Bully Proofing Kids

In response to my last blog on my experience with discovering that I had  a bully and a victim in my house….

Click below to see a great article by Dr. Michele Borba, on how to teach kids to respond to a bully in a way that

allows them to safely stand up for themselves  to inhibit future attacks.

It was posted on a Scoop-It site  called, “Bullying Bullyhing Bullying”, by  LindaMGraham, written  on “Ideas on how to stop bullying and ways to be kind” Bully-Proofing Strategies for Kids


1. Use Strong Body Posture

2. Stay Calm

3. Teach Comebacks

4.  Question it

          “Why would you say that?”

5.  Send a strong “I Want” message  

           “I want you to leave me alone”

6. Shrug it off  

       Some girls have this one nailed. It’s a shrug of the shoulder with a great “who cares?” look, and then a “walk off.”

7. Turn it into a compliment.

         “Hey, thanks. I appreciate that!” “That was really nice of you to notice.” “Thanks for the compliment.”

8. Agree.

         “You’ve got that right.” “One hundred percent correct!” “Bingo, you win!”

9. Say “So?”

         “So?…Whatever.” “So?…Who cares.” “So?…And your point is?” If your child likes this strategy, be sure to read the book, The Meanest Thing to Say, by Bill Cosby.
           It nails the strategy.

10. Use manners

        “Thanks.”  “Thank you for that comment.”  “I appreciate that.” but say it so it sounds sincere and then turn and walk away.

11. Use sarcasm

        “Like I would care?” “Give me a break.” “Oh, that’s just great.” The “look” has to match: rolling your eyes and walking away can do the trick.

12. Ignore it.

Walk away without even a look at the teaser.


       “I didn’t know that.”  Be amazed. “Thanks for telling me.”

14. Express displeasure

          “Cut it out.” Or “I don’t like it.” , or “Stop it, would ya?”

15. Make fun of the teasing (not the bully).

Fred Frankel, author of Good Friends Are Hard to Find, suggests that victims answer every verbal tease with a reply but not tease back. 

16. Halt Insults and Pleads

Teach your child that most bullies want a reaction. If you beg or plead the response gives the bully the power he craves.

*The key is to help your child understand where the bully is coming from. It doesn’t stop the bullying but it may help your child tailor his response.

* A note on where the bullying is coming from… My daughter’s teacher instructed her to write a journal entry every night and bring it in to school.  This was extremely helpful for the adults involved to see that part of the  problem, besides being territorial over her friends,  was that she thought she had to choose between playing with her friends and her twin on the playground.  She  had to be taught that she can be friendly and enter a short conversation with her brother, and then return to playing with her friends.  She also expressed concern over losing her friends since one of her male friends is now closer to her twin brother.  She did not connect the change in friendships to her preference, as with many 2nd graders, to play with  same sex friends. As a result, she took it personally and blamed  her brother for “stealing”  her friend.

17. Use a Stone-Faced Glare

          Help your child use a mean stare that goes straight through the bully so you seem in control and not bothered.

18. Leave the Scene




One thought on “Bully Proofing Kids

  1. Abby

    I am so glad you posted this! I went through alot of this in school with one bully who would make comments from 3rd grade up until my senior year of high school and I always let it get to me! when I finally realized that if i showed the bully that it didnt get to me she would be the one to look like a fool in front of all of the other kids at school! this method works!

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