked but mostly I ended up on the ground. I also befriended the toughest kid in town. That helped. Eventually, at about age 10, I fought back. One day, after school, in front of a crowd of kids, a bully approached me and started to taunt me. He pushed me. He slapped me. He raised his fists. I hit him. Hard. I punched him. In the throat. He fell on the ground coughing and unable to breathe. He stayed on the ground, defeated, for several minutes. Everyone saw it. Word got out. And I was never bullied again. And, no, I was not scarred for life because I was bullied. I got over it, because I could defend myself, all by myself.

Cyber bullying is different. Often, it can be anonymous and can be difficult to find out who started it. I have no experience with being cyber bullied as they didn't have computers or cell phones when I was a kid. However, I believe the same solutions to bullying can apply to cyber bullying, though more indirectly.

How do you stop bullying?
There are 3 effective reactions to bullying. First, you try to talk yourself out of being bullied. If that doesn't work, you turn and walk away. If that doesn't work, you have no other choice but to fight. If I had a child, as a parent I would make sure my child understood the realities of bullying and being bullied. Then, I would enroll that child, male or female, in karate class. And, no I am not affiliated with any self-defense organization. After enrolling in a self-defense class, within a matter of a few weeks that child, as a last result, would be able to physically defend him or her self. And would be equipped to stop any physical bullying, to themselves or others. And, when you think about it, that might also tend to stop cyber bullies too, before they even start. I am not condoning the use of violence and, hopefully, the child would not ever have to use their self-defense skills. Often, just having the skills (and other people knowing you have those skills) means you won't have to use them but if they had to use their self-defense skills they could. It is also human nature that people generally will not ridicule or bully another person if the other person can kick their ass. And, as an additional positive result, that child would also develop a strong healthy sense of self-esteem and self-reliance, which would last a lifetime and would help prepare that child for whatever they had to face in life. Regarding being bullied, this I would do for my child or children, starting the first time I learned they were bullied. What will you do for your children?