Hey, Tribelet! I hope you had a great day at school (or at homeschool or co-op or whatever!). I love that you come here to join other tween girls who want to learn how to put an end to bullying. Like ELLA and ALEX, pictured here with their pledge card.
Right now we're focusing on how NOT to be a bystander -- although it's cool how some of the things we know can help someone who's being bullied (like Save the Tears) can help US too.
HADASSAH saved her tears for the car on the way home from a birthday party where everyone just stared at her because she wasn't dressed like them --(And did the same thing to her MOM when she came to pick her up. You gotta wonder what makes some people so rude ... we'll talk about that much later)
MADIE shared her story of teaching her sister how to Save the Tears --in a very different way. "My sister was hanging out with one of her friends (let's call her #1) when another one of her friends (let's call her #2) came over. #1 immediately abandoned my sister and dragged #2 off to play. Well, i found my sister over on a chair watching them. I asked what was wrong and she told me they weren't including her. So I went over to #2 (I should've gone to #1) and told her my sister was feeling left out. So #2 went over, grabbed my sister's hand and dragged her to play apologizing the whole way! That's how I "Saved the Tears!"
We've also learned that sometimes when you help a victim of bullying, the meanness turns on you. It helps to have a positive one-liner to use when that happens. Here are some that you came up with.
* APRIL: "I REALLY can't believe you just said that. Wow. Just Wow!"
* ANNELIE: "You have an amazing influential talent, why not use it for good and not bad?"
* MADIE: "Treating someone kindly makes you feel better than hurting someone!"
* HADASSAH: " That's my style. It doesn't matter."
* MAGGIE: "It's the inner beauty that God looks at not the outer beauty."
One thing we have to be VERY careful about when using our positive one liners is that we don't take a tone that will make things worse. One of those tones is called condescending. That means saying it like you're far better than the bully or that you think she needs to be talked to like a kindergartner so she'll get it.
Another tone that will make things worse for YOU is a defensive one, like you have to explain yourself or argue. That just gives the bully more to work with.
Let's look at some of our examples.:
* If MADIE took a condescending tone with her one-liner -- "Treating someone kindly makes you feel better than hurting someone!" -- it might come out bossy. Like she's way wiser than the bully and is going to tell her how to act. Although it might work better to say, "I try to treat people kindly because it makes me feel better," MADIE could still use her original comment but make sure she says it as if she and the bully are equals. Same with MAGGIE'S.
* If HADASSAH took a defensive tone with hers -- "That's my style. It doesn't matter," it might sound like "So there! Neener neener!" It might be better to drop the "It doesn't matter," and say, "That's my style and I love it!" For that to work, the tone has to be positive and happy and confident.
The purpose of the one-liner is not to get the better of the bully or come out on top or even to change her (because you probably can't). The purpose is for you to keep the power to be yourself, and being condescending and defensive isn't who anybody really is.
To make sure you get the right tone, the best thing to do is practice. Ask your mom or another female adult you trust (guys are no help here -- their way of handling bullying is way different from ours!) to listen as you say your one-liner as if a bullying girl has said something nasty to you. You can even ask your mom/adult to actually say it so you can respond. You'll feel like giggling at first, so go ahead (like anybody could stop you, right?) But once you get serious, I think you'll understand this whole tone thing.
If you want to comment -- and I hope you ALL will -- tell us how your tone came out when you practiced with someone. Did you have to change it? Tell us all about it!
Imagine I'm talking to you right now. Hear me say -- with a tone of respect and love and wanting-to-help: "I am SO proud of you for working hard to stop the bullying that happens in your life. You. Are. Awesome!"