Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Using the Hierarchy to Reduce Bullying

Here is a marvelously successful idea to have students understand the motivation of those students who operate on Level B—in this case bullies who pick on others.

Use a ruler to demonstrate a teeter-totter (see-saw). Hold it flat and describe that this is how it looks when it is balanced. People who are getting along and making responsible choices keep the teeter-totter in balance.

However, when one person starts to pick on or bully someone, the teeter-totter gets out of balance. The person who is picked on usually starts to feel “lower” than the other person. This is a normal reaction. However, if you reflect on the motivation, it is the bully who initially feels bad because of a desire for attention or for power. Otherwise, there would be no reason to bully.

So, it is the bully who is the first one to feel inferior. The bullying behavior is actually an attempt to pull the other kid down to the bully’s level—to try to bring things back into balance from the bully’s perspective.

The discussion also opens the eyes of the bully. No one wants to be known as someone who has problems. These students usually have never thought about their own behavior in this way.

A more complete explanation to reduce bullying is on page 30 of the Resource Guide.

Dr. Marvin Marshall
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 714.220.1882
Piper Press
P.O. Box 2227
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Phone: 559.805.1389