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How to Respond to Verbal Bullying

February 9, 2015 | 0 Comment(s)



Verbal bullying is an all too common event that children face both in and out of school.

This situation happens most commonly in school but it can also happen outside of school hours at sports events, parties and other areas where teens congregate.

Knowing what to do and how to respond to verbal bullying is something that all teens, children and parents must learn.


Leave the Situation

Whenever possible, someone who is being verbally bullied should leave the situation if it is possible to do so safely. Leaving the area before the situation escalates can help to avoid serious physical injury.

Walking away without saying a word may sometimes be the best way to respond to verbal bullying.


Preparing to Respond

When walking away from the bullying is not possible, teens may need to come up with a verbal response to the bully. Strategizing about what to say to the bully can help things go as smoothly as possible. Having a plan can help a teen prevent overreactions and can lead to enhanced self-confidence.

Practicing ahead of time can help a teen when such a situation arises.


The Response

Maintaining a steady voice, making eye contact with the bully and speaking in a confident way are essentials for a good response to verbal bullying. Teens can try to diffuse the situation by using these types of responses:

  • Fogging. This is done to confuse the bully. Fogging responses include a single word or just a few words that are neutral or positive. Examples of fogging responses to a bully include “so?”, “who cares?” and “maybe.”
  • Agreeing statements. These statements confirm the facts regarding the verbal bullying. An example of an agreeing statement is, “Yes, you’re right.”
  • Comeback lines. These responses are meant to stump the bully and make him or her think twice about his or her actions. Comeback lines may include statements such as, “whatever you say.”

Responses to verbal bullying should not try to incite anger or escalate the situation. Using a comeback line can be tricky; this type of response requires careful practice and assessment of the situation to ensure that the situation does not worsen.


Verbal Bullying: What it is and how to stop it

February 2, 2015 | 0 Comment(s)



Verbal bullying is a serious issue that many children and teenagers face. In order to put a stop to this type of abuse, parents, teachers and members of the community must first understand what it is.

Once a verbal bullying situation is recognized, a variety of strategies can be used to stop it before the situation worsens.


What Verbal Bullying Is

Verbal bullying is most often committed by girls. It may consist of rumor spreading, using words that demean or degrade the victim or using words that cause social exclusion.

It may also be done as a way to dominate others. This type of bullying is just as damaging as physical bullying and can lead to serious effects for the victim, including an increased risk of suicide.


Ways Kids Can Stop Verbal Bullying

There are several responses and actions that kids can take that may help to put an end to verbal bullying. Some things to try include:

  • Using neutral statements. Responding to a bully’s verbal assaults with neutral comments such as “possibly” or “maybe so” indicates to the bully that he or she isn’t going to get a big reaction from the victim.
  • Using positive or agreeing statements. Examples of these include “who cares?” or “Yes, you’re right.”
  • Remaining civil. Don’t sink to the level of the bully. Doing so may escalate the situation.
  • Telling an authority figure. Bullying that interferes with a child’s social life, confidence, well-being and mental or physical health must be reported to an authority figure as soon as possible. An authority figure may be someone like a teacher, school counselor, school nurse, playground aide, tutor or parent.

Once a parent, teacher or another authority figure is made aware of a verbal bullying situation, action must be taken. An authority figure may be able to physically separate the bully from his or her victim.

The authority figure may be able to increase awareness of the effects of bullying and help others to identify such behaviors in the classroom, cafeteria and other places.

Adults can also help to diffuse the situation by determining what the motivating factors behind the bully’s behaviors are.


Is your child’s discipline problem a behavior issue or something else?

January 24, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

AutismAll children have moments or phases they go through where good discipline is hard to come by. It is a normal part of a child’s social development where they test and learn the boundaries of socially acceptable behavior.

But if you child is having prolonged and consistent discipline problems, there may be something at work that goes beyond parenting style or even the temperament of the child.

This article on Babble.com explores the possibility that your child’s discipline problems may actually be caused by a developmental disorder. 8 Signs It’s More Than a Discipline Problem.

Getting to the root cause of your child’s discipline issues will help both parent and child to better manage and control temper tantrums as well as address the true cause of the meltdowns.