KarateBuilt Podcast Transcript – Bullying Prevention Part 7

Transcript of Bullying Prevention Part 7…

Myths Truths and What to Do!

At KarateBuilt Martial Arts, Sr. Master Sanborn and I are constantly working towards building programs for children’s safety. Here is a written portion of the transcript of their discussion on bullying…

Sincerely,

Karate

 

 

 

Ch. Master Greg Moody, Ph.D.

The Podcast:

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

Welcome to part seven about bullying prevention, Bullying Myths, Truths, and What to Do. We’re going to talk today about what to do if your kid is being bullied and how to talk to your kid’s school. A couple things to note, remember bullying prevention is three big things that qualify versus conflict. Bullying prevention versus conflict. Bullying prevention is an imbalance of power. It’s intended to hurt. It’s not just an argument we’re having, I’m intending to hurt your feelings, hurt you physically, hurt you in some way. And the third thing is it’s usually repeated over time although it could be one incident. Big thing is an imbalance of power. If you and I are just fighting or having an argument, there’s often not an imbalance of power, and you’ve got to establish this first. That’s important to think about when you’re talking to your child about whether the incident is bullying or just some kind of conflict.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

So you’ve got to establish that first. We’re going to talk about working with your school to solve the problem. Working with your school is an important piece of this. And a lot of times parents don’t want to talk to the school. They might think that they may be told by their kid that the kid has already talked to the teacher, or they talked to the principal and the principal told them “yeah, toughen up.” Or they may feel like they’ve already gotten a negative response. That’s something that we as parents need to get through a little bit and make sure we have a conversation, but do it in the right way. So we’ll talk about this and give you some hints on how you can do this correctly.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

Working with the school. So if your child has told you, or you think that your kid is being bullied, the first thing that you need to do is make sure you keep a written record. In some instances, your child will come straight out and tell you that they’ve been bullied, here’s what’s happened, and they’ll give you a really good picture of everything. In some cases, you may just notice a mood shift in your kid. There may be something unusual at home, and you may not have a clear indication that something’s wrong. And it may take you a while even before you make a note of this. And then it gets progressively worse over time. Then you get some information and then you get a little more information and finally you find out hey, my daughter has been bullied for the last six months. This may be very unsettling when you find this out, but it’s important to pay close attention to that and then you can write some notes when you first started noticing it when it happened.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

And if the dates aren’t exact, that’s okay. The better you can do it, the more helpful it’ll be. And you want to record the names of the kids involved. All of the kids. It’s often not just the kid who’s being bullied, but there’s often other kids involved, kids that might be egging them on, kids that might not be the original one who’s bullying, but they may be participating later. There also might be kids that are helping your child. Is there anybody helping you? Is there anybody supporting you maybe after the bullying is over? Are they helping you and trying to intervene? Those are important ones to write down too, and make sure you make note of them. You want to know when, what, where and how. All this information. Number two, meet with the teacher and explain everything in a friendly non-confrontational way.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

When you get this information, now you can explain to them “my daughter reported this to me. She said this is what happened and I know this is not good for anybody in the environment of your school, including the kid who’s doing the bullying.” If you’ve listened to our other parts of our program, you know that there’s a lot of negative consequences for the kids who are bullying as well, so you want to make sure this gets fixed.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

And number three is to ask the teacher about their observations. They may have observed something. They may have observed and seen some of this stuff. They may have chalked it up to a conflict. They may have not noticed it. They may have thought that your kid was involved as well and was responding back and forth. That’s an important time not to get defensive. Maybe your kid was involved with responding. Maybe they were responding to getting bullied, or maybe they were also initiating some of it. Let’s wait until we get all the information until we make a decision. And we want to know if they’ve suspected bullying or anything else.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

Number four would be asking how your kid has gotten along with people in class. Have they gotten along with other kids? Have they made friends? Have they been interacting well with other kids? Does it seem like there’s a good social environment around them? Have you noticed that they’ve been isolated or excluded from the playground events or activities with other students? This is important because we want to establish whether or not your child’s social environment is good or not. The teacher may or may not have a great understanding of that because they’ve got a lot of other kids to watch, but if you can establish some good baseline information on whether your kid is making friends, are they playing on the playground? Are they participating in activities? Or are they being excluded from activities? It also will help you get the teacher to pay attention to these things and note these things moving forward.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

Number five, ask the teacher what they intend to do about the bullying and to investigate and stop the bullying. What they intend to do to investigate and stop the bullying. Number six, if you’re concerned about how your child is coping with the stress, if it seems severe… Hopefully we’re intercepting this when it’s more minor and they would be fine to talk to your school if it’s a relatively minor thing. I would much rather you talk to the school when it’s not very severe. If it feels severe or maybe not even that severe, ask to talk to the school counselor. This is nice to do for a couple reasons. One of the reasons is that the school counselor can work in conjunction with the teacher to support stopping the bullying in the classroom.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

Number seven, set up a follow up. Do that the day you meet with the teacher, don’t just say “well, I’ll call you.” Set that up at that time, maybe for 30 days later or whatever time period you feel comfortable with. Set that time up then so it’s on your calendar and it doesn’t get lost because if there’s scenarios where for example, your child might be getting bullied, you meet with the teacher, you go through all this… What happens if your kid gets bullied even more severely as a result of this? Maybe for some reason the strategy didn’t work and it made it worse, now maybe your child doesn’t want to report it to you because the evidence is when he or she reports it, the bullying gets worse and you don’t have the follow up set up in your calendar and you ask your child “how’s the bullying going?” And they say ” oh no, it’s better. It’s much better.”

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

In his or her mind they’re saying “because I don’t want to tell you that it’s worse. I don’t want to tell you it’s worse because you’re going to tell my teacher, then it’s going to make it even worse.” So have the follow up set up so that regardless of what you hear at home, you can then talk to the teacher. And if it is better, then the follow up reinforces the correct behavior that the teacher is doing and everything that’s working well. If it’s not better, then you can make a new plan.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

Number eight would be if there’s no improvement, you need to speak to the school principal. Number nine is, just as a reminder through all this, keep notes. And this because you’re being a lawyer here, but it’s so that you can make sure you’re clear headed and you can speak professionally with everybody, and so there’s less emotion involved. Because it’s very easy for this to escalate into emotion and then you don’t get the outcome that you want. That was number nine, but maybe it should be just number one with everything, is just keep notes.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

Number 10 is the school staff. Your expectation should be that they investigate immediately. So if they say “well, we’re going to get on that next week.” No, they should be doing it now. Bullying isn’t something they get to wait on. They need to do it immediately and they should inform you of their plan as soon as they do something about it. Here’s a couple expectations you should have. Number one, that the school staff should investigate the bullying immediately. As I said before, after they should let you know what their plan is. There shouldn’t be any delay in this. They should let you know very quickly what the deal is. They’re going to be talking to the parents… They should be talking to the parents of the child who is doing the bullying. They should be talking to that child and all the other children involved, including the ones who were helping your child, including the ones who were supporting the child who was bullying and any of the involved parents.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

A couple thoughts on this, the school staff should never have a joint meeting between your child and the child who bullied them. This isn’t conflict resolution, this is bullying. And if the kid who is bullying your child is in a meeting with them, they’re already at a higher power level. There’s an imbalance of power. Bullying is a form of victimization, not conflict. So let me make sure that’s really clear to everybody.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

With bullying versus conflict, you could have person one… If you like my drawing here, this is okay to have people talk it out with conflict. With bullying, you could never have two people talk it out. It’s victimization. So the school staff should never have mediation or conversation. It will be embarrassing for your child and it is very likely to make the bullying worse. So if their plan is to have your kids sit down together and have them talk it out, you need to stop that. It’s fine if you explain bullying and you can share some of this information with them about how bullying is an imbalance of power. That’s not going to resolve the situation. That will embarrass your child and that’s not going to make anything better. That’s going to make it worse.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

What we want to know is what are they going to do so that the kid who’s bullying does not do this anymore. That has to do with that child. What are we going to do to support my child who’s being bullied? That’s the solution we’re looking for, not how they’re going to mediate. No, there’s no mediation there, unless we’ve got this story completely wrong and there’s no imbalance of power and it’s a conflict situation. We want to be very clear about that. What they should be doing with bullying is meeting with the child who is bullying and they should be meeting with the bully child to learn what they’ve experienced and make sure there’s a plan to keep them safe. So the school should be talking to them about keeping them safe. This should be separate. Again, they’re not meeting the kids together, they should make sure that they know what to do, how they’re going to be safe, how they’re going to be supported and feel better if there’s any stress or trauma, then to deal with that.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

They should be meeting with the kid who’s suspected of the bullying, make sure they know the rules. Make sure there are consequences and make sure in both cases, the parents know the plan that the parents know what the plan is and what is tolerated and what is going to be going to be acceptable. What’s important here as well is there’s no blame for the bullied child. Very frequently what happens is they say “well, if you didn’t talk that way, or if you didn’t wear those clothes, or if you didn’t do this or do that, the other kid wouldn’t have bullied you.” If we’ve established this is a bullying situation, there’s no blame involved.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

There may be a lack of social skills or lower self. Maybe they did wear something that really made them stand out. It doesn’t mean we couldn’t make some modifications or help them improve social skills or have them talk to the school counselor about how they operate with other kids. But that’s not blaming them. That’s just other work that we’re going to do to help them develop. That’s a very different thing.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

The school needs that. Also, you need to be patient with the school. Give the school reasonable time to investigate and hear both sides of the story. Just because your kid said were being bullied doesn’t mean that’s what happened. We need to make sure that everything is understood. The next part is we even had cases where a kid says he is being bullied and that’s the bullying. Kid says he is being bullied because they know that school is really harsh on kids who are bullying. And then the kid who’s being accused of being bullied is getting in big trouble and they really didn’t do anything.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

Educators need to make sure that they’re not hasty about making any of these conclusions or jumping to an assessment without understanding the whole situation. But the whole process should not take longer than about a week. More than a week, if I’m a parent, I would say something about it.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

This is very important to do in writing. As the parent make sure this is all in writing and you can document everything. Most administrators and staff are very responsive to bullying concerns. We know that they very much want to handle these situations. It doesn’t mean some of them don’t get through and kids get bullied. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have 19% of kids bullying other kids and 14% of kids getting bullied. That’s about a 30 kids affected by bullying all the time. So just be persistent, make sure that you keep good notes and follow these rules and you’ll get good results most of the time. Sometimes you don’t get good results and then you have to make some other decisions.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

I get asked a lot about when law enforcement should be involved. Law enforcement gets involved when there’s serious physical injury or assault. If a kid’s getting pushed that probably isn’t physical injury. And if a problem persists or escalates and school officials are unable to stop bullying, some parents… We’re not giving any kind of legal advice, but some parents have consulted attorneys. That’s one reason that written records are really important. But it’s very important if law enforcement does get involved, you have a written record and have as much information as possible. But make sure that you understand all these situations before you would escalate anything into the next step. But as soon as there’s serious physical injury or any kind of injury, then we want to make sure that we take the appropriate action.

Dr. Greg Moody, LAC, Chief Master Instructor:

If your school doesn’t have an official bullying prevention program, another piece is, in our prior programs, we talked about the programs that are very effective. Make sure that you get a program that has some evidence basis. It isn’t just a program that’s a feel good program or a program where people write nice letters to each other or write nice things that they’re going to do. Those programs typically don’t work. You need a program that has real consequences for kids that are bullying because bullying will happen, and also has a support structure for kids that are being bullied. Next time we’re going to talk more about what to do to be preemptive as a parent separately from your school to help your kid become safe from bullying and also develop a high level of confidence at the same time that’ll help them in other areas of their life.

Check out the Podcast!


KarateBuilt.com and KarateBuilt Martial Arts have been selected the nation’s #1 martial arts schools for EIGHT YEARS IN A ROW!

KarateBuilt L.L.C. was founded in 1995 by Dr. Greg Moody, an 8th degree Black Belt and Chief Master Instructor, KarateBuilt Martial Arts and Karate for Kids offers lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.

KarateBuilt Martial Arts Adult Karate training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay in shape), or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 866-311-1032 for one of our nationwide locations. You can also visit our website at KarateBuilt.com.

About Dr. Greg Moody:  Dr. Moody is an eighth-degree black belt and chief master instructor.  He has a Ph.D. in Special Education from Arizona State University (along with a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering – he actually is a rocket scientist). He has been teaching martial arts for over 25 years and has owned eight martial arts schools in Arizona and California. Chief Master Moody is a motivational speaker and educator and teaches seminars in bullying, business, and martial arts training, around the world. See more at DrGregMoody.com.

Dr. Moody is also a licensed psychotherapist and maintains a practice at Integrated Mental Health Associates (IntegratedMHA.com) where he specializes in couples therapy and mens issues.

The KarateBuilt Martial Arts Headquarters at KarateBuilt LLC is in Cave Creek, Arizona at 29850 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 105, Cave Creek AZ 85331. You can locate the Chief Instructor, Master Laura Sanborn there directly at ‭(480) 575-8171‬. KarateBuilt Martial Arts serves Cave Creek, Carefree, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley Arizona as well and Grand Rapids, MI.

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P.S. From Ch. Master Moody – I was watching my favorite show – “The Munsters” and Herman Munster was soooo frustrated by the vampire father-in-law (some of you have to be old enough to remember this… see if you can recognize the “imbalance of power” we talk about in bullying prevention above in this kind of relationship.