A. Grace Martin

Author, Student Teacher, Optimist and Promoter of Self-Empowerment


Enough "Anti-Bullying!" We Need "Self-Esteem!"

Posted by agracemartin on October 15, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Before you get angry that I disagree with anti-bullying, read on.

I believe that students have been bombarded with the anti-bullying movement to the extend that they are now numb to the word "bullying." 

What we need now is not another message of "it's wrong to bully." What we need now is a message of empowerment. 

Educational Psychology tells that that instead of punishing a student's undesirable behaviour, teachers find more success when they focus on what is right. Instead of scolding a student, Sally, who gets out of her desk, instead turn to Sam and say, "Thank you so much for sitting quietly in your seat, Sam, that's very thoughtful of you and really helps me out." Research tells us that by giving attention to students who get out of their desk will actually cause more students to get out of their desks. When teachers focus on the desired behaviour, kids respond very well.

Now let's apply this same psychology to bullying. Focussing on how aweful bullying is can draw more attention than necessary to it. Sometimes kids get new ideas of how to bully after they have been given an anti-bullying talk. I think that this approach cultivates more bullying. So let's make a shift in our thinking.

Instead of telling a child "you're wrong!" praise what they are doing right, and that positive reinforcement will encourage the desired behaviour.



Teach children confidence and self-esteem. Bullies only pick on other children because they are insecure or upset in some way.

Categories: Self-Empowerment and Growth

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In