Chances are, you have been or know someone who is being bullied. TGIM Digital Publishing is collecting stories about bullying for the next release in The Bully Diaries Series. Our first release contains story after story of the emotional impacts of bullying. Stories submitted by adults prove that bullying leaves lasting emotional scars. Stories submitted by youth experiencing bullying right now prove that we need education and programs to help them deal with their situation.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50% of children are bullied and l0% are victims of bullying on a regular basis. A number of children and adolescents have reported that they suffered side effects of bullying – a drop in grades, an increase in anxiety, a loss of social life. By far the toughest scars are the emotional ones. While not all bullying involves actual physical impacts, if you have been bullied you know the emotional impact it causes.
We want to equip our kids with some emotional armor against bullying. Emotional armor helps deflect the impact of bullying, and then helps resolve the bullying by denying the bully the control they want over their victims. We want everyone to share these tips with every child they know, so that they can build their emotional armor and lessen the wounds inflicted by the bullies that they will encounter. The key to emotional armor is that you must wear it constantly. Like physical armor could only protect the knight wearing it, emotional armor is only good when you use it. While it may feel clunky at first, the more you “wear” your emotional armor, the more comfortable it becomes. Here are some key pieces of emotional armor:
Know Who to Blame
The bullied often feel that they have done something to “deserve” being bullied. Most bullies are trying to make themselves feel more important. When they pick on someone else, it can make them feel big and powerful. Reinforce the sense of self-worth for the youth that you interact with. Let them know that they are unique and special, and that they don’t deserve to be in a situation where they are fearful or being hurt by another child, NO MATTER WHAT!
Bullies pick on those that give the desired response of fear or capitulation. Make sure children know that how they carry themselves physically can stop a bully before they even start. Standing up straight, looking the bully in the eye, and not being afraid to expose the bullying to an adult are all ways that youth can show confidence that will help deflect bullying. When you stand confident and strong, you feel confident and strong.
Control the Anger
It’s natural to get upset by the bully, but that’s what bullies thrive on. It makes them feel more powerful. Encourage kids to not react by crying or looking red or upset. It takes a lot of practice, but it’s a useful skill for keeping off of a bully’s radar. Sometimes kids find it useful to practice “cool down” strategies such as counting to 10, writing down their angry words, taking deep breaths, or walking away. Sometimes the best thing to do is to teach kids to wear a “poker face” until they are clear of any danger (smiling or laughing may provoke the bully).
Write About It!
We know through our experience in Writing for the Soul Workshop™ that getting what is on the inside out is the first step to helps us handle emotions. So many victims of bullying hide their experiences. Encouraging a journal or a diary helps kids get their feelings out, even when they don’t have the confidence to tell an adult what is going on. The more they express themselves on paper, the more confidence they will have in expressing their feelings to adults that can help address the problem. Writing is the foundry of emotional armor, the more we express what we are feeling, the better equipped we are to handle it.
Share your Story
No one likes to feel alone. Through sharing your story, victims of bullying understand that they are not alone, and that they can thrive and survive in circumstances that are painful. Use the Contact Form below to share your story for publishing in #TheBullyDiaries Project next release, and we’ll give you an eBook of The Bully Diaries absolutely free!
About The Bully Diaries:
Chances are that you experienced bullying in your life. Whether your experience was as a victim, a bystander or the bully, if you search your memories, you will probably find instances when bullying was a part of your life. For many of us, these experiences have defined us and shaped us. Our experiences made us stronger, and helped us become who we are today.
When you are being bullied, it is hard to think about much more than getting through today. For others, there is no today. Their experience being bullied was too overwhelming, and drove them to a devastating and permanent solution to the temporary pain.
Through a community partnership with Stand for the Silent, Writing for the Soul Workshop collected stories, letters and poems from youth, teens and adults from around the world. These stories are pieces of lives impacted by bullying; written to show everyone affected by bullying that you are not alone, that you can survive the experience, that you are somebody.
A portion of the proceeds from the book sales of this edition goes to support Stand for the Silent.
Color: Black & White on White paper
Page Count: 202 pages
Guidelines for Sharing Your Story
We are accepting short stories, art and poetry. Please do not submit manuscripts that contain any of the following: obscene or explicit material, unnecessary profanity, vulgarity, or inappropriate or graphic love scenes. Any material considered for publication that is found to be graphic will require a mandatory edit of the material and may result in a rejection of the material.
Please note that we do not publish graphic material. Therefore, you may be asked to remove graphic material or language.
Again, submitting your story is easy! Simply use the Contact Form below, or send your story to us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone who submits their story will receive a complimentary eBook of The Bully Diaries for participating. Once your story is received and accepted for publishing, we’ll email you a Consent Form. All ages welcome to participate regardless of ability. Minors must get parent’s permission to participate.