You Can’t Bully Me will teach you how to make friends with the most important person in your life—you! Everything you feel, everything you believe, everything you like, and everything you dislike are all okay. This book contains writing activities for you to do that will challenge your opinions. Unlike school, there are no wrong answers! Your personality, your character, and your values make you who you are. You will compliment yourself on every page, in color, as a daily reminder of your unique qualities. You Can’t Bully Me will teach you about the ways you are wonderful and special. You are going on a magical journey of discovery.
You can’t bully me, of this I am proud. You can’t bully me, I’ll say it out loud. Your words, taunts, and laughter don’t get to me at all; I know who I am and how to stand tall.
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Read an Excerpt
You Can't Bully Me
A Guide for Kids to Win Confidence and Lose a Bully
By Linda Landes
Balboa PressCopyright © 2015 Linda Landes
All rights reserved.
WE ARE BULLIED EVERY DAY
No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
The people in your life who present you with the greatest challenges are often your best teachers.
You cant control things, but you can control your reaction to things.
Bullying is an every day occurrence, even towards grown-ups. Think about it:
– being cut off in traffic,
– when someone honks the horn to make the driver go faster,
– the neighbor who tells you to cut your grass,
– when someone makes fun of how you behave.... you get the idea.
Every time someone insists you do things their way, you are experiencing a form of bullying. Some of the things on this list don't seem like such a big deal to you, do they?
How you react or respond is an indication of your emotional connection to it. None of the things listed deserve any energy or worry.
Activity: List some places outside of school where you think bullying happens. They don't have to be things that have happened to you; perhaps you have noticed something happening to someone else and you didn't like what you saw. Next to the occurrence, write how it made you feel inside and how it made you feel about the person it was happening to.
Note: The bully is teaching you that they don't have what it takes to be your friend. Let me say this again:
the bully does not have what it takes to be your friend.
You choose who your friends are.
You choose how you spend your time together.
This is part of your power; keep it and use it.CHAPTER 2
WHO IS THE BULLY?
You're probably thinking the best answers to this question would be: someone at school, someone at afterschool care, your brother or sister. It's possible. But I am focusing on the one you meet in school.
Nevertheless, I think that every time you make a mistake, even a little one, and in your head, you call yourself bad names, then the bully is you. The old-fashioned expression is You Are Your Own Worst Enemy.
What do you tell yourself when you mess up?
I'm guessing that you tell yourself a combination of pep talks and hurtful thoughts too.
Which one might make you feel better: telling yourself "You're such a dummy!" or "What a dumb thing to do." Do you think you're dumb about everything? I don't think so. One comment is directed at you in your heart. The other talks only about the thing that happened. What words would you say to your friend whose feelings are hurt?
Why don't you say them to yourself? Do you think you deserve being bullied? No, no, no, you do not.
People talk and write books about forgiveness all the time. It's a difficult thing to do, forgiving yourself. Pick one thing that doesn't go well for you and start the process of forgiving yourself. How? Apologize to yourself for something.
For me, it's about my weight. My weight is completely my own fault. I don't look the way I would really like to look. Some days, its easy to watch what I eat, and some days its not. It's a long process – it took a long time to get to be this size, and it will take a long time to get back down to a reasonable and healthy size. Every day is a chance to start over and do better.
Everyone wants to be perfect all the time, and they are afraid of what might happen if they aren't. Does this describe you? The not-so-secret secret is that its impossible.
Goal: be the best you can be at this moment in time.
Be a hero for yourself.CHAPTER 3
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS WRONG ABOUT YOU? WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU CANT CHANGE?
There is a lot of work in this chapter. Please don't do all the work in one day; I truly want you to think about your feelings.
Let go of what was, accept what is, and have faith in what will be. Past, present and future.
Activity: honestly write what you think is 'wrong' about you.
Notice that I did not give you a lot of space in which to write. What sort of hateful things did you write? Did you write the things the bully is saying to you? Would you ever say those things to someone else to hurt them? Why do you say them to yourself?
There are so many things you cant change....
Height story: Shawn was the shortest boy in fifth grade, and was quick-witted and serious about school. He was also an excellent basketball player. The boys figured out how to get to him – they teased him about his height and this teasing caused him to fistfight. One day, while Shawn was in tears, storming off the court, I was able to get him to walk and talk with me. I made the point that there was nothing he could do about his height and that in fact he should be celebrating it because he was fast on his feet and could easily get under the taller boys to steal the ball, which he did all the time. That made him laugh, and he admitted that he was proud of himself for being able to do that.
This-is-how-I-was-born story: Another young man I admire is now a motivational speaker and travels the world to share his story. His name is Nick Vujicic. Nick was born without arms and legs (he has a partial foot on one side). He was teased in school so much, he thought about killing himself because he didn't see how he could ever be happy and live any kind of normal life. He changed his mind because his family had been really loving and supportive and he didn't want to hurt them by doing it. Instead, Nick tried to do everything everybody else did (sometimes with success but sometimes not), and learned how to do many things. Watch the video that introduced him to me: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/against-all-odds/. He is thankful for everything he does have instead of being angry for everything he doesn't have.
Check in: How do you feel about the stories you just read?
Money story: I don't believe in buying things you can't afford. If you're being bulled (or if you're bullying yourself) because you cant afford to get a new toy, then we have a bigger issue to discuss. You must be grateful for what you do have. If you want something else, then step up your game. If you get an allowance, save more of your money. I promise you, everything you buy for yourself will mean more to you because you earned it.
Another side of this would be, why do you want the latest toy? If you really don't need it for your life and you want it because everyone else is getting one, then you have to learn gratitude. I owned my last car for 22 years. I took very good care of it; not having a car payment allowed me to go on vacation and have other things in my life; teachers don't make a lot of money. My budget isn't big enough to keep replacing things that aren't broken. The television in my bedroom is 25 years old. I only watch TV in the bedroom when I lay down to go to sleep; why spend money on a flat screen when I don't really need it? Do you understand my point?
Gratitude Journal: Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.
Every day, you will be writing at least three things that you were grateful for that day. You can write in any kind of book you like. I use a small 3"x5" spiral notebook and my three usually fit on one sheet.
For example, mine for today are:
1. I got home with groceries before the thunderstorm,
2. It only took a couple of minutes to find the math mistake in my checkbook (I had reversed two numbers), and
3. A friend called and asked me to go out to dinner.
None of these seems extraordinary, but each of them made me smile. That's all it takes.
Gratitude Story: Patti was the oldest of four kids. She was always taking care of her younger siblings and complaining about it. One Monday, I overheard her crying to her best friend about how she had gone to a picnic the day before and no one paid attention to her. When I found out the source of her upset, I pointed out that she had been given the day off from caretaking. I asked her if she had alone time to draw and read (she had), and whether her mother found her when it was time to eat (she did). This poor girl didn't enjoy a perfectly lovely day outdoors because she didn't realize what she had. She was too busy focusing on something she didn't have (and thought she wanted) and missed out on gratitude.
Write your first gratitude journal entry with Today's date:
Check In: Do these stories make sense to you? Do you think you can switch your thinking around and be glad for your stuff instead of sad?
Other things you cant change include your skin color, the shape of your face, the history of your family, your culture.
You are unique.
You are best at being you, whoever that may be.
You are perfect at being imperfect.CHAPTER 4
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS RIGHT ABOUT YOU? WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU CAN CHANGE?
There is a lot of work in this chapter too. Again, please don't do all the work in one day; I truly want you to think about your feelings.
Be someone who makes you happy instead of being with someone who makes you happy.
Activity: what's 'right' about you? Use highlighters, and colored pencils to circle or underline all the compliments you write to yourself.
Did you include: clever, kind, mischievous, funny, creative, strong, friendly, smart, leader, neat, curious, loveable, silly, optimistic, brave, generous, determined, good-looking, angelic, cool, athletic, clean, gentle, organized, thoughtful, brilliant, nature lover, inquisitive, daring, hopeful, adventurous, caring, persevering, honest, special, happy, big-hearted, fashionable, inventive, joyful, powerful, loving, cuddly, polite, forgiving, artistic, graceful, powerful, inspirational, sensitive, joyous, charming, peaceful? If any of these is missing from your list and you like it, add it now and highlight it. The choices are limitless. Be who you want to be!
On which list should we put scared, unsure, lonely, careful? Actually, these are normal things and belong on both lists. It's healthy to feel these things. Crying is healthy, too, for girls and boys.
Check In: How do you feel about yourself now?
How do you feel about the bully?
Love yourself like your life depends on it, because it does.
The past is over. It can't hurt you any more.
Compassion – Have it for everyone, especially yourself. Hug yourself every day. Give yourself credit for everything that went well during the day, and make an action plan for the things that didn't turn out well. Most of all, applaud your efforts and forgive your shortcomings. Practice and you will improve.
Every book you read about bullying will tell you that its not you, its the bully. The bully is angry, and doesn't have self-esteem or confidence.
We aren't focusing on changing that person. We aren't focusing on changing you. Keep liking all the things you like. Keep being nerdy, geeky, weird, and funny, if those are the words you call yourself (these words describe me), and celebrate yourself. Like yourself for being the way you are. Keep going!
Things I don't like: licorice, root beer, peppermint, spicy foods, fart jokes, plaid, vampire and monster movies, roller coasters. Should I apologize for not liking this stuff? I just don't like them. Just because I'm not a good cook, does it mean I cant eat? You do what you can, when you can.
Look how many choices there are in the world. Despite all the color choices in the paint store, people still combine colors to create something new. Same thing goes with music. The same notes and chords are available for every musician to use. Look how many songs there are! Words – look how many books there are about so many different things! Cars, clothes, sneakers, and so forth.
When you visit someone in their home, does it look like your house? Does everyone drive the same car? Would you want someone else's bedroom to look like yours? Think about it. These are examples of things you want to be different; why are you so busy worrying that you might not be the same as everyone else?
There are things you can change:
Hygiene: You must bathe every day and use deodorant if necessary. You must wear clean clothes, or at least clean underwear and socks, and a clean shirt when you can. I also have a thing about hands, so trim your nails and wash the dirt out from under them. If you think you look good, you will feel good too.
Check In: What can you do to take better care of yourself?
Smarts: Well, as a teacher, you just know I will tell you to do your homework. Also, read, read, read, anything and everything. Practicing school will give you better grades and expand your knowledge. Knowledge is power. On my board every year, I wrote this rhyme: The more you learn, the more you earn. It's true.
Check In: Which school subject do you need to work harder to master? They are all connected; how can you start doing your best?
Athletic ability: Are you on a team? How many practices are you allowed to miss before you're kicked off the team? Practicing your particular skill and working it with a team is what practice is all about. The expression is "Everyone brings something to the party." One person can't play all the positions. Learn about sportsmanship and fair play because you'll be living these for the rest of your life.
If you're not on a team, you still need to work your body. Look around at all the older people with walkers and canes. I'm not suggesting you take up a sport and train for the Olympics; just do some activities you like every day to keep your body strong and healthy. I don't care how much you weigh; I care that you will be able to keep moving and enjoy your life.
Check In: Make a list of activities you really like so you can choose one to do every day:
Weight story: Let me tell you about Tim. Tim is a voracious (look it up; its a great word) reader. Instead of playing at recess, he always chose to read. Reading was his escape. I found out he was being bullied by the kid in class who was bullying everyone who wasn't in his group and/or wasn't athletic. I called Tim into the classroom one morning before the bell rang to find out what was going on and where it was happening. He told me the boy had been calling him fat names and wouldn't stop despite being asked.
I thought about it for a minute and then asked him what his reaction would be to being called stupid. Tim looked at me with a puzzled expression and asked me if I was serious. I nodded. Tim said that was ridiculous. Okay, I said, why? Tim said he knew he is smart. So, I said, maybe when this other boy is calling you fat, it bothers you because there's some truth to it? Tim blushed and I could see I had embarrassed him a little. I asked Tim if someone commented that I had gained a few pounds and I patted my belly and agreed, would that person say anything to me about it again? He said probably not. So, Tim, I continued, you have two choices. You can pat your belly and smile or you can do something about it. By the time, three weeks later, we had returned from spring break, Tim had lost five pounds and admitted that he felt better. The bully couldn't call him fat anymore.
Check In: Did I offer Tim a reasonable solution? Why or why not?
Culture: Everyone in this country came from somewhere else. Trace your history to the first person in your family who came to America. Chances are you will find out that life was very difficult in the beginning. The thing that people relied on most was the way of life they had before. Customs and traditions are very important to most people. I enjoy lighting Hanukkah candles with my Jewish friends as much as decorating a Christmas tree with my Catholic friends. I like the idea of dance as prayer, which is part of almost every culture.
My advice is to embrace where your family came from and enjoy your history. It is part of what makes you special and different; these are good differences. Anyone who teases you is trying to embarrass you about yourself.
Check In: Do you feel proud of your family? Why do you allow anyone to challenge your love?
The bully will throw out a bunch of statements and keep coming back to the one that makes you react because that's what makes you the target. This is called "pushing your buttons." The bully is really, really good at pushing them. Does the bully ever say mean things to other kids when the friends aren't around? Probably not. The bully loses power when no one is around.
Excerpted from You Can't Bully Me by Linda Landes. Copyright © 2015 Linda Landes. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsIntroduction For Kids, 9,
Introduction For Parents, 21,
Chapter 1 We Are Bullied Every Day, 25,
Chapter 2 Who Is The Bully?, 29,
Chapter 3 What Do You Think Is Wrong About You? What Are The Things You Cant Change?, 37,
Chapter 4 What Do You Think Is Right About You? What Are The Things You Can Change?, 49,
Chapter 5 What Are You Afraid Of?, 71,
Chapter 6 Confidence, 79,
Chapter 7 What Can You Do To Honor Yourself?, 89,
Chapter 8 Intentions, 95,
Chapter 9 Friendship, 101,
Chapter 10 Who Are You Better Than?, 107,
Chapter 11 Meditation, 109,
Chapter 12 Afterwards, 113,