Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bullies and Cyber Bullies: How to Protect You and Your Kids

Bully Proof Your Child For Life

DBKP Interview with Author Dr. Joel Haber

Whereas years ago, kids would write their anonymous gossip on bathroom walls, now they’ve found a way to send their nastiness to a much wider audience.

The newest and potentially most dangerous form of bulling, “cyberbullying,” is growing so fast, it is proving difficult for researchers and therapists to keep up.

A new study just reported that cyberbullying among teens and preteens has increased by 50% in the last 5 years.

--Dr. Joel Haber, "The Bully Coach" on Cyber Bullies

* * *

DBKP Talks to Dr. Joel Haber about how to protect your kids from Bullies, Cyber Bullies and His New Book, "BullyProof Your Child For Life".

The DBKP Interview Room

Today we talk to nationally-known "Bully Coach", Dr. Joel Haber, about his new book, "Bullyproof Your Child for Life". Our guests today include TherapyDoc from "Everyone Needs Therapy" and Fighter from "Cyberpaths", along with Little Baby Ginn and Mondoreb from Death by 1000 Papercuts.

: Hi Dr. Haber! Welcome to The DBKP Interview Room.

Dr. Joel Haber
: Hello everybody. Thanks for giving me this opportunity.

: Okay, Joel, let's get to it. If you had one thing to tell a parent about protecting their kids from bullies, what would it be?

Joel Haber
: Bully Prevention can be summed up with one factor that remains pretty constant: The way a child responds to bullying events will determine whether those events repeat or escalate.

A child who can laugh it off, walk away, and feel good about him- or herself anyway is not likely to become a long-term target.

On the other hand, the likelihood of further attacks increases the more emotional the child becomes in reaction to the bullying.

: So Mom's advice to "just ignore them them" wasn't bad?

Dr. Haber
: A child who gets angry, cries, pouts, whines, or runs to a teacher is probably going to be harassed time and again.

Have you ever heard of the story, " The Boy with the Funny Laugh"?

Dr. Joel Haber
: It’s a really good story to get us to think about our behavior and reflect on what our role is in the bullying dynamic. I like it a lot.

Little Baby Ginn
: Is passive aggressive bullying harder to deal with than overt bullying?

Joel Haber
: Absolutely, because passive aggressive bullying is “indirect” which makes it more difficult to see, hear, or handle. Indirect bullying involves things like gossiping behind people’s backs, eye rolls, or exclusion which may not be easy to see.

: Earlier, before the interview, you outlined a few helpful tips for parents to keep their kids safe on-line from cyber bullies. Would you mind repeating a few of those.again, please?

Joel Haber
: First of all, parents need to learn some of the shorthand that their kids are using. POS [parent over shoulder] (a good beginning so parents can speak the lingo).

1-Remind kids that the Internet is not face to face, and you never know who you are speaking to, so watch what you say (once you press the send key, you can’t take it back).
2-Tell kids to treat others like you would your favorite grandmother and watch what they say if it may hurt others. Being mean, or threatening to others online may be a crime, so you need to be very careful, and parents need to teach their kids how to be responsible online.
3-Encourage your kids to let you know if they ever get threatened online, so the parent can report the abuse to a governing agency.

: Our site deals with adult on adult predation (and of course bullying once the prey gets a little too suspicious or exposes them...) Is there anything from your book, any advice, that would be helpful to someone who's being bullied because they became suspicious of someone's on-line behavior?

Joel Haber
: Try to document all the evidence you have, and see if you can get support for your ideas. Documentation keeps the behavior very objective and avoids a shouting match!

See if you can get others to join you- when you’re with others who support you, there is less likelihood to be bullied and it helps you keep perspective even if the bullying gets emotional.

: Has it ever back-fired, telling a patient (or child) to be assertive with a bully; meaning, did your advice ever get a person beat up?

Joel Haber
: Being assertive can put you in danger, so I don’t always suggest that. I suggest that we know our kids, and teach them skills to make them less targetable. Sometimes that involves assertion, and sometimes it involves showing less emotion.

: Any tips on how do you handle a passive-aggressive bully?

Joel Haber
: When you see passive-aggressive behavior, call them out on it, and ask if you did anything to make them mad? If not, ask them why they are behaving that way.

: How long have you been working on the book? Did it take you awhile to do it?

Joel Haber
: I have worked for years on this book. I feel proud of it and think this will be the last resource parents will need to help their children to manage bullying issues.

: What model of home/ upbringing would a bully come from? Narcissistic or sociopathic parent? Other?

Joel Haber
: Bullies actually come from families with what we call an authoritarian style- one parent who always wins, gets his/her way, and the other parent who also loses conflicts. In these homes, kids observe that bullying and aggression win!

Or, the kids get scared off from the bullying and they side with the losing parent: creating kids who are afraid of conflict and become targets. So- a sociopathic parent can create a bullying kid, but the power imbalance at home creates the problems for kids either as bullies or victims.

: Is there anybody that is hopeless? I mean, do you think your book or the techniques described in it--and which you've had years of experience with--would help everyone? Or are there a few people out there who are not bully proof?

Joel Haber
: Nobody is really hopeless- because all kids can learn something to help them become Bullyproof. Some special needs kids, though, may have problems learning lots of strategies, but one good one may be enough. If a kid can’t learn, then the adults or peers around them need to learn how to step up and help out the kid who is lacking in skills.

: Okay, that's about all the time we have. Thanks to TherapyDoc and Fighter for joining Little Baby Ginn and myself to talk to "The Bully Coach", Dr. Joel Haber, about how to keep kids safe. It's all in his new book, "BullyProof Your Child For Life".

Thanks Dr. Haber.

Joel Haber
: My pleasure, I enjoyed it.

ORDER BULLYPROOF from AMAZON: BullyProof Your Child for Life
DISCOUNT: Order "Bullyproof your Child For Life" NOW and receive a discount!
List Price: $14.95 NOW Discount: $11.21
Know anyone who might be bullied? They'll remember your Gift of "Bullyproof".

Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon

VISIT THE WEBSITE: www.bullyproofchild.com

"Dr. Joel Haber, Ph.D is a clinical psychologist who has devoted more than twenty years to preventing abusive behaviors in children and adults, as well as consulting across the country to schools, camps and sports teams, teaching children how to handle being bullied and adults how to prevent it."

"He is known as "The Bully Coach" and is the official Bullying Consultant to the American Camp Association. In this book, he offer parents his practical and proven technique for stamping out bullying once and for all."

"He wrote this book to help you and your kids deal with these issues!"

"Bully Proof" presents a three-step program to address bullying everywhere it happens, and also breaks new ground in the latest alternative environments where the problem is on the rise (school, sports, camp, online).

by Mondoreb
[images: joelhaber;victimservicesbrant]


Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.

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