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This month at the Kid Clinic: Using humor to help handle bullying

This month at the Kid Clinic: Using humor to help handle bullying

Bullying is defined as the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate others, or a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. By this definition, bullying can happen at school, in your social group, or even at work. Bullying is not something that happens once; it is repeated and can become habitual.

So how do you know if you are being bullied? Do you fall under one of the definitions above? Have the interactions become repeated? If you answered yes to both, then you are being bullied.

The next question you may have is, how do you handle a bully? Do you tell the teacher? Do you tell an adult? The answer here is simple: yes, and yes. However, sometimes those adults are unable to help for a wide variety of reasons.

If an adult is unable to help you at the moment, and you are comfortable taking a stand, I’d like to offer one effect way to handle being bullied: humor. The extent to which you use humor should be determined by your personal style and the overall situation.

For example, if someone who has been bullying you says that you have a “big butt,” you could simply respond by saying something like “did you need my big butt to get through the crowd?” or with singing “I like big butts and I cannot lie!” This funny response is not the typical reaction that the bully is prepared for you to make.

When making a humorous response to a bully, there are really two rules to it:

1. You should not attack the bully back in any way.

2. You have to make sure what you are saying back to them is appropriate for the environment you are in. This means that you should not use foul language at school when making a joke out of something the bully is saying to you. You may also want to practice this with your family or friends.

In conclusion, you want to first attempt to tell an adult about bullying that is happening (to you or to another), but you can always use humor as a way to make a negative interaction into a more positive one.

The Campbell County Medical Group Kid Clinic is a school-based pediatric clinic offering medical care and counseling services for Campbell County students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and their siblings ages 2 weeks and up. It is located at 800 Butler Spaeth Rd., across from St. Matthew’s Catholic Church. The Kid Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm. For more information, call 307-688-8700 or visit www.cchwyo.org/kidclinic.

The Kid Clinic is a collaborative effort between Campbell County Health and Campbell County School District.

This blog was written by Brianne Wooldridge, PPC, Kid Clinic Counselor