Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An Imaginative, Fun, and Educational Resource for Children, Parents and Teachers to Deal with Bullying


My book, The Bully and the Booger Baby: A Cautionary Tale, is a fiction story for children about bullying. However, the book also offers two chapters of researched strategies to help children, parents, and teachers deal with bullying. I have provided an excerpt from only a very small portion of chapter 10 which is called “How to Deal with Bullying: Information and Strategies for Children, Parents, and Teachers.”

            Apple Valley Elementary School is a fictional setting in a made-up story, but Apple Valley is representative of a very real bullying problem that exists in schools and communities across America. Walter Weakly (Booger Baby) is not a real little boy, but he represents real boys and girls that truly are the victims of bullies, some of whom face even more abusive bullying situations than Walter does in the story.
Timmy Tuttle (Timmy Tuff) is also not a real boy, but he is representative of real boys and girls who do harass and bully other children, some in much more drastic ways than even Timmy Tuff does in the story.
Of course, Robby the Robot is a made-up character.  Wouldn’t it be nice, however, if all schools could have a Robby the Robot? Robby and the teachers represent one of the major problems with the bully dilemma – a subconscious denial that bullying is a problem, the tendency to turn a blind eye to it, and, ultimately, the urgent need to become aware and address the situation.
Bullying and cyber-bullying (bullying via the Internet) are increasingly serious problems for youth in the United States and across the world. Our young people can’t learn in school or succeed in life if they are afraid to go to school or play in the community because of fear of being bullied, threatened, or harmed. Undoubtedly, children who are targeted by bullies in school or on the Internet feel fearful, helpless, hopeless, and possibly even embarrassed. There must be hope for such children. Our schools and communities, including principals, teachers, parents, and students, must first recognize bullying for the serious problem that it is. Recognition is the first step.
            Children probably have no problem recognizing a bully when they see one or experience being the target of one. Parents, school staff, and community leaders need to recognize bullying characteristics, as well.
             Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, philosopher and poet, expressed it most eloquently in saying,  “When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.” There is some truth to Emerson’s words. Bullies do make a show of false bravado or toughness. Bullies tease and harass, but some bullies are all bark and no bite, as the old saying goes. If children who are the targets of bullies were to “pull off their beard” and call their bluff, they may discover beneath a real cream puff.
Unfortunately, most bullies, however, have some kind of advantage, size, strength, or power over their victims. Most children who are bullies intend to inflict emotional, verbal or physical harm on the children they are targeting. These are the types of bullies who represent a   threat and ever-increasing problem for children and teenagers.

            The above excerpt from part of chapter 10 suggests to you an idea of the types of bullies who present an increasing problem and are a threat to the happiness, safety, and well-being of children. The remainder of  chapter 10, as well as chapter 11, offer researched, proven, and sound strategies for parents, teachers, and children to deal with the problem.

            The Bully and the Booger Baby: A Cautionary Tale can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as Books-A-Million. It is available in paperback, Kindle and Nook formats. Visit my Amazon page to find links for purchase of this book. Also visit my book website, Melissa Harker Ridenour Books, to find useful information, resources, links, and educational games and videos that serve to help parents, teachers, and children address all aspects of the bullying dilemma, as well as child safety.


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