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Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is a new tool bullies have been using to hurt their victims. I was presenting at a school in Houghton Lake, Michigan and when I arrived my client informed me of a cyber bullying issue that took place the evening before and how the victim was devastated.

There are many products on the market that parents can use to police what is being sent. unfortunately I have yet to hear of a product that puts a sent item in a holding pattern till a parent can review it. I have been told by many technicians that there are no full proof ways to catch the bully before he strikes on the Internet. They say the best defense is the parents watching and overseeing the computer activities.

Here is some information on parent control software:

Keep loving your son!

Subject: RE: Bullying Questions

I believe that you are on the right track.
Keep boosting his self-esteem; keep reminding him that he is loved.
I would suggest that you also have him talk to a school social worker or child psychologist so he can talk to someone other than Mom and Dad.

When my oldest was having some emotional difficulties we took him to a child therapist and we felt it really helped him.

There are many books on this topic and there are also great articles with awesome suggestions.
I have a few at my web site and some links to other sites and blogs.

I hope this helps you.

May I put this up at my No Bully Blog? If I receive comments I can email them to you.

Good luck,
Keep loving your son!
Richard Paul

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my earlier email. We are starting to see improvement in his behavior which I believe is coming from removing him from the bullying environment. We have also informed the preschool teacher of what we are dealing with in our neighborhood and she has been wonderful in assisting us in “undoing” some of these unacceptable behaviors that he has started to incorporate into his play. We also spoke with our family psychologist (everyone really should have one on retainer – ha! ha! ) and he gave us some excellent suggestions also. Lastly, I have been taking my son off of our street and around the neighborhood to meet some of the other boys his age to play with.

The combination of these changes seems to be netting good results. I believe that we will continue to see improvement and, a lessening of interest in playing with these bully children as we stick to our new plan.

Please feel free to put our scenario on your blog. It is extremely helpful to know that other parents are dealing with the same issues.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your weekend!

Thank you,


Help my son is being bullied!

Mr. Paul,

I found your email address on your Stop The Bullying
web site. I liked the few snippets of information I read and I am seeking any additional advice you may be able to provide.

My son is 4 1/2 years old and we have been battling neighborhood bullying for the past 6 months. We have two children in our neighborhood, unrelated to one another, who are a year younger and a year older than my son, respectively. These children taunt, hit and name call my son and another child on the street. The two separate sets of parents are inattentive and have been heard saying things such as, “if there isn’t any blood, I pretend it didn’t happen” or, “I just don’t bother to address the conflict because I hear it all the time, I just don’t pay any attention to it anymore.”

Initially, if my son was pushed or, if they would not allow him to play, I would just comfort him and tell him it was ok, they did not mean it and I would wait for one of the mothers to intervene and discipline their respective children. However, as time went on, I realized they were not going to take any steps toward disciplining their children. In the mean time, my son lost his patience and started fighting back. I would immediately stop him and tell him that hitting is not allowed under any circumstances and, if he hit he would have to go inside and sit out for 4 minutes. I followed through each and every time and did make my son go inside for hitting back. One day, as I saw an incident brewing, I headed over to try and stop it but, I did not move fast enough and my son hit back. I told him he would have to go inside and take a break. As we headed inside the bully said, “see, I can make him go in.” Well, from then on, since the bully was intentionally trying to make my son have to go inside, I realized that I had to change my strategy. So, since he was being intentionally set up by this other child, I decided to simply continue to tell my child that he was not allowed to hit and separate him from the bully.

Subsequently, we started doing conflict management puppet shows with our child. We used the puppets to show the difference between bad hitting and accidental hitting (like bumping into someone by accident) and then to show him how to handle each situation. I’ve tried to explain to him that we never hit first. And, that if we get hit then the first thing we try to do is walk away. I had one puppet hit the other, on purpose, and then had the puppet that got hit simply say, “hitting is bad” and walk away. I really had no idea what other skill to give him. I know that we have had some success with this because I see my son using the technique to the best of his 4 year old ability.

We are continuing to work out conflict situations with the puppets and my son’s responses to each of the situations we present to him seem to be socially appropriate and he even offered solutions to the situations I presented. For example, when I had one of the puppets try to take away his toy he responded by saying, “wait, I will get you a train too.” Then he went to the toy box and got another train and gave it to the puppet.

Despite all of our efforts the bullying continues. We recently had to sit our son down and start to talk to him about the difference between mean people and nice people. I told him that kids who name call and hit and say you can’t play are mean and we don’t play with mean kids. We only play with nice kids, naming off some of his other friends. And that children who hit or name call are not really our friends because they don’t treat him nicely or play nicely with him. He did seem to understand the majority of what I was saying.

I really just didn’t know what else to do at this point except to begin talking openly about how to choose friends. In some ways he is too young to understand this but, nonetheless, I have to start introducing this concept to him. I want him to begin to learn that he has the power to choose his friends. And, that he should choose nice people to be his friend.

In addition, my husband and I have made a decision that our son can no longer play with these two children. Obviously, this is a very drastic and difficult stance to take as we live in a cul de sac. When the offending children are outside playing I tell my son that while he cannot play with them, I will take him anywhere else he would like to play with anyone else he would like to invite. This seems to be working.

If you have any other suggestions or strategies that we might employ, we are interested in your feedback. Also, if you have any recommended reading we would greatly appreciate that type of information also.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Get Real… (This was emailed to me)

It’s the thought that counts. Or maybe not. If a thought never turns into a deed, it’s all intention and no action and that’s not doing good. Real faith demonstrates itself through action. It’s a sure test of whether we’re acting for good–or just thinking about acting for good. It’s possible to look concerned, gush with emotion, talk a lot, and even buy the correct t-shirt without accomplishing anything solid. Doing good is more than thinking about change, desiring better things for someone, or wishing the world were different, it’s about doing whatever small things you can right here, right now–serving others, putting someone else before yourself, committing random acts of kindness.

A story emailed to me….

On Friday night I had plans to go to my school’s football game with a friend after a fundraiser at church. There was miscommunication and I thought that he wasn’t going to the game unless he called me, so when I got there and saw him with another girl I was surprised and upset. Instead of going and talking to him about it, I sent him a text message telling him that I was really upset with him and I left the game. This passive aggressive mode of communication only hindered the situation. Had I went and talked to him, I wouldn’t have felt bad and I would have known that he had just made a mistake. He wouldn’t have felt so horrible about forgetting to call. Sometimes, it’s really easy to get wrapped up in drama. In that situation it would have been better for me to take a moment, release my ego, and ask spirit what the right thing to do was (It was not fighting with someone via text message, let me tell you…). In so many situations that involve fighting or anger, the best thing we can do is stop, breath, and turn to spirit for guidance.