Teen Challenges - Am I a Bully?

Good Morning! Here's the Monday Morning Blog!


Have you touched base with that teen or young adult in your life yet? How about asking them what they want to do today? Most schools just finished and it may be a great time to spend time with them doing what they want to do. And it may help you to learn more about them.


This month I will be focusing on the topic of bullying in preparation for the release of Shawn's Way, which tells the story of Shawn, who is target of a bully.


Bullying has been a teen challenge for a long time

It is sad, but bullying has been a part of growing up for a long time. In many cases, when teens have said they are the target of a bully, they are told to get tougher skin or ignore it and it will stop. I was teased by a bigger kid at the bus stop when I was in elementary school and I was shut out by my friends in my senior year in high school. It wasn't a good feeling. And neither getting a tougher skin or ignoring it makes it stop.


Both of my books, The Hard Way and Shawn's Way focus on challenges that teens face. The Hard Way focuses on peer pressure and Shawn's Way focuses on bullying. Have you ever thought about whether your behavior towards somone else may have made you someone who bullies?


Am I A Bully? Quiz

I have a quiz in Shawn's Way that is a part of their Say No to Bullying Day presentation. It is called "Am I A Bully?" This is an excerpt from Shawn's Way where the guest presenter, Ryan Ricter, presents the students with the quiz to get them to think about the typical behaviors of one who bullies. Take the quiz and see how you do. Are you or have you been one who bullies?


“We are going to put seven different scenarios up on the screen, one at a time. I want you to take some time and honestly ask yourself, have I ever done this to someone else? After we go through all seven scenarios, then I’ll ask you the same question—are you one who bullies?”


There was some general chatter in the room before the first scenario appeared on the screen. Ryan read aloud:


You’ve teased kids, been mean to them, made fun of the way they look or speak.


After giving them a couple of moments to think about it, he moved to the next one:


You’ve spread nasty rumors about a kid at school.


After a moment, Ryan said, “Be sure to be honest with yourself when you think about these.” He read:


You’ve called kids names and have publicly humiliated them.


And the next one:


You’ve repeatedly teased kids, been mean to them, made fun of the way they look or speak.


And the next:


You’ve repeatedly kicked, shoved, punched or physically pushed another kid at school—just because!


Ryan added, “Most of you probably haven’t done that one. It’s extreme. But it does happen more often than we might realize.” Then he read the next one:


You’ve spread nasty rumors, humiliated another kid, and/or posted negative photos about them through emailing, instant messaging, texting, or created a website with negative posts about them.


“That’s the pure definition of cyberbullying,” Ryan said. “That method has been used along with face-to-face teasing to make a doubly hurtful situation for the target. And last, but not least…”


You and your friends have intentionally and for no reason kept another kid or kids from sitting at your lunch table at the school cafeteria, from playing with you, or from joining you at any group activity.


“So, how did you guys do? After seeing those scenarios, how many of you can now say you have done something to others that could make you someone who bullies?


How did you do on the quiz?

I think most people could answer that they have done at least one of those things. It is ok. We just have to become more aware of the behavior and make changes to not treat people in ways that makes them feel bad about who they are. Look at what happened to Audrey in Finding Audrey, the book review I did last week. The aftermath for someone who is the target of a bully can be a long road back to finding themselves again.


Instead of treating people like this, why not try to include more people in your circle and get to know them for who they are, not make them feel bad about it.


How did you do on this quiz? Please let me know in the comments below.


Shawn's Way is coming soon!

Getting ready for the release of Shawn's Way? It's happening a week from today on June 21st.


Find out what happens when Josh finds out that he no longer has a place on the varsity baseball team due to the prank that he was involved in last year.


Shawn's Way is the the second book in The Way Series and the sequel to The Hard Way.

Have a great week!