Many of my blog posts have mentioned allies to GLBT kids who are bullied: GSLEN (Gay Straight Lesbian Educational Network), PFLAG (Parents of Lesbian and Gays). While these are terrific support services for bullied kids and their parents, there are other means for combating bullying that are based on self-reliance and self-advocacy. Author Trevor Blake espouses this latter principle:
5 Strategies that Tweens and Teens Can Use to Stop Bullying
Inspiration from and for a Bullied Kid
Trevor Blake was bullied as a child. He used to hide out in the school library. But it wasn’t a waste of time. He found company in autobiographies of famous people who were once bullied, but later become successful: celebrities like Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, and Angelina Jolie.
Blake realized, after reading about these renown figures, that they used three behaviors so they wouldn’t become victims.These behaviors became the basis for Blake’s bestselling book, Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life (BenBella, 2012).
What Does Blake Attribute His Success To?
These simple three steps outlined in the book, #5 on the New York Times’s BestSeller List, can help anyone, as entrepreneur Blake did, transform their life and achieve success. Using the three principles, despite stock market crashes, dot-com busts, and the recession, Blake founded in 2002 a company focused on solutions for rare diseases, QOL Medical LLC. In 2010, he sold the company for over 100 million. Then in 2006, he founded a unique virtual not-for-profit dedicated to developing low-side effect cancer drugs. In 2011, he co-founded Kalvi Medical LLC. He is currently coproducing a reality show about bullying.
The author is donating a copy of this book to every U.S. library so kids will learn how to control their own lives as he did. The profits of the book will be donated to cancer treatment research and development in honor of his mother who had cancer for fourteen years.
The Three Simple Steps Defined
Step No. 1. Don’t feel victimized – as if you have no control over your life.
Step No. 2. This step gives you insight so you can proceed with a plan that will differentiate you from those who are not successful.
Step No. 3. This step shows you how to turn your insights into profitable and valuable experiences.
Self-Advocacy: The 3 Steps and 5 Strategies are Intertwined
· Be a moving target. Don’t make yourself accessible: change your seat at lunch or on the bus or plan to be with a friend. Eventually, the bully will find someone else to pick on.
· Imagine a better outcome. Positive thoughts can create positive outcomes. Don’t dwell on negativity that can breed resentment, hatred, anger, and frustration.
· Walk in the bully’s sneakers. Figure out why the bully wants to feel superior to his victims. What is lacking in his life? When you know, you can gain perspective.
· Wear an invisibility shield. Your child will not absorb the bully’s negativity if he has self-confidence. He should picture being wrapped in an invisible cloak that bullies can’t penetrate. When the bully has a following, your child can direct attention to the followers, not himself.
When your son/daughter is alone with a follower, preferably with a friend who is a witness, have him ask the follower why he joins in with the bully. To save face, the joiner may drop out of the bully’s posse.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.