“If any of my kids got bullied in school I'd go straight to the bully's house and bully their mom and dad to see how the f… they like that then….”
These are the words of a Facebook user commenting on bullying. Other parents tell how they blame the school or the bully’s parents, and some share how they have tried getting the police involved to protect their child.
Mia and Stine meet these parents daily in their work as strategic interventionist coaches specializing in bullying. The parents are worried, angry, frustrated and scared for their children’s safety.
“When your child is being bullied it really affects your whole family. It’s heartbreaking to see your child being physically attacked or slandered online with false rumors. Most parents feel they should be able to control the situation. They want to protect their child and stop the bullying, but interfering as a parent often only makes it worse. The bullies might get in trouble, but that only makes them even angrier, and they retaliate – and it can escalate to a war between them and us!” says Mia from her home in Seattle.
Mia and Stine are a funny pair. For someone working with something as severe as bullying, cutting, anxiety and suicide, they joke and laugh a lot. They live in different countries, work together via Skype and only meet up occasionally when they tour around the world doing seminars on bullying for children and for parents.
Stine has joined us on the line from Waterloo in Canada:
“It’s very typical to see parents trying to find a solution just as complicated as the problem, but that’s a waste of energy,” she explains. “People who go down that road – fighting the bullies, their parents, the school, the laws, and the system – all too often run themselves bankrupt emotionally and financially, and the results are all short-term anyway, because once they are done fighting these bullies, their child has moved on in life and met new challenges and bullies. Maybe a sergeant that calls him names and intimidates him, maybe a sadistic boss who ridicules him and treats him like trash, maybe a nasty mother-in-law, who constantly criticizes, or a heartless girlfriend who verbally attacks him. Are they going to fight all of these people too?”
Mia jumps in:
“It doesn’t matter if your child is, a boy or a girl, a teenager or a young child, or how he or she is getting bullied. It doesn’t matter if the bullying is happening in school, after school, or even online – the solution is the same, and so simple that many disregard it when we explain it to them. But by now, it only makes us smile because we know that the same parents are the ones who, only a few weeks later, are saying, “It’s too good to be true, the bullying has completely stopped!”
According to Mia and Stine the best solution is to change your child’s mindset from being a victim to being a winner, and you only need three things to do that.
- Influence – because without it, you won’t be able to change your child’s mindset.
- You need good communication skills – because if you don’t know how to approach a delicate situation and talk about difficult subjects, then it won’t work.
- And finally you need the right strategies, because without these, you might do more harm than good.
“It’s important that you have all three things, because even with the best strategies in the world, you won’t be able to make a difference, if there’s a wall between you and your child. You simply won’t get through. But even if you have a close relationship with your child, and you are brilliant at knowing when and how to speak to someone who’s depressed or angry – you won’t have any success unless you have the right strategies to share,” says Stine, while emphasizing that it’s really simple once you know how to do it. “Kids pick it up so easily, and it’s such a joy to see their victories, as they start using the little ninja tricks we teach them. Knowing how to respond gives confidence, and they grow stronger every time they see the confusion in the eyes of the bully. Suddenly your child is no longer reacting with anger or tears, but facing the bully with calmness and kindness – creating a crisis of conscience within the bully. The strong polarity between the bully’s rudeness and your child’s kindness makes a clear statement to everyone around them, and makes the bully looks ridiculous and your child cool and collected.”
Mia and Stine stress that the worst thing parents can advise their child is to just ignore the bullying or to fight back with the same methods as the bully is using. “It’s common advice, but both are very dangerous. If you fight back you are no better than the bully, and it’s hard for outsiders to see who started the whole thing. If you ignore it, you swallow humiliations and anger, which is very unhealthy, and when you reach your limit it will make you snap and have an emotional breakdown – which is never pretty,” warns Stine.
”The benefits of our approach are many,” say Mia and Stine, “but mainly it’s that we are teaching the children life skills that can be used for the rest of their lives. Not only can you stop the bullying within days or weeks, but you can do it without going to war and without confronting the bullies at all.
”The trick, of course, is to resist taking the bully’s bait. You don’t have to accept every invitation to a fight, so when someone ridicules you and calls you names you can simply say: ‘You can say whatever you want to, but I would never speak to you that way.’ Or ‘It’s a free country, say what you want to; luckily I don’t need your approval to feel good about myself, but I hope you have a wonderful day.’”
When the words are served with a kind and calm attitude it’s very powerful and has a strong impact!
“Bullying is SO last year anyway; we peace makers have much more fun!” laughs Mia and tells about their platform Mindblowing Transformation, that she and Stine created for parents, with books, online programs and seminars. “We chose the name because it really is mind-blowing how fast young people can transform their situation,” says Stine, before both running off to help families across the world.
We are giving away one of our Gold packages offering 4 private coaching sessions (Skype or phone) with your child and our 4-week online program for you as the parent (Value of $ 1,995,-). So if you are a mother with a child between 6 and 19, suffering because of bullying, then we are here to give you the ultimate gift of making your child happy again.To participate in the drawing of the great prize, click here.