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  • Writer's pictureDr. Luisa Bryce

“You’re weird, Luisa!” Bullying prevention 101

Earlier this month, I attended a play therapy conference for psychology geeks. Now that I’m an adult, I’m ok with being called a geek, and I don’t mind it when people say to me, “Wow, Luisa, you’re weird.” But when I was growing up, it was a different story. Being called weird hurt my feelings and made me question my already-fragile sense of self.

Each and every day, millions of kids suffer the effects of verbal bullying. We, as adults, can help prevent bullying by getting involved with our kids. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say and do, to balance allowing kids stick up for themselves with intervening and taking matters into adult hands. Luckily, there are many resources that can help.

While I was at the conference, I came across a book entitled WEIRD! by Erin Frankel. This book is about a girl who is verbally bullied. She tries to change everything about herself to make the bullying stop, but it doesn’t work. She eventually talks to her mom, who helps her to realize she is great just the way she is. And guess what? The girl’s name is Luisa. Naturally, I had to buy the book. Not only is the story entertaining and educational, but there are several fantastic resources at the back of the book to aid adults in getting involved with bullying prevention. There are also fun, excellent strategies for kids to use to handle bullying effectively. Here’s my favorite one, called “WEIRD,” which helps Luisa to embrace her differences and respect herself:

W: When I feel nervous, scared or sad, I can think positive thoughts.

E: Everyone has the right to feel safe and respected, including me.

I: I am not to blame when someone choses to bully me.

R: Remember, there are people who care and want to help me if I ask them to.

D: Don’t give anyone the power to take away what makes me special.

If you want to snag a copy of WEIRD! for yourself, check out Free Spirit Publishing.

If your child or someone you know is suffering from bullying, don’t hesitate to contact Harmony At Home for help. Bullying is NEVER ok.



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