By Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea
When kids are being teased and harassed, they become so angry and upset that many of them start plotting their revenge on the offender. It can feel great in the planning stage as they imagine all the ways that they will “show them a thing or two” or “teach them a lesson they won’t soon forget.” Fantasizing about such revenge is fine if it makes the victim feel better, but acting out on those thoughts is not recommended.
The person who started the conflict or who is bullying another will quickly learn that their tactics have been effective when the victim tries to seek revenge. Chances are, the perpetrator is not going to care whatever the victim says or does. The victim is trying to show strength in this way but is, in reality, indicating weakness.
Acting like they don’t care, even when it’s making them crazy, takes power away from the perpetrator. Vengeance does not. Many times when kids try to seek revenge, they are the ones who are caught in the act by adults and get reprimanded. Despite screams of “he started it!” adults will likely react to what they observed and not the claims of any individual child.
Our advice is for all kids to practice their “what ev” face and body language. Not caring what others say or do is truly the best revenge.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Check out our latest book, Bully Busting and Managing Meanies: Tips for Kids on Managing Conflict available on Amazon.com