Release destructive emotions


How to Talk with a Kid with a Bad Attitude

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“Maturity is the ability to take responsibility for the mistakes you make and spend more of your time in a consciousness of love. Maturity is choosing to move on from negative beliefs and emotions stuck in your mind and come to terms with the debits and credits that life has afforded you. Maturity is also choosing kindness and love in every situation.” – Lynne Namka, Your Quick Anger Makeover Plus Twenty Other Cutting-Edge Techniques to Release Anger!

Attitudes! Some young people use bad attitudes to keep adults away. Apathy, sullenness and disrespect are ways that some young people say “Get out of my face. I don’t want to talk about it.”

It is hard being a parent of a child who displays a perpetually sullen attitude. Parents are unprepared when their formerly loving child starts to withdraw from the family (which is normal teen age behavior) and respond in short, hateful phrases (which is not.) They go to a place where there is “no more nice” and, in place, is a moody, temperamental kid with an attitude that just won’t stop!

Yet, in the simplest sense, a negative or bad attitude about life is the child’s way of asking for help. Most adults do not know how to help children when they are rude and react in anger and helplessness. Sarcasm and putdowns can be a sign of hidden anger.

Bad attitudes are catching. Children learn back talk from listening to their peers. Negative attitudes spread from one group to another. Television and media sarcasm and put-downs are now the norm at many schools and peer cultures. Younger students “catch” rude answers and comeback from the older students. Children that are bullied and called names, then turn around and use those names on others. This perpetuates the cycle of hurt and shame that creates bullies. Negativity is becoming the norm in certain subcultures of young people. For some, it is “cool” to be sarcastic and say put downs to peers.

bad attitude, anger, teens anger

A negative or bad attitude about life is the child’s way of asking for help. Most adults do not know how to help children when they are rude and react in anger and helplessness. Show love with sweetness and gentleness and show it with toughness and boundaries.

Some children’s anger comes from being disappointed and hurt and not knowing how to express unhappy feelings to get the pain out. Some anger is real as a result of being hurt. Some anger is a result of realistic expectations that were not met and some anger comes from unrealistic expectations.

Anger in some children is based on not having limits placed of their behavior when they were young giving them a sense of entitlement. Do you get gratification from having the best-dressed child, with name brands? Have you shielded him from the natural consequences of his misbehavior? Have you rescued him from educators/coaches who disciplined him? Do you go to battle with the legal system when he has broken the law? All of these decisions on your part can have a detrimental effect on your child.

Other anger is based on irrational thinking and assumptions that are wrong. Some of children’s anger is displaced on parents – they had a bad day at school so yell at you. And sometimes, your anger at outside events gets displaced on your kid.

Fight attitude with an attitude of your own – the “Tough Beans” approach. Say to your child: Sometimes the beans (life) are hard. When that happens, you just have to chew harder! You have to try harder. And in combating a child’s negative attitude, you have to get tough. This is the “When the going gets tough, the tough get hardy” approach.

You don’t have to take it on the chin with teen disrespect. Be strong upfront while granting your child’s requests. Don’t show any signs of weakness – kids can read these cues like a book. Later on, you can be a marshmallow mom or dad after your youngster has shown flexibility some maturity and demonstrated responsibility. Be the strong authority figure in your home as you set the values you expect your children to live by. No wishy-washy communication. Remind your child that kindness is an important part of your family. Don’t let the trashy media culture and cynical peer culture train your children. You only get to put your values in your children for such a short while.

Teach them that connection to each others is one of the most important family values. Nobody loves your kids the way you do. Show it with sweetness and gentleness and show it with toughness.

Sign up to Time To Love Yourself, in the top, right corner of this post, to receive your free eBook, “Your Quick Anger Makeover” by feelings expert, Lynne Namka. Packed with the newest ideas about how to understand and liberate anger and other unwanted, raw emotions, this ebook is a practical, light-hearted guide to take you through your wildest and woolliest feelings. Perfect for every family. 240 pages, a $19.95 value. Don’t miss this great opportunity!

Reviews of Your Quick Anger Makeover:

“You have written an encyclopedia on anger!” – Rami Katz, M. S. W.

“Your Quick Anger Make Over is not only about anger. It reinforces what it is to be normal with feelings. It answers the questions of what are the boundaries and what are the extremes of human emotions. Boundaries were misinterpreted for me when I grew up. This book helped me realize the continuum of normal emotions and behavior and where I fit on this continuum. I enjoyed the chapter on defensiveness and how to change. I can evaluate myself in a realistic way and become more accepting with myself.” – Karen Seibert, teacher

Don’t Go With the “S” Word – Sarcasm

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“Stop, stop, stop using sarcastic words! Sarcasm is a learned habit of moving away from problem solving. Sarcasm is a form of dishonesty as you say one thing but mean another. It is a technique of distraction moving away from the issue at hand. It teaches disrespect.”- Lynne Namka

Sarcasm. Teens, and even tweens, can become quite verbal in saying things they don’t mean in an attempt to show their superiority to best you. They have years of practice of going for the jugular veins with their peers using put downs to show verbal superiority. Put downs are a form of sport with young people. They can joust with words with Olympic competence. Don’t you go there. It will be disaster if you do. You won’t win. No one wins in mind games of derision and scorn. Think of sarcasm as a typical teen trap baited and waiting for you to fall into to. Sarcasm can be a factor in teen bullying.

The worst thing you can do is to run to the brink with your anger, then bail out and agree to what your child wants. Getting angry and then giving in is a sure-fire invitation to your child to do whatever he did to push your buttons to the max. Over and over!

teen saracism

Children learn that there are different expectations of how they are allowed to express themselves in different social situations. Sarcasm is never appropriate. This is the time that you have to install healthy values and boundaries in your children.

Roll with the emotional punches – those highs and lows of teen dramas. Of course, you will have to stop freaking out over the latest fads and fashion. As a client told me recently, some advice that helped him was “Nobody ever died of a messy room!” Your overreaction to the temporary bizarre ideas and ways of dressing just makes young people desire them all the more. Let normal childhood phases run their course! Don’t make a big deal of their fads and they won’t have a reason to hold on to them. Think of Romeo and Juliet—if their parents hadn’t objected to the romance so much, they might have gotten tired of each other.

So even if sarcasm is ripe within the teen culture, don’t allow it to take over your home. Even young children learn that there are different expectations of how they are allowed to express themselves in different social situations. The language that is allowed on the playground or pool hall is not always the language allowed when speaking to grandma or at church. Set a strong boundary of what you will allow in your home. Say something like, “You may throw your put downs and smart remarks with your friends. This is how you joust for power with them. However, I will not allow the use of sarcasm here at home. You may not speak sarcastically to adults or younger children. We will use the words of loving kindness with each other as a family. You have the right to call me on this when I step out of bounds.”

Then hang a sign on your fridge which says, “Respect Spoken Here.”

Boundaries! We all need ‘em. So set them again and again with your children. Tell them what you want. Teach them what is and is not allowed in your family. This is the time that you have to install healthy values in your children. Speak up for kindness and respect. Model it and call your children on verbal behaviors that do not go along with the family program of “Respect Spoken Here.”

Want more ideas on learning to set clear and appropriate boundaries? Go to my award-winning web site

It’s Not Okay to Feel Good by Making Others Feel Bad Part 2

What to Do if You have a Bullying Problem

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“If you feel it or think it, it belongs to you. If you feel it or think it, you can find it and correct it … you can heal it. Treat yourself for it. It’s the responsibility of the person who holds the feeling or belief to treat it. Find the ruthless honesty to own your stuff.” – Tom Altaffer

Being a bully is not who you are. It’s just something you have learned because someone hurt you. Now you can unlearn it. You can feel good about being a person who cares about others. You can become a cool person just in being who you are—a person of courage and integrity. Using emotions releasing techniques such as the Emotional Freedom Technique can help stop your bullying behavior.

bully behavior, eft, emotional freedom technique, feel bad

Being a bully is not who you are. It’s just something you have learned because someone hurt you. Now you can unlearn it using the Emotional Freedom Technique can help stop your bullying behavior.

The Emotional Freedom Technique and Stopping Bully Behavior

You can use The Emotional Freedom Technique to feel better about yourself.

Do a Karate Chop by tapping on the outside of one hand down from your pinkie finger with the fingers of your other hand.

Do this Karate Chop while you think about your problem of someone hurting you.

  • Say out loud, “Even though someone hurt me and I felt bad, I forgive myself.”
  • Say, “Even though I learned to bully, I’m a good person in other ways.”

Your problem of hurting others is not who you are. Bullying is not you. It’s just something you learned. Take a deep breath and be courageous. Own your unhealthy, hurtful behavior so you can let it go! Say your problem and then say something good about yourself. You can’t do this wrong. Make it up. You’ll get it right.

eft, emotional freedom technique, angriesout chart

The Emotional Freedom Techniques ™ (EFT) are a set of exciting self-help acupressure procedures you can learn to use on yourself to decrease stress, fears, anxiety, grief, trauma issues and the frustration of living with illness.

Tap between your eyebrows with both hands.

Think of a time when someone called you names.

Tap between your eyebrows and say these positive words to let the bad feelings go.

  • Say out loud, “Even though I was bullied and couldn’t defend myself, I forgive myself.”
  • Even though someone hurt me, I’m still a good kid just as I am.”
  • Remember how bad you felt. Use both hands to tap between your eyebrows about ten times. Say the following sentences while you tap and breathe DEEPLY!

Tap on outside your eyes on your temples with both hands. Tap and breathe deeply

  • Say while you tap, “Even though I felt angry when someone teased me, I’m still a good kid.”
  • Say, “Even though I felt humiliated when someone called me names, I like who I am.”
  • Say, “Even though I felt hurt and embarrassed when someone picked on me, I forgive myself.”
  • Say, I can do this to feel better about myself!

Tap under your eyes using both hands.

  • Say, “Even though I enjoy being bad and rebellious at times, I’m still an okay kid.”
  • Say, “Even though I felt good when I said hurtful things, I find better ways to feel good about myself.”
  • Say, “Even though I hurt someone so I could feel powerful, I am still a good kid some of the time.”

Tap on your cheekbones with both hands.

Think about being mean to someone. Take a big breath. Read the words out loud and take a breath. Think of another time you hurt someone. Keep tapping.

Tap under your nose. Forgiving yourself helps you make the decision to be different in the future.

  • Say and tap, “Even though I felt superior when I put someone down, I forgive myself.”
  • Say, “Even though I showed off and put someone down in front of others, I accept myself.”
  • Say, “Even though I feel bad about being mean to someone, I forgive myself.”

Tap and breathe to blow bad feelings out.

Tap on your chin under your lips.

  • Say out loud, “Even though I dished out anger and mean words, I CHOOSE to change.”
  • Say, “Even though I’ve hurt others with my words and actions, I CHOOSE to be nicer to others.”
  • Say, “Even though I’m ashamed of my behavior, I CHOOSE to learn from it and move on!”

Tap on your chin under your lip and say the words with ENTHUSIAM!

Tap on your collarbones.

  • Say, “Even though I was scared when someone hurt me, I forgive myself.”
  • Say, “Even though I tried to show how smart I was by my teasing, I forgive myself.”
  • Say, “Even though I felt insecure when I was teased and learned to tease others, I can stop!”

You know what to do. Say the words with meaning and tap to feel better about yourself so you can achieve REAL power. Tap on your collarbones and forgive yourself.

Tap on your ribs on your chest.

  • Say, “Even though I got angry and passed that anger on to someone else, I accept myself.”
  • Say, “Even though I was hurt and angry and wanted revenge, I own up to my mistake.”
  • Say, “Even though I still want to use my anger to force others to do what I want, I let it go.”

Keep tapping and owning your negative feelings and behavior. Say the words on the screen out loud.

  • Tap and say, “Even though I was mean and scared someone, I forgive myself.”
  • Say, “Even though being bullied made me insecure and I did the same thing to others, I’m okay.”
  • Say, “Even though I’ve been a bully, I CHOOSE to be a caring person.”
  • Forgive yourself for doing what was done to you.

Tap on the inside of the little finger at the nail.

  • Think again about feeling pleased with yourself for teasing or harassing someone.
  • Say, “Even though I’ve done things that made others cry, I forgive myself so that I can change.”
  • Smile and say, “I can feel good about stopping putting others down.”
  • Smile and say, “I’ll feel proud of myself when I stop hurting others.”

Tap on the inside of your little finger. Take the deepest breath you can. Make a decision to stop yourself when you get the urge to tease or be mean to someone.

Be a Person of Integrity and Good Character

  • Character is how you define yourself. It’s never too late to develop a good character!
  • A person of good character knows right from wrong and has a good reputation.
  • People who have integrity and strength of character are proud of themselves.
  • They are able to put themselves in another person’s shoes to understand how they feel.

Choices! It’s about Choices! Now You Know your Choices!

  • I tap and CHOOSE to unlearn what I’ve learned about hurting others.
  • I tap and CHOOSE to let go of bully behavior.
  • I tap and CHOOSE to stop passing the hurt on to others.
  • I tap and CHOOSE to have strength of character!
  • I tap and CHOOSE to feel proud of myself!

Still upset? Think of another time when you were bullied or when you were mean to someone and go back and do the tapping again. Do The Emotional Freedom Technique as many times as you need to shake out those bully beliefs and behavior. Keep at it! If this doesn’t help you, talk to your folks about getting some counseling.

You Can Do It! You can Stop your Bully Behavior!

  • Stop imitating someone who was mean to you.
  • Find better ways to feel good about yourself than hurting by others.
  • Smile and say, “I CHOOSE to stop feeling good by making others feel bad!”
  • I CHOOSE to stop dishing out hurtful words.
  • I’ll break the bullying habit and feel good about myself for REAL!

Smile and let go of your identity as a bully. Don’t pass the hurt on. Be cool. Apologize to those you have hurt. Say you are sorry, change your hurtful behavior and get on with your life.

  • Learn about why you have the need to be cruel.
  • Make the decision to stop harassing others. Become a people friendly person!
  • Find people to talk to who believe in you as a good person.
  • Look for a positive role model or a mentor who is willing to spend time with you.
  • Mentors are older kids or adults who take an interest in you and look out for you
  • If you have been hurt, don’t pass it on. Stop passing bully behavior down to others.
  • Break the chain of bullying from bigger kid to smaller kid.
  • Break into the self-centered need to feel good at the expense of hurting others.
  • You can feel soooooooo good about yourself when you turn yourself into a caring person!
  • Emotional support is important when you find yourself doing things that are hurtful to others.
  • Ask for help in turning over a new leaf.
  • You might have to try several times before you find someone who will make the time for you.
  • Keep trying to become a better person! Make it happen!

Do a web search on The Emotional Freedom Technique or the Tapping Technique to find a diagram where the points are to tap on. There are many different web sites that teach this approach, including our website at

It’s Not Okay to Feel Good by Making Others Feel Bad Part 1

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“If you habitually yell, snap, tell other they are wrong, dumb or stupid, or if you try to start a fight,imagine things, twist things around, interrupt, try to have the last word, think you are smart and know it all; if you pick fights and look for the wrong in everything to start arguments, and so on and so on, guess what? YOU ARE AN ABUSER!” – Lynne Namka paraphrasing Patricia Evans’ definition of verbal abuse.

There are many bully prevention curriculums and programs out there but to my knowledge, none of them addresses how to help the bully himself. They all work with helping the victim and creating a safe environment for children which of course is important. My free interactive video on my web site called It’s Not Okay to Feel Good by Making Others Feel Bad at and on You Tube is an Anti Bullying Dialogue that talks directly to the child who feels powerful when he taunts and teases others.

Remember it is never okay to feel good by making someone else feel bad. Real self esteem comes from helping others not putting them down. People who are mean to others are personally insecure.

If your children are saying hurtful words to each other or if you have a child who is doing harmful things to others, use this dialogue to present new ideas to him or her. Even if you don’t think your child is capable of hurting others, this information is valuable for when he or she hits a time of life when mean talk or cyber bullying becomes part of his teen culture.

Use these ideas to talk directly to your children

  • Bullying is finding someone else’s weakness and teasing him or her to make them feel bad.
  • If you have been mean to someone else, you can change this behavior.
  • Think about a time that you were mean to someone.
  • You knew what you did was wrong, but kept doing it anyway.
  • Maybe you even felt superior to others because you could dish it out.
  • Being mean to someone might even have felt good at the time, but you knew it wasn’t okay.
  • Deep down inside you knew it was wrong to feel good about hurting someone else.
  • People who bully lack real power inside so they use force to try to gain power.
  • A bully believes that he can gain status by teasing and hurting others.

Bullying is Contagious

  • You can catch being mean to others from other people just like catching a cold.
  • You might learn to bully if you are hurt or embarrassed by someone and you pass the hurt on.
  • Being bullied might have made you angry and you took that anger out on weaker people.
  • You might have lost the feeling good about yourself and your sense of feeling powerful.

Some children who have been teased or abused by their parents or bigger kids often pass acting mean on to smaller kids. Some boys and girls take their hurt and turn it into feeling ashamed. Others get depressed. Some become angry and hardened. The bully can start to believe that his injured victim deserves the pain.

How does a Good Kid Become a Bully?

  • He or she has been hurt by someone or watched someone else being hurt.
  • Being bullied makes a kid feel small and insecure.
  • He or she learns to imitate people who have used force to get what they wanted.
  • The kid believes that “I’ve been hurt so I can hurt others.”
  • He or she starts saying and doing mean things to the younger kids in the family.

People who are mean to others are personally insecure. The bully feels insecure in his status and tries to raise his status by putting someone else down. Secure people do not have to intimidate others.

  • Did you ever have the feeling of not caring.
  • You might have thought  ’I don’t care. Someone hurt me so I can hurt others. Nobody cares about me.”
  • Check out your feelings when you tease others who are smaller or weaker.
  • Do you feel pleased or superior by setting others off with your words?
  • Do you feel proud when you say ugly words to try to threaten others?
  • You show your own insecurity when you harass others.
  • Putting others down with zingers may make you feel good temporarily, but it’s not good self-esteem.

Stop Sarcastic Teasing and Disrespectful Behavior

  • Some people base their identity on being able to be sarcastic and say things that are funny but hurt others.
  • But sarcasm doesn’t win you true friends and self esteem in the long run.
  • Bullies use force to show they are tougher or meaner in order to get what they want.
  • Sometimes kids try to intimidate their parents or other adults.
  • Trying to show that you are important by verbally abusing others wastes your energy.

If you are teasing in a mean way or being disrespectful to someone, you are bullying. Girls bully by gossiping, spreading rumors, rejecting others, scratching, pulling hair and threatening to beat other up.

Do You Put Others Down OR Build Yourself Up?

  • Don’t turn your competitive instincts towards the wrong place—a weaker person.
  • Compete with someone important—yourself!
  • Turn your competition inward to make yourself the best person you can be.
  • Remember it is never okay to feel good by making someone else feel bad.
  • Real self esteem comes from helping others not putting them down.

I know it is not OK to feel good about hurting someone else. If I stop bullying, I can let my bad feelings go. If I am nicer to others, maybe I can learn to feel better about myself.”

  • Find your courage to face something painful about yourself.
  • Think of the way you are. Think of the way you would like to be.
  • You hold the power to become the way you want to be!
  • You are at a crossroads of your life where you can choose one way over the other.
  • You can work the hurt, shame and anger out instead of hurting others.
  • You can become the person you want by making better choices.

Get the “Aha Moment!”

  • That’s when you GET IT that you don’t like being put down and others don’t either!
  • Understand that you really hurt others when you act in mean ways.
  • Catch yourself when you start to feel excited and want to attack someone else.
  • When you get the urge to tease someone tell yourself, “I won’t go there.”
  • Be aware that you are imitating someone whose behavior you don’t like.
  • Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like them to treat you.
  • You can feel proud when you catch yourself with the urge to intimidate someone and you stop yourself!
  • If you act differently you will respect yourself more and earn the respect of others.

For ideas on stopping cyber bullying, go to One of their ideas is to have a teacher or school administrator handle this personal attack issue rather than parents where it might escalate and backfire on your child.

Bully Proofing Your Child Part 2

I Love You So Big! Blog- Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

Shame is a message about the self esteem that hits in the pit of the stomach. It is global in nature and says, “You are bad. You are different.” It happens when you feel threatened to the very core of who you are. Shame rears its ugly head when there is a threat and you feel helpless, humiliated and dehumanized.” – Lynne Namka

We hate to feel bad! Shame is a fear-based internal state accompanied by feelings of being unworthy and unlovable. Shame conjures up brief, intense painful feelings of mortification due to being seen as inadequate.

Shame feelings are a threat to the integrity of the self. It keeps us caught in fear of being found out by others. The perceived deficit is so humiliating that the person goes to all lengths to hide the flawed self.

bully proofing, shame, embarrassment, anger, feelings, guilt

Shame is a fear-based internal state and conjures up brief, intense painful feelings of being seen as inadequate and embarrassment. Here’s a bully proofing dialogue technique you can use to help your child release the feelings of shame that always accompany being bullied.

Psychologist Ronald Potter-Efron says to challenge the five core messages child get from shame after a humiliating experience that send them into self-loathing and feeling worthless. 1.) You’re no good. 2.) You aren’t good enough. 3.) You’re unlovable. 4.) You don’t belong. 5.) You shouldn’t be. These are lies that were thrown on you by someone else and your own feelings of helplessness.

Use “Pull Outs” to help Release Shame and Other Bad Feelings

Here’s a dialogue and a nifty technique you can use to help your child release the feelings of shame that always accompany being bullied. Talking about something that bothers him and then doing a release technique can have a tremendous relief value. Make time for your child and get him or her talking. You might not know about the bad feelings if you don’t ask!

What ugly names have you been called that make you hurt inside?
How do you feel when someone says that to you
How did you feel?

Sometimes bad words and ideas get stuck in your body or mind.
Think about the names you’ve been called.
Breathe deeply and check your body to find where you feel tense.
Where do you store those bad feelings in your body? Check your brain, heart or stomach.
Use your imagination to pull out feelings of anger, sadness, embarrassment, guilt and shame.

Think of feeling sad and hurt. Find these feelings in your body. Are they in your stomach or brain?
These feelings are negative energy from someone else. You don’t have to keep them.
What color and shape does the sadness and hurt take?
Close your eyes, take deep breaths and reach down with your hands and pull those bad feelings out.
This is called a Pull Out! Use your imagination and Pull Outs to release sad and bad feelings.
Bad feelings don’t belong in your body! Pull them out and throw them away.
Use your wonderful imagination and keep pulling them out until they are all gone.

Pulling Out Shame and Embarrassment

Find your feelings of embarrassment, humiliation and feeling ashamed.
What color and shape are these feelings?
Make a picture of them with your imagination.
Start to breathe and release the bad feelings. Pull them out and throw them away.
Don’t just read this. Come on. Pretend and pull bad feelings out until they are all gone.
Use your wonderful imagination to see the feelings coming out for this to work.
Throw the bad feelings somewhere safe.

Find Your Anger at Being Bullied and Throw It Out!

What color are your angry feelings? Anger is usually a dark color or red.
Where do you hold anger? Picture the anger in your body.
You don’t have to hold on to this bad feeling.
Breathe and use your hands to pull out the anger and throw it away.
Keep pulling the anger out until you know it is all gone.
Throw the anger away to a safe place where it can never return.

Look for Feelings of Guilt and Shame to Release

Guilt says “I did something wrong.”
Did you do anything wrong or were you just there trying to figure out what to do?
You don’t have to feel bad just because you didn’t know how to take care of yourself.

Shame says, “I am bad. I’m a bad, bad person.”
You didn’t do anything bad so you don’t need to keep these feelings of guilt and shame.
Breathe deeply. Find the feelings in your mind or body and pull them out.
Tell yourself, “I don’t have to feel bad. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Now breathe in something wonderful to fill up the space where the bad feelings were.
Breathe in light, love and happy memories of being a strong person.
Use your marvelous imagination to fill yourself with strength and power.
Decide that no one will ever take away your power again.
Smile and tell yourself that you are stronger than any ugly words or name calling.

Use all of these ideas and you will do Bully Busting for Sure!

Read Patricia Evan’s The Verbally Abusive Relationship for more ideas about setting boundaries in abusive relationships. Click here to read more about this helpful book or check out page for additional books on Abusive Relationships.

Bully Proofing Your Child Part 1

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“Patterns of attachment develop early in life.” – Ruth Blizard and Ann Bluhm

Watch to see if your child becomes involved in abusive relationships. Parents sometimes feel helpless when their child is being harassed at school or the playground. Some schools and teachers are not helpful in stopping bullying behavior. I can remember feeling inadequate and not knowing what to do when this problem arose in our neighborhood. So I grew up, researched verbal abuse, the bully problem and setting boundaries and started writing about these issues. Now I’m an expert on helping children address all sides of the bullying problem on their own.

bully proofing bully bulling bullies children

Share with your children these bully proofing tips to make them invincible to bullying ugly words from others.

My solution is to teach children to become Bully Proof. I have a curriculum for parents, teachers and guidance counselors called I Stop My Bully Behavior and also an interactive video on my web site at my interactive video called It’s Not Okay to Feel Good by Making Others Feel Bad at It is called It’s Not Okay to Feel Good About Making Someone Else Feel Bad. From it, here are some ways to talk with your child to make him invincible to ugly words from others. Even if you don’t think your child has been subject to bullying, print this dialogue out and talk about it to give him or her ideas that may be of use someday:

Want to Become Bully Proof? Make Yourself Embarrassment Proof!

  • If you are bullied, pretend that you don’t know how to be embarrassed.
  • Raise you eyebrows and give the bully a bored look that says, “Is there something wrong with you?”
  • Shrug your shoulders like you don’t get what they are saying and walk away.
  • Don’t give your power away by showing anger or embarrassment.
  • Cool your feelings down so others don’t have the power to get to you.
  • Remember, you can’t make fun of someone who doesn’t know how to be embarrassed.

Things to do if Someone Bigger Starts to Hurt You

  • You have the right to be safe. Kids should not be hurt or bullied.
  • If someone hurts you, tell him or her to stop and leave. Take care of yourself.
  • If you are on the playground, get near the adult in charge or go join a group of friends.
  • If you are on the street, go to a safe place where there are people who will protect you.
  • Keep looking until you find someone who can help you.
  • Say, “Later! I’m out of here!”

Make Your School and Neighborhood a Bully Free Zone! Become a Bully Buster!

  • Bullies play up to an audience and feed on group approval.
  • They try to get others to laugh at you.
  • If you laugh when someone is being hurt, you are bullying too. Don’t be a Bully Assistant!
  • Don’t give approval by laughing at someone who does cruel things to others.
  • Don’t tolerate mean behavior.
  • Take a stand. Don’t let another kid’s right to be safe be take away.
  • Fight back against meanness. Speak up when you see someone being hurt.
  • Take your power!
  • Halt harassment!
  • Challenge cruelty!
  • Bullies want to make you feel bad. Do not feed the local bullies!

What to Do When Someone Else is Being Disrespected

  • Be a hero and speak up if you see someone being hurt.
  • Speak up loudly and say, “Hey, that’s not right. Leave him alone!”
  • When you see someone laughing in a mean way, say, “Hey, that’s not funny, man. Cut it out!”
  • If he says it’s a joke say, “That’s not funny. You’re the joke if you think hurting someone is funny.”

There’s Strength in Numbers: Get Others to Support Your Standing Up For Safety

  • Get your friends together and go over and walk the person being teased to a safe place.
  • Don’t stay and listen to what the bully has to say.
  • Tell him or her, “Name calling is rude and boring!”
  • Tell the bully, “We refuse to put up with your rude, disrespectful behavior.”

Stand Up to Bullying by spreading this advice to help empower our kids. Like/Share/Forward this blog post on to your favorite parents, teachers and parenting groups.

Handling Bullying, Name Calling and Put Downs

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“Mean teasing is a behavior and habit that is passed down in some families. It can be a subtle teasing or Hateful, but it is a destructive, energetic exchange that is the underpinning of bullying. When a family member practices this hurtful way of acting, all are affected. Sensitive children become frightened and the tougher-minded children internalize the right to be cruel to others. – Lynne Namka

Bullying is a boundary issue that comes from entitlement beliefs of “I have the right to hurt you so that I can feel good”

Transgressing others’ rights to be safe to get secret satisfaction is the dynamic that keeps bullying continuing. ”Bulling hurts. I know as members of my family experienced sarcasm and hurtful remarks justified as humor from my grandfather. Teasing was done mostly to the male members of the family to “toughen them up” but it had disastrous effects that continue now seventy years later. Over the years, I observed how my grandfather’s sarcasm affected the personalities of different family members which is now being played out in the great grandchildren. And when an eighth grade classmate confronted me on my teasing, I had to address it in myself. Busted! The right to taunt and tease others had become a family legacy I couldn’t afford. Doing The Emotional Freedom Technique on myself about my unhealthy need to tease others helped me break this hurtful family heritage.

Children are told to just ignore bullies but that is so hard to do because it is a passive act. I prefer an action approach that actually empowers the child.

Bullying, Name Calling, Put Downs

Bullying is a boundary issue that comes from entitlement beliefs of “I have the right to hurt you so that I can feel good.” Talk with your children who is being harassed so that he or she feels empowered by using Helper Words and Self-Talk

Here are some ideas from one of my lesson plans on how to talk with your child who is being harassed so that he or she feels empowered. Bad names and ugly words are called Put Downs. Put Downs are things that people say when they feel bad inside and want you to feel bad too.

Use this dialogue to give your child strong visual imagery and some Self-Talk statements on how to create inner strength for protection from ugly words

  • You can learn to control your upset feelings when someone is trying to make you feel bad. Keep your power by keeping your control.
  • Don’t let them see you looking angry or scared.
  • Act bored. Roll your eyes and look disgusted. Start breathing deeply and hang loose.
  • Pretend that what the person is saying is the most boring thing in the world.
  • Don’t give away your power by showing that they bother you.

Shield Yourself from the Negative Words from Others

  • Imagine you have a magic shield that surrounds you and protects you.
  • What would you make your shield from?  Iron? Acrylic? Gold? Angel wings?
  • Your shield can be a force field with you in the middle protected from negative energy.
  • When someone tries to throw negative energy at you, put up your shield.
  • Take a deep breath and that negative energy bounce off your shield!
  • Push those Put Downs away so they bounce right off your shield.

Practice Shielding Yourself from Negative Energy

  • Close your eyes and feel being powerful inside your shield.
  • See the shield all around you going up to the Universe and down to the center of the earth.
  • Make yourself stronger than any ugly words
  • Pretend someone is calling you bad names.
  • Push those Put Downs away with your shield!
  • You can choose whether you catch the ugly words and put them in your heart or mind or let them slide away.
  • Let mean words fall off your shield.

Use Helper Words to Make Yourself Invincible to Put Down

  • Invincible means that you are so strong inside that Put Downs don’t bother you!
  • You are powerful and you don’t allow mean words to hurt you!
  • Remember that someone can hurt you with their words only if you agree to let them.
  • What ugly names have you been called? What are the hurting words for you? How do you feel when someone says that to you? Why do you think people use Put Downs?

Be a Teflon Kid–Let Ugly Words Just Slide Right Off You!

  • You know what Velcro is, right? Don’t be a Velcro Kid with ugly words sticking onto you. You need not catch something just because someone throws it at you. If someone threw you a porcupine, would you catch it? How about a slime ball?  You can choose what you catch.
  • You don’t have to feel bad when someone tries to throw yucky words at you! Don’t catch name calling and ugly words. Don’t take Put Downs into your heart and body!
  • Let negative messages run off your back like a duck lets water run off its back. Deflect negative energy just as Wonder Woman deflects bullets with her wrist bands.
  • Stop, stop, don’t you see! No Put Downs for you or me! I won’t call you ugly names, No bad words can ever hurt me!

Things to Think About When Someone Tries to Throw Put Downs on You

  • What do you need to do?
  • How can you take care of yourself?
  • Remember to stop your own tongue from using Put Downs back.
  • Did you remember to use firm words?
  • Show respect for all living things.

Self Talk or Helper Words can Make You Invincible to Put Downs

  • Invincible means that you are so strong inside that Put Downs don’t bother you!
  • You are powerful so mean words can’t hurt you!
  • Helper words are things that you say to yourself to help you out of a bad situation.
  • Helper Words help you focus on problem solving, instead of getting caught up in feeling bad inside.

Talk to Yourself! Use your Helper Words to stay safe

  • I feel good about stopping myself from using Put Downs.
  • I make myself strong inside so Put Downs do not get to me.
  • I feel good about speaking up for myself when others use Put Downs.
  • I protect myself from Put Downs when someone’s Put Down part is out.
  • My using Put Downs back doesn’t solve my problem. Problem solving solves problems.
  • People who feel bad about themselves often say Put Downs. I don’t have to feel be ashamed just because someone to make me feel bad too.

Helper Words To Stop Put Downs:

  • I stop using Put Downs. I feel good about myself.
  • I use a loud, firm voice to tell someone to stop using Put Downs.
  • If someone uses Put Downs with my friend, I tell him to stop.

Teach the positive moral values of kindness and altruism. Model it for your young charges and get them involved in volunteer work and helping others. Talk to your children about how they can create positive school and neighborhood environments if they stick together to combat meanness. Parents who help their child learn better ways to cope with their anger are less likely to have children who bully. So talk it up. State your values, positive ones of course. We can help children learn the motto: “Kindness Spoken Here!”

For more articles about bullying for children and adults go to Having experienced both sides of bullying as a child, I’ve take a special interest in helping others overcome it—both the victim and the bully. I’ve written several articles, a curriculum for parents and teachers and several FLASH videos which are available at my web site.

Help other families with this important social issue by passing on this information. My free FLASH interactive video, It’s Not Okay To Feel Good by Making Others Feel Bad, is on You Tube. It also is on my website at

The Search for Power

I Love You So Big! Blog – Lynne Namka, © 2011-13

“Putting down the tools of war and picking up the tools of communication, conflict resolution, connection and commitment can create a life that produces long-lasting love. Breaking into bullheaded thinking will give you an increase in personal power.” – Lynne Namka, from Your Quick Anger Makeover Plus Twenty Other Cutting-Edge Techniques to Release Anger!

The Big Game of Life is a power struggle with others which serves to allow the player to avoid personal responsibility and refuse to look at his own behavior. Virginia Satir first described the Big Game. The Big Game is often one aspect of the Family Disease or “I Have the Right to Tell You What To Do!” The power struggle disease is prevalent in families with dysfunctional behavior.

Some young people have a strong quest for power and rebel against authority which means you! Some even want to scare grownups just enough so that they will be left alone. Some create a bad attitude and use anger to gain power to make adults back off. Some kids learn to give you the LOOK. You know what The Look is. It’s that glaring face that children past the age of 12 learn and use The Look to get the parent to stop asking questions. It is that blank look of the face that says, “What you are saying/doing is so stupid, so back off.” These behaviors sometimes are a part of the necessary search for who they are. Children develop covert ways of acting that are passively challenging your authority. Yet there are other ways of becoming a powerful person than trying to gain dominance over others.

power children parenting identity

Behaviors, such as giving you The Look, sometimes are a part of the necessary search for who children are. They develop covert ways of acting that are passively challenging your authority

Misguided power is the search for personal competence and identity can encompass all these areas:

  •             Parental Power
  •             School Power
  •             Religious Power
  •             Physical Power
  •             Sexual Power
  •             Economic Power
  •             Political Power

Author Henry Miller said, “The goal of life is not to possess power, but to radiate it.” Personal power comes from good self-esteem where others are valued along with ourselves. It’s a balance of giving and receiving and correcting imbalances in relationships as they occur. It’s that old rule of sharing that we learned in kindergarten. Talk with your children about small injustices in the family and in their friendships that they can address with healthy conflict resolution skills. Is what is happening fair and kind?

A longer article about Virginia Satir’s concept of The Big Game of Life is featured on my website at

Imbalance of power in your home? Are your children mean to each other? See my interactive video called It’s Not Okay to Feel Good by Making Others Feel Bad at To my knowledge, this is the only curriculum that approaches bullying from the point of helping the bully. It calls bullying for what it is—puffing one’s self up by putting others down and then gives an approach that helps the child stop while boosting his self-esteem at the same time. The video is also on You Tube with my other videos.

 The Perfect Gift for Children in Your Life

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 The Mad Family Get Their Mads Out 

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