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  Dealing with Bullies

  Dealing with bullies.     How to be a bully.Handling being bullied.Bullies don't follow the rules.

Because the LuckySports bully books reflect what is happening in the lives of our young athletes, and using a bully book to start the discussion about bullying is better than having to discipline after a bullying incident. And because we, the adults working with kids in sports, need to raise our own consciousness about this very common problem.

 

But, before you use these books, you need to know the definition of bullying, which consists of these three parts

         The behavior is intended to harm or disturb, or the individual targets feels harmed, disturbed or embarrassed.

         The behavior occurs repeatedly and over time. (It canít just happen once.)

         There is an imbalance of power (power based on size, age, social status, wealth, intelligence, appearance, wardrobe, just to name a few).

The old stereotypical bullying event usually contained a big kid standing over a little kid saying during batting practice, ďMove, it's my turn to bat now!" If we look at the above definition, it is easy to see that the behavior is intended to cause harm, the little kid would not get his turn to bat and possibly be humiliated in front of his teammates. That alone would not make it bullying, but it usually happens several times a week, and the imbalance of power seen in the size difference between a big kid and a small kid is obvious.

Name-calling, the most common form of bullying in children and adults, can be heard on school playgrounds or in middle school and high school hallways or in the workplace. The words hurt and are heard often, and are usually delivered by a person with power over the target.  Most kids who are called names donít tell their coaches because they are embarrassed.

If two athletes who are teammates have an argument that ends up in name-callingóthat probably will not be bullying. They will resolve the conflict and continue their friendship. The ill-spoken words may have been intended to harm, but the event happened in one setting and between two equals.

Some coaches still believe the many myths about bullying.

     The bully usually has a poor self-conceptóMYTH. The Elitist Bully or Social Climber Bully spends so much time thinking about him/herself, there isnít any time left to think about others.

     Bullying will make the targeted kid strongeróMYTH. Bullying can destroy lives. The word bullycide (also bullicide), being bullied to the point where killing oneself is the only perceived escape, has been added to our language.

New research on bullying tells us that this problem is not going away. Those of us who work with young athletes need to educate ourselves.  For far too long school coaching staffs have been correctly accused of doing nothing. THAT IS NO LONGER AN OPTION. Start by reading a bully book with your teammates so that you can encourage a discussion before a discipline problem occurs. Keep a list of bully books available so when you hear a kid is having a problem you can share that book. Literature has always been a bridge, and bully books can help targeted students, confused bystanders and even active bullies cross to a healthier place.

 

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