Bully Barn Barnyard

THE BARNYARD" is a place where you can view the story with your children and access helpful links.  

View and enjoy the Bully Barn Story FREE with your children here. Click on the frame below to enlarge full screen and  pause  to suit your reading speed.  Enjoy!  
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WHY DO BULLIES BULLY?

Some bullies are fully aware what they are doing while others may not realize it and may suffer from some sort of personality or behavioral/anti-social disorder.  The exposure to increased violence in today’s society (media, television, video games, sports etc.) may also contribute to this problem (due to desensitization).  With regard to violent video games, it is much more than desenditization.  Instead, over a thousand studies have concluded a link between violent media/violent video games and a higher propensity for violence in our children.  The playing of these games amounts to "operant conditioning" where children learn to become violent and it becomes "second nature to them."  Lt. Col David Grossman has a website dedicated to this phenomenon http://www.killology.com/.  Sometimes it is quite simple, yet other times it can be a complicated issue with numerous factors involved.  The negative effects of the media on your children should concern you.  You can do something about it:

CHECK OUT THE "TAKE THE CHALLENGE" WEBSITE! http://www.takethechallengenow.net/
"Take the Challenge • Take Charge is a pre-school through high school media education program that reduces unwanted behaviors in our youth such as obesity, aggression and substance abuse while increasing student achievement, reading and getting along with others." It has lots of useful information for both parents and teachers! .

COPING STRATEGIES FOR VICTIMS

First of all, children must be taught to address their problems rather than avoid them.  If kids don’t learn to solve their problems now, then they will be less prepare to address problems as they get older (problems never go away and in many cases fester or get worse).  Also, bear in mind the physiological damage as well as short and long term physical problems associated with anxiety/stress.

Typically, kids learn coping skills from observing their parents ability to cope.  Parents need to recognize if their child is being bullied or simply involved in an isolated incident that requires conflict resolution (is it an argument, a fight or kids being kids?)  As parents, it is important to neither minimize nor over react to bullying involving their child.  Of course, it is very difficult to ignore the emotional aspect that narrows perspective.  That is why it is sometimes wise to involve a police liaison officer since they can provide a balance impartial perspective between parents and school officials.

Kids need their feelings validated so it is not wise to minimize their feelings.  Ask them how they are feeling and why and tell them that it is OK and natural to experience those emotions.  If these feelings are not discussed and/or minimized then they are internalized and exasperate anxiety. 

The best immediate coping strategy is to ignore the bully.  Walk past him/her and proceed to a “safe” area.  Although difficult, they should try not to cry or exhibit anger.  In most cases, bullies attempt to illicit a response from victims that perpetuate if not escalate their behavior.  Kids can also deal with a bully in the following manners (depending on the type of bullying):

     -avoid being alone (hang out with people who will stand up for them)

     -make eye contact with the bully

     -act confident

     -tell them they’re not afraid (even though they may be)

     -tell them in a clear voice to leave them alone

     -avoid areas that the bully is active (i.e. a specific area of the playground)

     -use humor

     -walk away

     -always tell an adult!

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service
web site has a section for children and is an excellent resource.  Visit your local Police Service web site and they should have information dedicated to the safety and well being of your children as well.  The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service link  for their "Kids Safety Zone" is:
http://ssmpskeepingkidssafe.org/en/ 

Often the right path is the one that may be hardest for you to follow. But the hard path is also the one that will make you grow as a human being.” – Karen Mueller Coombs
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