Categories: General

Will this stop the bullying? 

By  Lysette Offley

Just returned from a fabulous week’s skiing. Here I am, as you see – working hard!Who's this?

Working hard
Working hard!

Who’s this?

Who's this?


Sharing the restaurant and ski slopes with the rich and famous. Can you see who this is?


Recognise him now?
Recognise him now?

How important is education to you?

Goodness me, that was a shock and a half! Did you see these videos on the BBC website? Would you send your children off to school like this? Are we somewhat over-protective by comparison?

The world’s scariest school run

School run (for your life!)


Holding on

Enuresis - bedwettingAmong my Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy clients was a teenager who came to me with enuresis. (Bedwetting)

I could talk now about ‘secondary gain’ – the unconscious motivation for the problem to exist and persist. But I’m not going to!

I am going to mention however, the reason why this young man did everything he could to avoid visiting the loo at school because school was the bigger part of the problem.

No, you can’t go now

You see, at his school, the pupils were only allowed to visit the loos during the breaks. I’m sure the reasons are obvious, aren’t they?

I mean, you wouldn’t want your child missing part of a lesson, would you, when they could obviously go to the loo out of lesson time?

And having spent 20 years in schools as a teacher, anything we could do to save ourselves the trouble of clearing up yet another flood (paper towels in the sink, turn the taps on and return to class) or putting out yet another fire (I really don’t know how one goes about setting fire to a toilet seat! Must require more ingenuity or imagination or persistence than I’ve got!)

But would you still want your child to make their visit at the same time as everyone else, if you knew that it was in the public lavatories that the vast majority of bullying occurs in schools?

Enuresis - bedwettingNo, maybe not!

In the case of my client, there was no way that the problem for which he had come to me for help was going to go away, unless he could visit the loo at school, in peace, and without the prospect of being followed.

Cast your mind back to your experiences of school loos, and I bet that like mine, your memories aren’t overly pleasant ones.

So you can probably imagine how delighted I was the other day to learn that some schools are beginning to do something about it.

Now we’ve got something to go on!

Perhaps surprisingly, the solution seems to lie in unisex bathrooms. And the key to it seems to be communal washbasin areas.

Hoorah for innovation!

If your child lacks self-esteem or confidence there is always something you can do about it, and the first thing you can do is contact me and find out how I can help.

Be Kind CampaignBe Kind

Appropriately enough, ITV’s “Good Morning” launched an anti-bullying drive this week. Please take the pledge to watch their video with your children and save lives.

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  1. I think I have been half blind all my life as it is only in the last few years it has been such a topic in the media that I am more aware. I was perhaps too meek and mild to BE a bully and was fortunate not to be the subject of bullying except by those administering rules and regulations correctly at school and in the army. At school (all male) there was a strict rule on bullying controlled in the main by monitors., Any act of bullying was pounced on and often corrected by a 3 minute bout of boxing in the gym provided the culprit and the bullied boy were of equal size and weight, strictly supervised by a senior school monitor but always finished by a warning and a shake of the hand. Serious bullying was a crime and punished (only once in my memory) by a beating on the backside. The army, well, some pushing to get some motivated to work as a team but nothing like has been happening in the army today and only now being dealt with. What amazes me is, until now, the apparent lack of concern by those in command. I had to deal with one such case in Aden, BUT I was aware because I was watching.

  2. Hi Dad. xx
    While some people might suggest that fighting (boxing) is old-school and a neanderthal way of dealing with emotional intelligence, I applaud your school’s approach. First they had a zero-tolerance policy which the whole school, teachers, monitors and pupils subscribe to and secondly they have a structured and consistent response to untoward behaviour, as soon as it occurs. It gives both the bully and bullied the opportunity to confront each other on equal terms within fixed rules of the sport, and with proper supervision. It’s teaching them that there are other, more acceptable and resourceful ways of dealing with thoughts and emotions. I’m assuming that the bullied enters the boxing ring willingly, otherwise it’s yet more unfair treatment for them. Whatever, your school was doing something about it, and as you say, it worked. There was a lot of respect engendered by its approach, and very little in the way of bullying in the school – everyone knew that it wouldn’t be tolerated. Compare that with a school I taught in, where, after being threatened by a girl and trapped in a classroom by her, I was told by a Deputy Head that it wasn’t appropriate for the girl to apologise to me. “She had a lot going on at home!” I’d like to know, under what circumstances is it NOT appropriate for a person to take responsibility for their actions, and apologise? What are we teaching our kids?

  3. I should have pointed out that the bully, without his supporters, often ended up with the ‘bloody nose’ as spectators were not allowed.

  4. That’s a good point. Of course, bullies do what they do (as we all do) to try and get their needs met. We all need to be able to take care of our needs. There are healthy ways of doing that, and not so healthy. I guess, being on their own in the ring forces them to reassess how they’re going to do that in the future. Bullying would look like a less appealing strategy, for sure!!

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Lysette Offley

Genius Maker & Founder of Genius Material and The Genius Principles. Working with professionals who need exceptional academic & professional development.

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