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My child is being bullied at school, how can I help him to see that if he can change the way he expects to feel when he goes to school he can have a very different experience, he is starting to miss school and is very upset about this?
Thank you
Concerned parent

Comments for Bullying

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Empowering Children Being Bullied - Part 1
by: Annie Desantis

Dear Concerned Parent,

Bullying is such a tricky issue, and very painful for the children and parents involved.

Well meaning Parents and Teachers often contribute to the victim mentality by intervening without the permission or request of the child. So first of all, to help empower your son, find out what HE needs. Some kids do want Mom or Dad to go up to school and sort it out. But many kids feel doubly dis-empowered when Mom marches up to school insisting the school chastise the bully.

A good school should already have a bullying program in place, I don't know what is available in your area, but it sounds like if your son has been off school, the situation has got pretty extreme.

You are right in helping your son to focus on changing how he expects to feel will give him a different result.

The first thing you can do to help, is to change how YOU see your son. As a parent there is nothing more heart breaking than seeing your child in pain. So a good starting point is for you to start seeing him as confident and self assured. In a way, one of your primary jobs as a parent is to hold the vision for the child, even if they can't.

Once you have a clear, strong vision of him, then start building it with him. I don't know how old he is, but just modify some of these suggestions to suit:

He can build a vision board of a strong confident powerful boy. Get a large sheet of cardboard or a scrapbook and lots of magazines. Let him chop out any kind of picture or images or words that he feels drawn to and paste them as a visual reminder of how confident and strong he is. If he can't see himself like that yet, then how he would like to be.

Making a vision board is very powerful on lots of levels. It is working with different parts of the brain to anchor in a different story about himself, and engages in the subconscious mind. Having it around as a visual cue also reinforces it, plus you can help by repeating the new story, and building it up.

Part Two Follows . . . . .

Empowering Children Being Bullied - Part 2
by: Annie Desantis

Part Two . . . .

Another thing you can do is help him to change how he physically projects himself. When we are feeling victimized or bullied we tend to hang our head, slump shoulders, slouch, don't make eye contact, scurry, talk with a whine etc.

So help him experiment with role playing or acting out different emotions. Help him to get in touch with his anger - being angry and shouting is much more empowering than being hurt.

Stomping, yelling, raging etc, doesn't have to be a negative thing at all, it means he is getting in touch with his own power. It doesn't mean he is going to go and beat up or rage at the bully, it is just a way of him being empowered.

Then he can draw on that energy and body postures when he is in a difficult situation. Standing tall, head high, walking powerfully, will help him to feel differently.

Some kids find learning self defense is very empowering. Again, not as a means to beat up the other kid, but giving them power and control over their body, and feeling the energy of a marshal art.

Some kids benefit from some counseling to learn strategies for dealing with or confronting the bully. Just be careful that you choose someone who is not going to reinforce the victim position, someone who is going to empower your son to react differently in a stressful situation. Some NLP techniques are brilliant for this.

Good luck with your son, it is a hard time for him, but he will come out the other side with some valuable insights, and enormous compassion for people.

PS : I've just given you a few advanced snip-its from a new course for kids that I will be launching shortly, so make sure you are on our mailing list so you get notified!

by: Kim DuBois

I really like the idea of imagining the child as being empowered and healthy, because this is something you can do on your own as a parent. Sometimes the child is resistant to change and is unwilling to participate in building a vision board, etc. (as my son is) so simply sending them your love and positive energy is sometimes the best you can do!

Thank you!

Thanks for your comment
by: Annie Desantis

Hi Kim,

It is often harder with older children to get them to participate in activities or exercises that we think could be helpful!

Something he may be interested in, that I have found a lot of teenagers love is using the computer to create a mind movie or online vision board.

I use two different systems, both I highly recommend:

Mind Movies currently are running a $20 recession buster sale on their program until January 22nd. Their current marketing is around beating the recession, but the program is the same, and great to use with kids, particularly teens. Basically you (or the child) create their own movie, with images, photos, music, affirmations etc to inspire them. Every one in the family can create their own personal little inspirational movie.

You can find out more about Mind Movies here:

The other system I use is Vision Board Software, and it does a similar job, with a library of power words or phrases, stock photos etc. Again you can include all your own images and music etc to make it a very personal Vision. I've used this with older school kids and they loved it. Vision Board have just released an upgraded version which I have yet to explore.

More about Vision Board Software here:

So maybe if your son likes playing around on the computer he might like to make himself a powerful vision that is private, and only he needs to see.

But the bottom line, is it can be incredibly powerful for YOU to hold the vision of him being happy and confident. No matter how much we want to, we can't fix our kids up - they have their own journey, and as parents we have to keep the communication flowing, love them and hold a brilliant vision for them.

All the best,
Annie Desantis

Thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you, I love the idea of holding the vision of my beautiful adolescent boy standing strong and proud full of confidence and self belief. I will definitely be doing that, he is also working on his own mind movie after seeing me watch mine everyday and everynight.
Thank you for such a great resource!

by: Annie Desantis

Thanks for commenting, always great to hear from others.

Wishing you Joy,
Annie D

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