By Laleh Hancock
Schoolyard bullying gets majority of media air-time, but in truth bullying is prevalent
everywhere in the world – in business, communities, families and social groups.
How we choose to be with bullying as adults is how kids learn to be with it in their own lives.
What can we change to empower ourselves and our kids to end the culture of bullying?
Here are 4 keys to assist you and your kids in turning the tables on bullies:
1. What if you do not have to protect your child? What if your greatest protection was
trusting you? Invite more trust in you and what you know by asking questions. What if you
know more that you went to school for? What if you are way more aware than you realize?
I worked on a client project where another team member was given a leadership role. They
became aggressive and began controlling, ignoring and verbally abusing team members. The
environment changed from creative to destructive. I became increasingly uncomfortable,
frustrated and resistant to working on the project, until I asked: “What is going on here? What
do I know about this that I am not acknowledging?” Then the lightbulb went on – this person
was being a bully! Once I acknowledged the bully, my discomfort changed and I became aware
of a lot more options. I wondered, “Now I recognize this is bullying, what can I choose and do
different?” I began listening to the awareness I was having. If you were willing to trust you
more, what would that contribute to your child (or any child around you) to trust themselves,
2. Fear isn’t real. When you, or someone close to you is being bullied, it can be easy to go into
panic, upset, fear, doubt, and/or shame. They are distractors that take you away from your
awareness of what is possible beyond the bullying. These emotions are invented points of view
and not real.
To go beyond the distractions, ask some questions:
What do I know here?
Who do I know here and who can I talk to that can give me more information that will
empower me? What can I choose and be that will create more clarity and ease?
3. Walk your talk. As parents we often want to stop our kids from making our mistakes and we
tell them to do the opposite – “Do as I say, not as I do.” This gives a mixed message. If you
aren’t willing to walk your talk, you are not being the energy that will invite your kid to know
what is possible. What you say, your actions and the energy you choose to be have to match.
When you are unwilling to be certain energies in your life, a bully can pick up on that and use it
to their advantage. Were you taught to be nice and kind, even when people were mean to you?
What if you would be kind to you and be willing not to be stepped on by anyone? This will invite
your kids to be kind to themselves and not allow others to walk all over them, either. What
energy are you unwilling to be that if you would be it would allow your kids to choose what
works for them?
4. Lower your barriers and pull energy. If you didn’t have to defend against or fight a bully,
what else would be available? It is a common reaction to put up walls, but without walls,
bullying energy has nowhere to go. If you are willing to be present with no barriers and ask for
energy to pull through their body to you and through you, any energy they throw at you will
When my daughters were in middle school, they had 2 other close friends, one of whom began
being very manipulative to the point of bullying. One night she called my daughters and
screamed at them on the phone. I watched my daughters handle this situation brilliantly. They
had no barriers and they didn’t allow the meanness to get to them. My kids did not run scared
or buy into it and because they were not resisting, pushing back or withdrawing, the bullying
had nowhere to go and lost it’s power.
Whether you are someone who has kids, works with kids, or lives in the world, changing
bullying starts with you. Are you willing to be the energy that empowers everyone to a greater
reality beyond bullies?