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DantheWolfMan UnderGround >> Dealing with Bullying


3/19/07 4:58 PM
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Glenn Sunshine
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Edited: 19-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 292
 
Years ago, you all helped me help my daughter successfully deal with stress situations. This time, it's my son. In what should be a safe environment, he's been subject to a certain amount of low grade bullying--pelting with snowballs, "noogies," etc., when the adults aren't in the immediate area to observe the situation. On one level, it's petty harrassment pretty typical of high school boys (he's a 9th grader), but it is getting physical, and my son is feeling weak and vulnerable, and that his only out is to outdo them in using violence against them. This is not good--it's already led to one near-fight when he was slammed in the head by a ball accidentally, which he interpreted as an attack. I'm out of my depth here, and I don't know how to help him cope with the situation. I've alerted the adults who are in charge, and they'll be talking to the kids and looking out for problems, but it's more important to me to help my son develop his own coping skills to deal with the situation. If any of you have suggestions, websites, or whatever that I could use to help him, I would appreciate the help.
3/21/07 9:05 AM
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armory
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Edited: 21-Mar-07
Member Since: 08/12/2005
Posts: 324
Glenn, Sorry to hear about the situation with your son. Doesnt sound too far off from what has gone on for years in schools everywhere. Noogies, snowballs, even the dreaded "wedgies"....of which at one time or another we were all on the receiving end of. I think everyone will have some sort of opinion on this and since you asked for some advice I would like to chime in with mine. Kids will be kids....and I mean that up thru the eighteen year old or so age. There are bullies, little evil fuckers, insecure humans who try and tear down others or instill fear or sufering in others just to make themselves feel adequate. They also seem to subscribe to the "mob" or "gang" effect....which they will target the solo players who are just going thru their day not looking for any problems. This is going to happen and there is not much you can do about it. Myself being a father of 2, gets pissed as hell when one of my sons playmates consciously pushes, slams or punches my kid in the face....retaliation and wanting to protect our children is natural. Sure, some freak accident can happen that may seriously damage my son, but odds are he will get a bump, bruise, cut or etc... and then be on his way with his day. Your son being a 9th grader puts him at about 15 years old or so. He is a young man. Has he just voiced the fact that he is on the receiving end of this stuff more so in passing? If so, its part of growing up. Or is he clearly deeply troubled by this? It is affecting his school work, home life, social balance? Or is he just maybe asking you for some direction as to how to handle it....and what are your tools to do so? I am not an advocate of immediately answering violence with violence. It just seems to escalate situations. I am however a big believer in having the capacity to answer a violent act against myself or a loved one with a high level of efficiency and competence. This can shape a humans persona both early and late in life. The confidence in being able to handle these situations thru mental management of fear, de-escalation, tactical retreat and if need be, physical dominance offer options. Thats what Tony has always offered.....he is an options facilitator. Again, not knowing your tools. Here is what I would do if they were limited. Get to a PDR, get your kid into a wrestling or BJJ program. (I especially like those because they both teach control w/o striking). Careful on going to the "adults in charge", you may make your son more of a target. One last thing. Somewhat counter to my discussions above, but it was advice given to me from my really wise grandfather. When all else fails, identify the biggest fucker in the crew, walk up to him, punch him as hard as you can in the face, as he is going down, dont stop.....give him pummelling all the way down. Also, prepare to get your ass kicked as well. Moving forward, you will likely be identified as someone willing to do whatever it takes and others may select a target that isnt perceived as dangerous. Best of Luck Joe
3/21/07 9:50 AM
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Glenn Sunshine
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Edited: 21-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 293

Thanks for the input. On one level, I know this is just petty stuff, and I was prepared to let it ride out until I saw that it is affecting Brendan. He's expressed to me on numerous occasions that he thinks he's weak, often after one of these encounters; he's told me he feels vulnerable and trapped, that he doesn't have any alternatives except to clean their clocks, and then there was the incident on Sunday when he jumped on a kid who hit him hard in the head with a ball. It was a bunch of guys who were just throwing the thing around, but some of them are the ones who've been picking on him, and he assumed it was more of the same. The fact that he responded as he did is a warning sign to me that he's about ready to snap. It just seems like the long slow drip of harrassment, probably not even meant as such, just boys doing what boys have always done, is beginning to fray him around the edges.

I know in the grand scheme of things this stuff hardly qualifies as real bullying, but I still need to find a way to help Brendan deal with it. BJJ or wrestling may be a good option here, because I think what he really needs is more physical confidence (which is odd, because he's very talented physically--good balance, coordination, speed, and a reasonable degree of strength to go with it). I'll look into a PDR as well, but funds and time are limited.

Thanks again for the help.

3/21/07 11:35 AM
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armory
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Edited: 21-Mar-07
Member Since: 08/12/2005
Posts: 325
Glenn Where do you live?
3/21/07 11:48 AM
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Glenn Sunshine
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Edited: 21-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 294
Right about the middle of Connecticut.
3/21/07 1:33 PM
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armory
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Edited: 21-Mar-07
Member Since: 08/12/2005
Posts: 326
I get up there often, Hermes Franca and myself are scheduled to be there in mid to late april....bring your boy and yourself to a seminar we will be doing in Norwalk. I will get you the dates. Joe attarmory@msn.com
3/21/07 1:54 PM
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Glenn Sunshine
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Edited: 21-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 295

Thanks! I'll look forward to the information. You can e-mail me at glsunshine@cox.net, or I'll keep checking back here.

Glenn

3/23/07 6:35 PM
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JoeSk
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Edited: 23-Mar-07
Member Since: 08/29/2002
Posts: 13
Glenn, The following post is from our private PDR forum. This incident happened about 2 years ago. "Last Saturday I did a private lesson for one of the officers in my departments 10 year old son. Jimmy had this bully picking on him for the last year. His dad had gone to the school on several occasions and for awhile everything seemed alright and then the past few weeks the problem got very bad. Jimmy is a good kid a straight A student. And he has great parents who spend quality time with him. Just a great kid. I'll cut to the chase. Saturday was Jimmy's first lesson we did SPEAR Sharpening, Dry Fire, Mirror Drills, CWCT, ECT and a BMF. He did great and his Dad was impressed. I also had gotten the tape Children First as a part of the price for the private. Anyhow 0730 today Jim (Jimmy's dad) calls me to tell me the following. The bully who is bigger than Jimmy came up behind him while they were standing in the school hallway. Waiting for a field trip to meet the Mayor. He grabs Jimmy by the hair and neck and throws him down trying to ram his head into the ground (By the way the bullies dad is an ex-con). Jimmy's head bumps the ground slightly as his flinch helped him from taking a full slam. He pops to his feet and in his words "I saw his foot go back to wind up, but before he could punch me I slammed a SPEAR into his chest. I heard the wind go out his nose and he flew back 4 feet." The bullies friend who has been riding the fence because Jimmy has been trying to be friends with him said the following. "Robby came up behind Jimmy and grabbed his head and threw him to the ground. Jimmy got to his feet in some kind of football like stance and then hit Robby with his forearm and he went flying." Jimmy's dad was amazed by how the system worked. And this was after only an hour private lesson. And I have to say I was flying all day today after Jim told me what happened. Joe Skovira" Glenn, Contact Blauer Tactical 1-877-773-2748 and get the DVD "Children First" also ask the office if there are any PDR coaches in your general area. Then get together with Joe Mullings when he is in your area. Finally attending a PDR session should be thought of as an investment in you childrens education. Not just from a martial perspective, but for his schooling as well. Don't let any bullies rob him of getting the best eduction in school possible. Unfortunately we have to deal with bullies because the left thinks education is a right and not a privelage. No one has a right to take away your son's chances to do his best in school and life. By the way Jimmy two years later is still a straight A student and has had to deal with bullies another two times in these last two years both times successfully.
3/23/07 10:23 PM
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JDDynamic
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Edited: 23-Mar-07
Member Since: 03/26/2003
Posts: 57
Bullies. Bullying. Kids will be kids. They're just fooling around. A child's actions reflect his upbringing. There are so many ways to describe, write off, minimize what your son is experiencing Glenn. There are so many ways to try and give your son advice to deal with this situation. There are so many books, experts, articles, theories out there that discuss this subject and claim it's everything from the natural order of things to a cry for attention from the one doing the bullying who really wants to be friends but doesn't know how. Are any of them right? Are any of them wrong? No matter what you and, or your son decide how to handle this, you have to remember that: kids act out this way regularly. But that doesn't mean it's right. In the end, a bully is still a bully, no matter THEIR reasons for acting the way they do. In the area I live, Washington DC, there have been recent stories about high school students acting out on the cities metro system. They have been found shoving each other, throwing trash around and leaving it where it lands, fighting, disturbing adult passengers, etc. Solution? Nothing viable, and according to the stories, most of the people interviewed chalked it off to blowing off steam -- including instances lately where they've found kids carrying guns, switchblades, drugs, etc. How does that relate to blowing off steam? It doesn't. There was a recent story on the Fox News Channel about either Nevada or Nebraska and bullying. It seems that the lawmakers in that state have decided that bullying in high school has gotten so bad that they have proposed legislation to make it a sub-category of stalking, which, depending, could require jail time. All the advice and guidance people may give you is going to get confusing: Take this course, read this book, do nothing, do this, talk to your son, talk to other parents, talk to teachers, etc. I wish you and your son the best of luck in this situation. We all have to remember that it's different when it happens to "YOU" (thanks to Coach Blauer for that phrase!). Jason D
3/23/07 11:37 PM
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48
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Edited: 23-Mar-07 10:50 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 27
Glenn: Sorry to hear about your son and the challenges he is facing in 9th grade. I have two boys myself: one 16 years old and one 14 years old. We have experienced the same challenges in our schools. I will share what I have done with my kids. The easy way is to match aggression and violence with aggression and violence, but let's face it every one of us, no matter how old, deal with, work with and face bullies every day. So the key is how do we learn to deal with them as a high school student and as an adult? First, I have always given my sons permission to protect themselves. I have not given them permission to "fight" but if they feel threatened by anyone; a stranger, someone they know, a bully, etc., they have my permission to do whatever it takes to protect themselves. If it happens at school I will be more than happy to come down and explain to the principal why my child had the right to protect himself. Second, I have taught my boys to be self-confident. I have taught them that bullies look for prey and attack. Don't act like prey; hold your head high, be aware of your surroundings, know where the bullies like to hang, and there is safety in numbers. In addition: treat your friends with respect and they will watch your back, don't pick on the weak (no one respects that), and know that your parents love you, trust you and will be there to defend you if you must get physical to protect yourself. Personally I think if more bullies would get their noses broken in 1st grade we would have less bullies in adult life. I agree with Joe S., get the "Children First" video from Blauer Tactical. If a child or anyone for that matter, has the skills and knowledge to protect themselves physically they will be much more confident, and it shows. My oldest son was being bullied back in 6th grade. I had him show me what the bully was doing (this bully was physically assaulting my son and leaving bruises on him). I reminded my son that he had my permission to protect himself. We then spent about an hour physically going through some simple things that could stop this kid (see Children First). I again told my son he did not have permission to "fight" with this kid, but if he had to he could protect himself. Next day, the kid didn't come near my son (the predator could sense my son was not prey anymore). Good lesson for me, I need to remind the children of their rights every now and then. Recently another kid was picking on my son (my son is now 16 so things have the potential to be a bit more serious). In fact the kid who was picking on him had been picking on him earlier in the year and we had a police officer friend of ours talk to the kid. When the kid started picking on my son recently he had been telling people he was going to seriously injury my son. I was very concerned in that these kids are really young adults now and a law enforcement officer had talked to this kid already. I immediately went to the school and told them what was going on. I also told the school that my son did not have permission to fight but he did have permission to protect himself. You should have seen the look on the school administrators face; she knew exactly what I was talking about and what I meant. She told me she would have the School Resource Officer pull the kid in first thing in the morning and the two of them would have a talk with him. I talked to the Resource Officer and he advised me that this "kid" was 18 and we could get a no contact order if we wanted and then he could arrest the kid for violating it. I told the Resource Officer that I didn't want the kid to go to jail and not graduate, I just wanted him to leave my son alone. I told the Resource Officer I wasn't too concerned about this kid beating up my son, I was concerned about a bunch of them jumping my son. I asked the Resource Officer to sit the kid down and explain all that to him and after that I would decide about the no contact order. The Resource Officer and the School talked to the kid and so far he has been cool. In fact my son has been in several situations where this kid could have said or done something and he hasn't. Schools take bullying very serious these days. Police officers take bullying very serious. Let's face it we all need help from time to time otherwise we wouldn't have police and fire departments. We need to teach our children to respect themselves, respect other people, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and don't be afraid to protect yourself when you need to. Finally, do whatever you can to get to Joe Mullings' seminar. Joe is an awesome person and an outstanding coach! Be sure to purchase the "Children First" DVD from Blauer Tactical, there is a life time of information there for children and adults!. Rob Gebhart Blauer Tactical PDR Team
3/24/07 2:34 PM
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Jonathan Berman
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Edited: 24-Mar-07
Member Since: 11/04/2004
Posts: 11
Glenn - By all means, get the Children Safe tape; I think it is invaluable. And, just so you are aware, there are a number of training opportunities available to you in your general area. For one on one training, as has already been suggested, please contact the head office. One of my friends on the PDR team does coach in Connecticut. Also, the next PDR Certification will be held in Albany NY, I believe on April 12-15 (please check the Blauer Tactical site to confirm). And please also note that the PDR Program Managers, Tom and Dana Arcuri, run PDR seminars throughout the year at their school in Central NY. The next one is on March 31st. Just wanted you to know there is personal training available not too far from your location in Connecticut. Best, Jonathan Berman
3/26/07 2:26 PM
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Tony Torres
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Edited: 26-Mar-07
Member Since: 11/21/2005
Posts: 17
Glenn, Some great advice above for you. The only thing I would add is to give your child some strategies to help him deal with the different stages of these confrontations. As common as these incidents may be, they never occur in a vaccuum. There are pre-incident indicators and environments and situations that are more conducive to this behavior. Following the model of BTS Three D's (Detect, Defuse, Defend)try giving your son some tools in each area. The BTS Videos titles recommended above and the Be Your Own Bodyguard Manual will be helpful to you. Talk to him and together develop some strategies to DETECT bully situations and how to avoid them. Next, if the situation cannot be avoided, make the scenario less tense by trying to DEFUSE. Non Violent postures that do not appear confrontational yet prepare him for violence, choice speech to build rapport and de-escalate the problem. Finally strategies to DEFEND himself if necessary. Become familiar with your state's and municipality's right to self defense statutes and what constitutes assault and battery. As an example, in Virginia, any non consentual physical contact constitutes battery. However it's important to notice that force must parallel the danger and excessive force could get you in trouble as well. Tony Torres
3/26/07 9:52 PM
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Glenn Sunshine
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Edited: 26-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 296

Thanks to all for your help and suggestions. This forum has been a great resource for me and my kids, and I truly appreciate your willingness to help out.

One question: Has Child Safe been renamed? I couldn't find it on the site.

Thanks again.

3/27/07 8:45 AM
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Jonathan Berman
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Edited: 27-Mar-07
Member Since: 11/04/2004
Posts: 12
Glenn - I think some of the titles were updated when everything was transferred to DVD. It is now called S.P.E.A.R. System & High Gear for Kids. Here is the link: http://www.tonyblauer.com/4105/05_shop_description.asp Jonathan Berman
3/27/07 6:05 PM
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Tony Blauer
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Edited: 27-Mar-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 1005
Blauer Tactical Systems, Inc.
Thanks guys, excellent comments. Tony
3/30/07 10:10 AM
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Tansu 3D
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Edited: 30-Mar-07
Member Since: 04/13/2006
Posts: 162
Glenn, There has been excellent advice already, but I will add this. From 5th thru 8th grades I went through the same thing. A LOT of bullying by bigger kids. I was short & chubby. The summer after 8th grade I started lifting wts. I really got into it in the 9th & especially that summer. Unfortunately there was no martial arts trainining available in my area but the fact that I was suddenly bigger & stronger gave me a big self confidence boost. Early in the 10th a past tormentor threatened and I explained that if he didn't back off we were going to throwdown. He was shocked but still said to me "I'll break your back!" I said, "you might, but you're gonna have it to do". He never bothered me again. He went to search for easier prey. It was partially a bluff, although I was tired of it to the point of being more mad than afraid, but it ended the bullying.
3/31/07 5:32 PM
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tarosan
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Edited: 31-Mar-07
Member Since: 03/20/2007
Posts: 0
Glenn, There is some great advice here. I would add that you need to keep identifying and isolating the problem. As I am sure you know there are no simple solutions to complex problems. Does your son look or act like a victim? Are the bullies in question just after your son or do they prey on others as well? Does your son have the tools to de-escalate a verbal assault? Does he have physical tools to deal with a physical attack? Does he have permisson from you to defend himself? Have you given him a set of options to deal with this violence? Is he in real danger and if he was would you do anything, including changing schools to protect him? You must define the peoblem as completely as possible. Consider all your options and then help your son make plans to deal with the situation. Let the school know there is a problem and that you will not tolerate it. Get all the resources you need, including Tony's tapes and the session from Joe. Leave no stone unturned but at the end of the day remeber that the toughest thing you may have to do is stand back and let him deal with this on his own. Good luck Glen. Mike Suyematsu
6/5/07 2:46 PM
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JasonL
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Edited: 05-Jun-07
Member Since: 04/15/2002
Posts: 1670
What do you do, when it comes to the workplace? I work in a gym and a member is drving me nuts. Yelling at me and calling me names in front of other people and it does not stop. I keep my cool and just walk away. I don't even want to bother with this person, but its getting bad. I told management twice already, since I don't want to loose my job, hence why I am trying to keep cool. I am waiting to see if managment does anything about it. Again I don't want to loose my cool and end up huring this person and loosing my job and hurting my own family, if I get put away. Any idea's ?? Jay
7/28/07 12:54 PM
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franklyn
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Edited: 28-Jul-07 01:29 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 1691
JasonL, There many types of small recording devices you can carry on your person. I own a ipod clone and it has a record function which captures conversations really clearly. Catch this guy on tape(.wav file) and play it for management. It could help your case. Otherwise it is your word against his, you have a story he has a story. Certain people will always be abbrassive and annoying don't let them under your skin. If someone is in your head, it is because you are thinking about them. [edit for typos]

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