In the first part of this anti-bullying series, Stop Bullying of All Types with Simon Benn, we learned how Simon set out to increase children’s happiness and stumbled upon a need for bully-proofing. He drove home the notion that in order to stop cyberbullies, workplace bullies, playground bullies…we have to bully-proof ourselves and our children.
He told us the story of a young girl—a promising dancer with aspirations to perform on Dancing with the Stars—who had quit dance class because she was being bullied. Success stories like hers are abundant in Simon Benn’s world, and he’s freely sharing his own story of being bullied in this instalment.
So sit back and get ready for his powerful message, taken directly from his Brand Builders TV episode, How to Make Your Child Bully Proof. Maybe you’d like to watch the full episode here, or read on to experience Simon’s story in his own words. The choice is yours.
Let’s get to know Simon a bit more before we continue.
Who is Simon Benn?
Coach, publisher, inspirational presenter and entrepreneur Simon Benn knows that “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.” (F. Douglas)
In his years of working with parents and children to increase their happiness and make them bully-proof, he has made ground-breaking discoveries that not only disarm bullies, but empower those who are being bullied and those who were once bullied.
Strategies to stop cyberbullies are on the minds of many these days, but Simon is quick to remind us that all types of bullying—cyberbullying, playground bullying, workplace bullying, sibling bullying, social bullying—are serious and can cause significant damage.
In his own words, Simon is describing how he was bullied as a child, how he moved on from it, and how he uses his past experiences to keep bullying from stealing kids’ happiness.
My Bullies, by Simon Benn
Hello, I’m Simon Benn and today I’m going to talk about how to make your child bully proof. What do I mean by bully proof? What I mean is your child doesn’t get upset by other kids picking on them and bullying them. Whether that’s at school, in the playground, when teachers aren’t looking; or whether that’s by text message or cyberbullying.
The bully-proofing is not what I set out to do. I kind of stumbled across it, and that gave me such unbridled joy, because I was bullied pretty badly when I was a kid.
When I was really little I sucked my thumb, which caused an overbite. I got called “Bugsy,” “Bugs Bunny,” “Ratty,” “Rodent”…the damage wasn’t just what the kids said, it was how they said it. That kind of bullying went on for a long time in school. I didn’t tell my parents what was going on. They always said, “We just want you to be happy.” I wasn’t happy, and I felt that if I told them I would be letting them down. That’s why that little girl, the dancer, hadn’t told her parents. Victims feel like it’s our fault, because the bullies make it about us, we think there’s something wrong with us.
As adults we think we’re not good enough for our jobs, or good enough to be entrepreneurs or parents. Quite often, parents tell me their child is being bullied and they don’t know what to do. They haven’t been trained for this, and don’t know how to deal with it.
The name-calling paled in comparison when I think about what happened in scout camp when I was about eleven. I was new to this scout troupe. I didn’t go to the same school as all the other scouts. I didn’t live in the same part of town. I didn’t drink tea. There was a catalogue of things that made me different, and bullies pick on people who are different.
The main thing was I kept on messing up and making mistakes. I collected wood that wasn’t dry enough to burn, for example. Every time I messed up, which was a lot, the patrol leader in charge of my tent made me kneel on the wet grass and repeat, “I am a stupid worthless piece of…swear words.” It was awful.
I didn’t tell anybody. I never went back, though. That’s why hearing these stories from parents and from kids really rocks my world.
Cyberbullying is not a Technology Problem
Too many believe that to stop cyberbullies, you have to solve a technology problem. Not true. Cyberbullying is no different than any other kind of bullying. The delivery method might be different, but the problem is still an emotional one, not a technological one.
When I’m able to help a child, I find it humbling and inspiring. It has nothing to do with me but I’ve stumbled across something. I love working with parents. I have so much fun working with kids.
I never thought for a moment I’d enjoy working with parents – that idea didn’t cross my mind until someone contacted me from Egypt (I’m in North Yorkshire). She said, “I was talking to my husband about children’s happiness, and I’d like to learn more about it.” She wanted to learn more about it for her kids, but she also wanted to bring children’s happiness into schools.
I didn’t know if I really wanted to do it. I had so many things running through my head. The voice of doubt was in my head. But ultimately, I decided to give it a go.
I was so shocked by how much I loved doing it. Even on Skype and Zoom…the connections I made! A mum shared how much it had changed life for her and her kids. She thought it would just be about her kids, but she became more confident by improving her kids’ confidence. These parents are at their wits’ end. They don’t know what to do.
What do you do? How do you stop cyberbullies, playground bullies, neighbourhood bullies…make your child bully-proof?
Keep Reading to Learn How to Stop Cyberbullies
That question Simon just posed: “What do you do? How do you stop cyberbullies?” is the question of the century for so many children and their parents. In the final instalment of this three-part series, Help! My Child is Being Bullied, with Simon Benn, we will come to understand more about the psychology of bullying and how we can stop it in its tracks.
So join us for that, and please, please…share this life-changing information with someone you know who might be suffering from cyberbullying, or any type of bullying. Simon tells us that children’s minds are far more open to new ideas than ours, and so changing their minds about bullying when they’re young isn’t only possible, it’s highly probable!
Simon Benn has built a business with a purpose and a desire to help people by sharing the same insight that helped him. What do you know that can change a life? What are you passionate about? What do you have to share? Join Simon and other brilliant entrepreneurs in the Brand Builders Club, a safe place for entrepreneurs to get the guidance and accountability necessary for profound success. Will we see you in the club? There’s no long-term obligation, so you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.