This picture clearly depicts a boy who is being harassed and tormented by his peers. It seems as though there is no way out for him… It’s 4 against 1…what can he do? If you look closer, you will notice that this boy is taking a COLD approach…meaning he is playing into the role of “victim”. Look at his body language. He is hunched over, turned away from the bullies, has a sad expression and has his head is down. This kind of behavior sends the message that he is willing to continue to be subjected to bullying from his peers.
Drawbacks of passive responses to bullying include more bullying, negative thoughts about self, and feelings of anger, frustration or sadness. The COLD response may bring temporary relief from the bullying, however, this short-term relief will be outweighed by the negative long-term consequences.
So what can he do instead? Having a HOT reaction and becoming angry, violent and aggressive might cause fighting, injury, retaliation and punishment from authority figures. Instead, he can take a COOL approach to bullying. Assertive or COOL responses to bullying involve acting self-confident, deciding if the bully is dangerous, trying to reason with the bully, or leaving to get help if the bully is dangerous.
Share these helpful tips with your students and remind them when they are faced with a difficult situation or person:
Don’t be HOT, Don’t be COLD, Be COOL!
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The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.