If you are really serious about putting an end to bullying, you have to stop it at the source. Even then it might take some time to end it, but it could happen.
What is that source, you ask…
Adults.
Who knows how it began, but look at the facts: huge people (adults) willing to do whatever it takes to make little people (kids) do whatever they have decided that the little people should do = Bullying.
You might not be able to end all bullying, though I hope to do that, but you can certainly stop being a bully yourself. I did, so I know it can be done. From one moment to the next, I did. You can too.
You can make a commitment to yourself and a promise to your children that you will no longer force them to do what they do not want to do. I did and you can too.
I did not have this when I made this commitment and promise so many years ago, but now I have created a guiding force to help you. I call it The 1 Rule. Stick to The 1 Rule and you won’t go wrong.
Although I consider it the culmination of my life’s work… the essence of 48 years of focused attention, exploration, experimentation, discovery, learning, I am giving it to you for free. Now. Here it is:
Agreement.
You and your child/children come to agreements.
Here’s an example of agreement at work: I was teaching the children in my Montessori school how to work together. I’d learned a system that had about 10-11 steps to go through. It was really created for adults, but I was inspired to teach it to the young children at Children’s House.
When I noticed that children seemed to be having a problem, I’d go up to them and tell them that I noticed that they seemed to be having a problem and I would help them find something that they’d both like.
The second time I did this, two girls both wanted the same swing. (They were 3-4 years old) All the other swings were being used. I held on to the chain of the swing and suggested that we solve their problem so they were both happy about it.
I said to them, “You are both important.” I pointed to one girl, “You are important.” She seemed to agree with that. Then I pointed to the other girl, “And you are important.” I noticed that one girl’s eyes lit with understanding. They were both important. A new concept. “You each deserve to have what you want. I’m going to help you find something you both feel good about.”
Then we started going through the system. Suddenly one of the girls said, “I know. We can both swing!” She explained that one of them could sit on the swing and the other could sit on that girl’s lap facing the other direction.
The other girl liked that idea. I pushed them so I could make sure they both held on and were safe.
From these girls and the inspired explanation about both and each of them being important and deserving to have what they wanted, I got my first lesson in The 1 Rule.
This way of interacting, finding mutually agreeable solutions, became the norm when I was at Children’s House.
Finding mutually agreeable solutions became how I related with my children, too. I never broke my promise to them. Not only did I never force them to do what they did not want to do, I always did my best to help them do whatever they decided was important for them to do.
That may be beyond what you are interested in doing, but the more adults who use The 1 Rule and stop being bullies to children, the fewer bullies will be running amok.
Also, if you ever have to deal with a bullying child, please remember that they have been bullied and already suffer inside. They need compassion and good models. Keep them near you and encourage goodness in them. Use The 1 Rule with them.
In case you haven’t noticed, adults are models for kids. It seems to be how we are wired as human beings. Even babies watch how we form the sounds of our language as part of learning to speak.
Sure, we have something that goes, “Do as I say, not as I do” but that’s not how it goes. Like it or not, you are their model of how to be and do. Their survival depends on them learning how to behave as part of the social group they are born into. So they do.
If you’d like help creating harmony with your kids, go to www.happykidsco.com and take advantage of the Win-Win-Win Offer.

Author's Bio: 

“The Miracle Worker...of Education and Parenting”: This name was given to me many years ago because I have mastered Positive Respect, and my results with kids can seem miraculous.

After completing my B.A. in Anthropology, I went to India and ended up enrolling in the Indian Montessori Training Course, where I was trained and certified in the Montessori Method by Mr. A.M. Joosten, who had lived and studied in Dr. Maria Montessori’s household from the age of 14. He asked me to stay on the year after the Training as an Assistant to the Course.
In 1973 my husband and I returned to the United States and founded a Montessori school called Children’s House. We decided to incorporate and Beginnings Incorporated, a nonprofit community service organization, was formed. Then I got State of California funding for Children’s House.
I had three children and remained as head teacher at Children’s House for 15 years. When I was invited to start Community Educational Centers in India, I realized that I needed to share what I had learned about being respectful to kids with my community.
In 1992 I wrote what turned into my first book: Friendly Families. The fourth version, an ebook, Good Parents Good Kids came out in 2016.
Here’s what some people have had to say about this book:
“An easy-to-understand book that gives a bundle of ideas and communication skills for building families that function peacefully and foster the kind of kids every parent wants.”
Dr. Thomas Gordon, Author, P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training
“My children are so nice now!” A mother of four, approached me at the Summer Arts Fair. She wanted to thank me for writing Parenting for the New Millennium. She had purchased it the year before, at the previous Summer Arts Fair. Then she implemented what she had learned in this book. She and her children were delighted with the results.
Besides writing, I give workshops, classes, spoke on the radio and wrote for a local magazine and newspaper. I created a website, www.happykidsco.com , which includes a member site with all my writings, audios, videos, and trainings.