Swap Guilt/Pain From Affairs For A Bright Future

Blimey, what’s going on with the celebrities this month, we have Tiger Woods and his addictions, John Terry and the girls desperate to become WAGs, and now Vernon Kay with his daft texts.  I feel for anyone who discovers that their partner has been unfaithful in any manner, but I particularly feel for these women, as the whole drama will get played out infront of the media.  It must be much harder in some ways, because they also have to face the most massive public humiliation.  The only upside is that so many of their compatriots will be able to help out, whereas in a more ‘normal’ life these things are often kept secret.  So as BabyNo2 is still preferring the warmth of my tummy, rather than the snow outside, I’ve written this blog, for those women who find it when they are in pain, to show them that there is a chance of a pain free future.

Lets play the ‘Society Says’ game …

  • Society says that affairs are wrong.
  • Society says that the ‘adulterer’ should feel guilty.
  • Society says and the poor ‘victim’ left behind will feel devastated.
  • Society says that ‘other person’ was a predatory horrible person.
  • Society says that if you stay together the relationship will never be the same again.
  • Society says that if you don’t, all your future relationships will be tainted by the pain of the past.
  • Society says that the guilt and bad start means that if the affair continues, it will eventually dissolve disastrously.

Are you planning on playing a life like the game ‘Simon says’ from our childhood?  Do you know how much conditioning of how we are meant to feel affects us?  Hows about ignoring what everyone else says, and instead look for the potential that could come out from the events of your past?  Someone once told me ‘Out of great destruction, comes great creation‘, maybe that would be a more useful mantra?

Now don’t get me wrong; I am not belittling the pain of feeling like your life is falling apart, or the shock of discovering that your partner is not who you thought they were.  There is the feeling of being a total fool, either because you didn’t guess, or because you did, but were willing to be persuaded you were wrong.  There are so many painful thoughts that go through the heads of the people involved, that I couldn’t possibly do them justice here.  However, I don’t need to, because the market is jam packed with books and material about ‘victims’, ‘surviving affairs’, and pain, pain, pain, pain.

My plan is add to the less frequent voice of people suggesting that there can be opportunity, miracle, transformation and an extremely bright future once the storm has passed.  The reason that I go for this camp, is because what I care about is that everyone involved in the affair is able to have a life full of potential, where they can see the opportunities ahead of them.  There are the couples who could remain together, and go on to have a relationship which is stronger and more fabulous than before.  There are the couples who could split up and go on to have the most incredibly relationship of their lives.  There is the opportunity to mentor to our kids that they will survive even the toughest of challenges, so that there is no need to fear pain in the future.  There is the shift in the people involved reminding them of their potential to create outside of the relationship as well.  All of these opportunities will be stifled by fear and guilt.

I’m suggesting that this is possible, not just because it sounds like a ‘nice’ idea, but having had 10yrs of training, loads of clients, and my own experiences.  Some people are able to achieve this all on their own, which is a truly brave and courageous feat.  However, because of the heavy pressure of ‘society says’, many will need some assistance, and it might take some time.  But, that time will be little in comparison to the amount of potential years ahead, so I thoroughly encourage you to be open to the fact that maybe it won’t do us any good to berate the ‘guilty’ or sympathise with the ‘victim’.  I’ve used those terms in my previous posts I admit, so that I could win over your trust and hope that you would continue to listen to me when I got a little more controversial.

Now how I help people through this process is a little complicated to discuss in a post, but I’m going to give you a little insight into some of the steps involved.

  1. It’s important to be sure about why we feel guilty or are upset.  People assume that everyone who experiences the same problem feel the same, but actually we don’t.  If we dig deeper, we’ll find out that we have a very specific description of how we feel about it.  (This is not about the story, but about the character traits or description of the actions of the parties involved).
  2. The other thing that blanks us is to imagine that we ‘would never’ or ‘have never’ done the same thing and that the ‘guilty’ party is totally guilty.  What helps is to see that no one is ‘totally’ a particular characteristic in every area of life, and neither are we quite as perfect and untainted as we might imagine!  Some people call this ‘reflection’; it is the theory that the reason one thing upsets person A, but not person B is because person A is reminded of themselves and by something they have done somewhere in their life.
  3. The next most vital steps in the process are looking for those ‘opportunities’ that I mentioned before.  These are the ‘silver linings’ behind the clouds, and the reasons why we didn’t just gain from the experience, but when we look at reality, we actually don’t want to change the way it worked out.  (Now, don’t throw things at me and say ‘how could you say that’; just imagine how it could feel if I proved it to you!).

Now, I don’t really think that you need loads more complicated detail about the steps involved, but if you would really like to know a load more about the methods I use, then there is much more in depth information on my ‘Dance of Life‘ website and blogs, which are all purely focussed on the Demartini Method.  I can also recommend a book called ‘The Heart of Love’ by Dr John F Demartini.  I also recommend that you read the rest of my blogs under the category of affairs; there will be more to come too!

For the rest of you, I hope that I have opened you up your eyes to the potential of hope and an extremely bright future. You don’t have to fear it happening to you, because if you believe I might be talking sense, you know you will be OK.   For those who have experienced an affair; It’s Ok to be a miserable mess or still held back from either guilt or pain, but if at some point you would like to have a future free of the past, I’m here to tell you that it is possible.

What's The Motivation Behind The 'Other Woman/Man'?

So why do people go for someone who is already ‘taken’ when there are so many single people available?

Well, I’m going to explain some of the most obvious reasons, but basically the motivation for anyone’s behaviour is their value set (the hierarchy of what they love to get from life and do in life).  So the ‘unfaithful’ person will get involved because it appears that the new person matches their values more than the old one, and the ‘other person’ will get involved because it basically works for them.  If you would like to know more about working out your own value set, or that of the people around you, I give a free introductory ebook and audio when people join my email list for my newsletter.

The problem is that society puts such a lot of charge onto affairs, that people look for HUGE reasons why they happen, and often there is no obvious answer or problem to explain it, so it can be confusing (see my other blogs). Also, people are so sure that it is ‘bad’ to be the ‘other woman/man’, that they don’t look deeply into how come often very ‘nice’ people can get themselves into a difficult situation.  Mind you, there are also the less ‘nice’ reasons for it too ;o)

Infatuation: What Is It?

The reason why ‘nice’ people get all twiddled up in an affair is purely because they become so infatuated that they are totally controlled by their passion.  Ironically, I could ‘cure’ them of this within a few hours given a chance, because all I need to do is take off their rose tinted glasses (and I have the cruel tools to be able to do so!).  They will only see the fabulous things about this new person in their life, and will completely ignore the things that the partner sees; like snoring, farting, looking rubbish in the morning, being grumpy, being lazy, or being high maintenance (the list is endless, because we all have less attractive sides to us!).  Then they will be totally convinced that this person is bringing something to their life that they have either never experienced elsewhere or could never experience elsewhere.  So it is just a matter of showing them that they already have everything that they think they are missing, they are just not appreciating where it is.  I bet the partner would love to be sexy too, given the chance, or spend loads of time at the gym and become gorgeous.  Given a bit of caring attention, the current partner would probably be up for being less grumpy and more fun to live with as well (or whatever the complaint is about something being missing)!  Plus, there is always a hidden cost to the infatuation.  For some it is the loss of pension or half their savings.  For others it would be the loss of regular contact with their children, or losing friends or the disappointment of relatives.  It’s always there!

Addiction

With Tiger Woods in the media at the moment, the subject of ‘addiction’ also comes up.  Now this is a more complicated subject that I will blog about at another point.  But it’s like the most extreme infatuation that you can imagine to either the romance of new relationships, or the lust of sexual desire.  It is totally fixable, but it would take more than a couple of hours, and would be more in depth than what I described for the general infatuation cycle.

Being Invincible

There are a few people (either the partner or the other person), who just generally believe that they will get away with anything, can charm anyone, and either won’t get caught or will always be able to get out of a situation or problem.  It’s a type of narcicism/big ego syndrome, which many famous people probably suffer from (aka a few footballers), plus a few of those people often termed ‘lovable rogues’ or ‘charming’.  If this is the problem that the unfaithful partner faces, then without help, they are unlikely to change their behaviour, and they are unlikely to ask for help, because they don’t see what is wrong with what they are doing.  Unfortunately, they need to learn from their mistakes by paying a big price, i.e. seeing one of their values hit big time.

The people who therefore have affairs with these types, are probably either easily led or easily charmed.  When in a good mood, a narcisist will make you feel a hundred dollars.  Just remember, that if they can do that, they can also do the opposite and make you feel like you are bankrupt!

They Have Already Proved They Can Commit

If the ‘other woman or man’ would like to be in a relationship, they can be pretty sure that it is also in the values of the person that they have the affair with, as they have already proved their ability to be in a relationship!  (The logic of wanting a relationship with someone who has the ability to be unfaithful as well, doesn’t tend to figure!).  Society gets very shocked when a woman gets involved with a married man with children.  However, he has already proved that he would like to commit, and procreate, so he is a good bet, especially if it is possible he could afford the maintenance and a new wife!  These people will be able to ‘sniff’ out someone who likes being in a relationship, but is currently dissatisfied with their partner, and offer themselves as a much more attractive option.

I’ve noticed similar behaviour in my coaching/therapy business!  I often assist my mentor at large events that have a couple of hundred people attending, including my own clients.  What is interesting is that sometimes I have noticed my compatriots shamelessly targeting my clients, rather than ‘fresh blood’.  It might seem unprofessional, however, you can see the logic to it, because they have already proved that they are willing to spend money to change their lives, so they are a good bet!

Outright Ambition

The previous option of finding someone who has already shown they can commit, can become a conscious and very ambitious, purposeful strategy.  These people are competitive, will have a strategy, and will make it very difficult for the committed person to resist them.  They don’t just target footballers and golfers either!  Basically, they will target anyone who could give them the lifestyle they are after, plus still afford to pay off the first partner.  In a previous post I suggested that sometimes we need to watch over our partners and almost ‘protect’ them from impossible temptations.  Lets put it another way;  If it is possible that you could be competing with people like this, then make sure you are not holding yourself back, because they will make sure that your partner knows they will do anything to get them, so are you showing that you are willing to do anything to keep them?  (I’m not suggesting you do anything that would belittle yourself, or that you don’t want to do.  But there is always a compromise, you just need to really know them well and what their values are, so that you can tick enough boxes!).

I know that you will think that this is outrageous behaviour on their part, but think about it this way; Hundreds of years ago, these people would have made fabulous adventurers, providers, hunters and protectors.  I suppose that they are frustrated predators.

Not Looking For Something Serious

Then of course there are people whose values mean that they would currently prefer to not be in a relationship that is heavy or heading towards marriage.  If someone is already in a relationship, then they make the perfect option.  It’s all about fun, and none of the boring suburban stuff.  They are obviously very attractive to the person in the relationship, because they appear to be offering ‘no strings’, and appear strong because they are not ‘needy’!  These people are unlikely to want to get found out or caught, unless they also have a high value on danger.  Sometimes, it might be because they are just trying on the concept of a long term relationship for size, so this is their half-way house enroute to finding their own partner.

Sometimes the unfaithful partner gets attracted into relationships like this because they can’t manage to see their partner as both a sexual being and a long term partner.  There are some cultures around the world, where it is deemed perfectly reasonable for a husband to have a wife and a mistress, as long as they behave respectfully.  It would be possible in this situation to help both parties to get over any ‘issues’ they have and combine the roles together.

A Word of Warning/Comfort

If your relationship fell apart due to an affair, be assured that ‘what comes around, goes around’, which is how come so few relationships survive when they start off with unfaithfulness.  Even if it doesn’t hit their relationship, it will hit them somewhere important in their lives.

If you were party to splitting up a relationship, then you might want to consider getting some assistance to work through the guilt of it, and the fear of it happening to you.  Because it is that guilt or fear that will attract the same situation back into your life.  This is not due to a judgmental ‘karma’, it is just so that you get to understand what it feels like on both sides of the story.

Are There Ways To Tell If They Will Be Unfaithful Again?

So the media will be keeping a beady eye on Tiger Woods and John Terry from now on, but if you don’t have that option, then what guarantees do you have that your partner will not be unfaithful again?

Sorry – How Much Does That Mean?

There is no doubt that the ‘injured’ party will need to hear the word ‘sorry’ from their partner, along with huge piles of remorse and possibly some explanations.  Some people find going to counselling is helpful, because it gives an opportunity to get all the anger out in a ‘safe’ scenario, with a mediator.  I must admit this is not my favourite method of dealing with problems, but for some people it would definitely be a good starting point.  (At some stage though, it is likely to be necessary to go for something more practical or involved, like relationship coaching, or the methods that I am trained in: The Demartini Method).

However, ‘Sorry’ doesn’t mean ‘I won’t do it again’.  Being willing to say it, and to listen to the hurt of their partner, definitely is a step in the right direction.  But it mainly means ‘I’m making an initial effort’ or ‘Sorry I got caught’ or ‘I’m feeling really guilty’.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

It’s great if your unfaithful partner is saying all the right things, but more important that they are backing it up with actions.  For instance, being willing to listen to your hurts (not for 20yrs, but for a reasonable while).  Potentially cutting off all contact with the ‘other person’.  Maybe even going as far as changing mobile numbers, and blocking people from their email accounts.  They might need to invest time in some relationship coaching or counselling, to show how important a change is to them.

Be warned, that many people would love to be totally faithful, and definitely mean it when they say that they will be.  BUT, they may not know themselves very well, or have realistic expectations of themselves.  So they are not purposely misleading you, they are just falling foul of romantic conceptions of what they are capable of.  Hence, the importance of them managing to show with their actions, over a prolonged period of time, that there is a change in their psyche.  (Mind you there are some people who are very manipulative and will be purposely misleading you, but I’m assuming that you’ll know if you have one of those!).

Collapse of Infatuation

Many of us have never been taught how to tackle the ‘grass is greener’ temptation, or how to reduce an infatuation (I will blog about this when I get a chance) and give it a breath of reality.  Hence, we actually have to experience the infatuation, and then get threatened with the loss of what we weren’t appreciating, in order to regain our perspective.  you might think that this is very ‘stupid’, however, it is the way that many of us work.

So, are there obvious signs that your partner’s infatuation with being with someone else has been well and truly broken?  Can you now see that they had problems with taking responsibility for their lives and the bits that they didn’t like about it?  This often translates to thinking that it is the partner’s fault that they are in a job that they don’t like, or having to do boring jobs around the house.  Basically, they will blame everyone else and feel victimised for their ‘tough’ lives!  So have they gotten over it?  Do they now appreciate their lives more, and realise that no one else is making them do anything?

A Willingness To Wait For Trust To Be Rebuilt

The person who was unfaithful needs to have a reality check about how long it will take for their partner to rebuild their trust levels, plus the price that they will probably have to pay.  There will be instances when their partner will become insecure and need additional support.  Plus there maybe times when the infidelity will be thrown into their faces in arguments.  I recommend that their partner attempts to get assistance to work through their issues, so that this doesn’t go on for the rest of their lives, however it would be unreasonable to expect it to never happen.

However, there is another side to the story of trust.  We may trust our partners implicitly, but many of us have no idea of the amount of temptation out there, because it might just not be in our value or belief systems to consider getting involved in a relationship with someone else’s partner.  You don’t have to be Tiger Woods or John Terry to be attractive to another woman.  I’m going to write another blog as soon as I get a chance on the different reasons why the ‘other woman’ gets involved, but in the meantime, here is a little reality check; trusting your partner is fine and it avoids suffocating them.  However there is a fine line between ‘trusting’ and ‘taking for granted’.  Plus there is a fine line between reasonable and unreasonable expectations.  For example, put me in a room of chocolate for a day and you won’t be able to trust me not to eat some.  I’d probably be able to last 30 minutes, but not much longer!  I’m one of those people who need serious closeness with someone before I can get jiggy, so I’d be very trustworthy on a night out alone.  However, goodness knows what I would do if Hugh Jackman told me I was sexy and started stalking me!  Maybe it’s just a typical Leo’s reaction to protecting her family, but I wouldn’t be putting my husband into temptations way purposely.

How Long Can You Wait?

There is also another perspective.  How long can you wait, until they become trustworthy, and what kind of trustworthy are you looking for?  Have you got to know them so well, that you know that in their current job or at their current age, they are very unlikely to be able to resist temptation?  However, you know that you can trust them to love you, and wish to remain with you forever?  If you can manage to separate out the two sides to your partner, and maintain your confidence levels, then possibly it is worth considering waiting.  A great example of this is Sharon Osbourne, who is obviously loved deeply by Ozzy, and he is now definitely faithful, but she did have to wait a while!  Potentially, depending on who you are, and what kind of life you would love to have, it might be worth playing the waiting game.  A controversial thought I know, but if you would love to stay and are sure that you can count on their commitment to you (if not sexual faithfulness), then don’t cut off your nose to spite your face just because society says you should.

Note: Affairs are obviously a controversial and painful subject and this is just a quick blog post.  I recommend that if you are interested, you take some time to read my other posts, and subscribe to this blog, so that you know when I have written more.

Why Do Affairs Hurt Some People More Than Others?

We all assume that affairs hurt everyone, in exactly the same way, but in fact they don’t and it is NOT because one person loved their partner more than the other person did.  I remember when I lived in Lincolnshire there was a sudden flurry of partner’s being discovered to be unfaithful, followed by divorces.  I watched as some of the wives were so heart broken that their lives fell apart, whereas others seemed to have an ability to quickly find a new rythmn for their life.

There are a couple of reasons why this is so, and therefore even if you find yourself in the extremely distressed camp, you can switch to the less painful camp.

1) A Balanced Mix Of Interests In Different Areas Of Life

You can split life into 7 areas:

  • Spiritual – having a sense of purpose, bigger reason to be, or religious views
  • Mental – continuing to learn new things however old you are
  • Vocational – job or clear role in life
  • Financial – understanding of our financial value, even if we are not bringing in money
  • Social – having a strong, wide, network of people in different groups/places
  • Familial – our family and relationships
  • Physical – health, taking care of ourselves, exercising, eating well

A person who focusses on just a one or two areas of life, like their family and their physical appearance, will be hit terribly hard by the discovery of what they see as ‘betrayal’ from their partner.  Whereas, someone who has lots of interests and a perception of a degree of ability of power in more areas, will be less harshly affected.  This is the difference from feeling like the rug has been pulled out from your whole life, and feeling as though there is still a strong future for yourself.

So if your rug has been pulled, then there is something that you can do; get out there and start doing something about the other areas of your life.  I promise you that you are a valuable and fabulous human being.  I know you don’t feel it right now, but the beginning step is to fake it until you make it.

2) Having A Strong Belief/Value That Gets Hit

If you have a strong romantic streak, and belief that there will be ‘one’ person for you, it will be tremendously hard to handle affairs.  It’s amazing how many people I’ve had to help because of the new ‘Twilight’ series of books.  I love them too, but there is a significant downside with the message of love for eternity and lack of focus on the downside on that kind of incredible infatuation.  Also, people who have a tremendously strong belief in the strength of vows for either religious or moral reasons, will be not only shocked, but also deeply mortified by their partner’s unfaithfulness.

Sadly a lack of reality check is one of the biggest causes of pain for people.  We focus on how life ‘should’ be, rather on how humans actually behave.  We ignore reality, and have unrealistic expectations for the people that we love, which means that they are bound to let us down.  For instance, put a toddler in a room full of chocolate, and there is no doubt that some will be able to resist because they have a stronger people pleasing and rule awareness.  But put my son in there and he will come out with a face covered in chocolate and a VERY long story about how his invisible friend forced him to eat the chocolate because otherwise the world would have blown up!

I totally get your love of fantasy or these beliefs, but they are causing you pain.  Let them go.  The real world, really isn’t that bad, at least you won’t get shocked or distressed by it.  (Check out my free ebook on Values, which you get if you sign up for my email newsletter).

3) Seeing the Silver Lining

The whole premise behind the methods that I’ve trained in for the past 10yrs is to empower people, not leave them as ‘victims’ of their past pain.  It’s fine to get to the point where you are just ‘over it’ or indifferent.  Some therapies can even get you to the point of ‘acceptance’ or ‘forgiveness’.  But I am ambitious!  I get people to the point where they are free of their past, and it doesn’t affect their future, apart from the fact that they would never want their past to be any different and they are totally grateful for it.  ‘How the hell do you do that’ you maybe asking?  Well, it’s not easy, obviously, but it is totally possible, and it is totally possible very quickly.  Jo Wood is a particularly good example of the first step, which is to look for the silver lining, which is always there.  She admits that she would never have left her husband Ronnie, but that her life has taken off incredibly since he left her.

So literally, it’s about looking at our lives and looking over a period of time for what we have gained, how we benefited, or how we have come out better for the experience.  By keeping stacking them up, over and over again, we will really start to appreciate our lives, get stronger, and have a future filled with potential.  When we are full of hurt and pain, we unfortunately ignore and miss the opportunities that life offers us.  Whereas when we can see that there is tonnes of stuff in our lives to be grateful for, we will be not be held back by our past, but will ready for the rest of our lives with vigour.

In Conclusion (for now!)

Affairs are a complicated subject obviously, so I’ll be blogging lots about them over a period of time.  I recommend you check out my other blogs under the category of relationships or with a tag of affair.

(Also, please note, that in most of the things that I blog about, I’m nearly always stressing how capable we are of sorting our own lives out.  But affairs are one of the things that are considered so socially unacceptable that it can be very difficult to cope alone, especially if the couple are attempting to remain together.  If you would like to know more about how I work, or people trained similarly to myself, then feel free to contact me directly, and check out my other blogs and websites).

Have You Remembered To Ask Yourself?

When in the midst of attempting to make a decision or solve a problem there are a number of things that we often do:

  1. Worry & Panic!
  2. Ask Friends for advice
  3. Ask So called Specialists/Guru’s for advice
  4. Research ideas in books or the internet

But something we often forget to do is ask ourselves!  Do you know what, we are quite wise really, and one of the reasons why it is often a good idea to ask yourself, is because you are really the only person who knows you, your situation and the surrounding issues intimately.  I love a bit of brainstorming in order to sort the facts in my brain.  But ultimately, actually remembering to ask myself what I would say to me if I was a friend/client in the same situation is the beginnings of discovering a solution.

The wisest people balance learning from both outside sources and themselves.  Only listening to your own counsel would mean that you will happily ignore any concepts that are a little uncomfortable for you.  Plus there is no way that anyone can know every possible fact or option!  But only listening to other people, means that you are disempowering yourself and not believing in yourself.  So what you are looking for is a little bit of both as an ideal balance.

Now sometimes I know we literally can’t hear ourselves think, because of all the brain noise in our heads. If that is your current problem, have a quick look through my blogs, because the whole reason for the ‘Mummy whisperer’ is to help you clear all that noise, and I may have blogged already on your current issue, or something similar.  Meanwhile, find a pragmatic (grounded, down to earth & practical) friend, who will help you get a reality check on your fears and guilts.  I’d recommend avoiding the sympathetic ones, because although we need a little bit of support sometimes, it doesn’t tend to actually get us out of the pit we dug ourselves.

Or is it because you can’t see an option which works for you and your family?  Then quite likely you are in one of those situations where more time is needed, because you just don’t have all the necessary information yet.  Check out my blogs about decision making, because they may help you on how to identify the missing information.

So, what would you tell yourself today if you had a chance to chat to yourself?

If I was talking to myself today (whilst awaiting the arrival of No2), I would say:

– Have a cuppa and a cake, whilst enjoying watch some more back issues of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’.  But remember to drink lots of water as well.

– Don’t worry about all the well meaning ‘has she arrived yet’ messages – that doesn’t translate to ‘FFS don’t you know your own body well enough to know whether she is coming or not’!

– She just wants to make an grand entrance, plus after all the noise at that chaos/mayhem called a 4yr old’s soft play party at the weekend, she probably thought she was safer staying inside for a bit longer ;o)

– If your instinct is to stay in, be quiet and be a hermit for a while, then go for it; This is probably the last time you will have a baby in your tummy again or a chance to rest for about 4yrs, so try to make the most of it.

The Power of Perception to Cloud Your Views

You walk into a room with a pile of people, and what do you see?  An opportunity to meet and get to know people, or almost instantly a judgement description on each person in the room and a worry about what they will think about you?

There’s no getting away from it, we will all judge everyone we meet immediately we meet them.  However, where we go from there is up to us.  Your perception creates your reality, which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with actuality.  What I mean is, what you think is going on, will affect how you behave and come across, so it will affect what happens, more than anything else.

We judge things according to our values (values are what we believe are important in our lives), and we all have a totally different set of values.  When we meet people who appear to match some of our values, we open up to them and feel all warm about them.  When we meet people who don’t match our values, then we tend to judge them as wrong and not be willing to get to know them or listen to what they may have to say.

The problem is that we let these perceptions rule our lives and affect our future.

Two people walk into a bank, which gets robbed and they both get shot in the arm.  One says ‘blimey that was lucky, we could have been shot somewhere much worse’.  The other one says ‘How unlucky are we, these things ALWAYS happen to me’.  Which are you?

Two people walk into a new group of women; a very intimidating experience!  One becomes painfully aware of what she doesn’t have and immediately assumes they wouldn’t be interested in her.  Eventually, her belief becomes reality.  Not because she wasn’t the same, but because she will have behaved in a way that is uncomfortable and unattractive to be around, especially if it is a habit of hers and she has that ‘chip on the shoulder’ kind of attitude.  The other woman takes some time to assess the situation and watches carefully.  Eventually, she will see that things are not always as they seem, and as she gains confidence, she will be able to connect to the group.

For example, is there a Mum in your school ground who appears to blank you and is a bit scary?  It’s quite possible, that she is actually very stressed, with a ‘difficult’ child that she can’t handle, and is therefore putting on a front in order to protect herself.  What about the gorgeous Mum, who is so well dressed and gorgeous that you think she wouldn’t be interested in you?  Well, actually, if she is totally confident in the way that she is, then she won’t worry about what you look like.  It’s only the Mums that are underneath worried that they don’t have the right clothes/shoes/sunglasses, that will judge you for also not having the right ones.

Let me give you a personal example.  I recently went back to the states to retake the advanced certification course in the Demartini Method (my background) as part of continuing professional development.  On the first day, I’m hormonal (pregnant) and jetlagged, and one of the first to be called upon to do a presentation to the group (no warning!).  I’d seen the woman before get pulled to pieces, and I was immediately nervous, plus I was a bit flummoxed by having to do something differently from the way I traditionally do it, and finally, I knew that my plans for my business might not be in my mentor’s (Dr John Demartini) ideal plans for me!  So I totally fluffed it, and ended up stamping my feet, crying and having a big argument with John.  Afterwards, I sat down and did some used my training to change my perception of him, me and the value that I had to give.  The next day I had my Senior certification interview with John, and passed with flying colours.  I had total clarity on what I was doing, why I was doing it, and why I was of value to his organisation.  Same person.  Just a different perception in my head.

Here’s another example that you will all have seen.  A woman starts to worry that her partner will leave her, because she isn’t good enough for him.  Despite his trying to show her that she is fab, she keeps on.  Eventually, she becomes such a pain in the neck, that he does leave.  It was nothing to do with the fact that she ‘wasn’t good enough’, but more because she became such a pain.  It was her lack of belief in herself that caused the problem, because that is what people pick up on.

When my son joined a new nursery a couple of months back, I was taken aback by the number of rather gorgeous Mums, with rather posh cars, and did feel a little nervous.  But, I realised that they didn’t know me at all, so they wouldn’t really know any particular reason why I wasn’t interesting to meet – I just had to pretend that I was interesting, that’s all ;o)  As time progressed, I realised that it wasn’t one big group of women, but there are about 4 groups.  Some Mums you never see, because they drop the children off early, so to meet them, I popped notes in their children’s bags to arrange play dates.  Some Mums were always late, and much less of the ‘yummy’ type, so to meet them I would pick a day where I didn’t have clients and make sure I hung around a little.  The other group of Mums were totally confident in how they looked, so they don’t mind about me not having the right sun glasses at all.  If I smiled at them and was friendly, they were totally friendly back.  Then the final group of Mums actually appeared less confident in themselves, so I looked for something that we would have in common and then started up a conversation when an opportunity arose.  I’m perfectly aware of the fact that in life only about 50% of people will like you, so I’m not attempting to be liked by everyone.  But heh, that leaves 50% to like me, not bad odds heh!

I know other Mums who have been faced with the same sort of situation, but because they believed that they didn’t have enough money and didn’t fit in, that’s basically what happened.  There might be a small number of mums who wouldn’t be interested for that reason.  But to generalise about a whole town or city, is just daft, it’s not possible for all of them to be only interested in rich friends.

I know several Mums who are from other countries e.g. America or Russia.  Some of them were always worried that they wouldn’t fit in, because they were not english.  They assumed that everyone already had friends, and no one would be interested in them.  The others realised that actually there are plenty of Mums who are a little isolated, and coming from a different country can actually make you interesting to be around.  The first set of Mums are lonely.  The second set of Mums have loads of friends.

What are you worrying about?  Is it affecting how you come across in that situation – work/home/socially?

Have a think about yourself.  Rather than thinking about what you don’t have, concentrate on what you do have?  For work, think about all your past jobs, projects, skills, qualifications, characteristics, and strengths.  Write a really detailed list, until you understand what you are good at and can value yourself more.  For home, think about everything that you do at home, and why you are fabulous to have around?  Socially, think about why people like being around you, is it because you are a good listener, or are you the life and soul of the party, what is it about you that people love?  I’m not suggesting you get big headed about yourself, because that can go the other way!  I’m just suggesting you learn to appreciate why you are wonderful and fantastic.

(Just adding a quick line to help me submit my blog to technorati JYY278WUKM2J)

Choosing Schools, School Assessments and Potential Rejections

So this is a blog very close to my heart at the moment, having just been through an incredibly stressful 2 weeks, with a few more to go!  So I can vouch for the exercises I am going to take you through, as I totally had to use them myself to clear the ‘brain noise’ out ;o)

First some background information.  Our original plan was to go for a state primary where we live, however, a baby boom means that we will not be able to get into any of our preferred schools, and the only option is not an option, if you know what I mean.  So the first thing we had to get our heads around was paying for school for a 4yr old.  Ironically, having paid for nursery over the past couple of years, so that I could work, it’s pretty much the same fees, so financially it isn’t such a stretch, until you look at their whole school life – ouch!  Plus of course there is another baby on the way, which at most will get us a 10% discount, heh ho!

Now around us, the good news is, that there are tonnes of private schools.  However, mistake number one on my part was to not understand the ‘game’ that is played between them all and the parents, plus to get pregnant and potentially have a baby arriving in Feb at one of the most crucial ‘game playing’ times!  So I had a look at all the schools, ruled out some immediately, then visited a few, and ended with a short list of ONE.  I assumed everyone picked their favourite school, and that on the assessment the school would see what all his nursery teachers have seen, and obviously want him – MISTAKE NUMBER ONE, oops ;o)  What actually happens, is Mums apply to loads of places, then get offered and keep the place, just incase they don’t get their preferred option a few months later (all the schools offer over a period of 6 months).  Plus, some apply to nursery, change their mind and then ‘defer’ the place until reception year.  So they have automatically got themselves a place, without any of this scary assessment stuff!

So if you are looking at choosing a school for your child, or are in the middle of assessments, then this blog is for you, with lots of hints and tips about how to deal with it.  For all of these, you could do with a notebook or a spreadsheet; there is a magic in writing stuff down, which gets it out of your head and into a manageable format.  So right from the start, get organised (even if you aren’t generally an organised type about these sorts of things!).

Step 1 – What would you ideally like?

So what are your key and secondary wishes for a school?  This is down to your values, and you aren’t ‘wrong’ in any of your choices, it’s just important to know.  Some Mums around me are most keen on the academics, others sport.  I’m looking for my son to love it, get the option to try lots of things, have lunch (some are packed), and swim from early on.  Academics are important, but not above ’roundedness’, because he is a fan of sport AND art AND reading.  Keep track of this list and compare to your assumptions below.  Plus, remember what your child would like.  My son is very sociable, loves telling stories, needs a lot of space around him and likes to go outside every day, so this is important for me to factor into the decision.

Step 2 – Keep a List of Your Assumptions

As you investigate your options, make sure that you list your assumptions.  You may have to come back and adjust some of these later!  Mine were mainly, that I would prefer Co-ed, that Steiner education was too risky as we might move before my son was taught to read at 7.  But sneaking in there were a lot of assumptions about the scary nature of the Mums at some of the schools!  Now this is where there was an important clash with my Sons values, as I had ruled out several schools, that in the recent months we have met the potential children for, and he adores them.  My current situation is going back through all of my assumptions and deciding which ones are ‘real reasons’ for ignoring a school.  I was just trying to simplify the decision, but now I’m going to broaden my horizons.

Step 3 – Pros and Cons List

For each school start writing the Pro’s and Con’s for each.  Now there is an important DIFFERENCE to how you have done this before.  This time, you are aiming to get as many Pro’s as Con’s for each school.  If you have more of either, then you do not have a balanced viewpoint of the school and something is going to catch you by surprise.  Plus you are looking for the same total number for each school.  If one has less, then there are lots of things that you don’t know about them.

I absolutely promise you that there ARE as many Pro’s as there are Con’s for each school.  By doing this, you will see each school clearly.  If your decision is still hazy, then you haven’t found all the pro’s and con’s yet.

The mistake I made, was not to continue with the list as I got more information – so look on it as an ongoing project.  Where you have unequal lists, move onto the next step.

Step 4 – Unknowns List

As you make assumptions and list pro’s and con’s, you will realise that there are things that you don’t know about each school.  Keep a list of these, and then you can start to fill in the blanks.

Step 5 – What to do in the case of rejections

So I have been refused jobs and all sorts of opportunities and generally been quite pragmatic about it.  But it is a totally different even when your son gets refused!  One Mum is terribly upset that her daughter was rejected from a school, even though she wouldn’t have picked that school!  The other Mum, still has assessments to go, but is panicing, because the first school have only offered a waiting list.  I’m ‘lucky’ in that my son has been offered a ‘waiting list’ (long) for one school and reserve list (short, but they over offer) for another.   However, I may not get the results until Feb, which is when babyno2 is due, so there is a big handful of hormonal worry going on ;o)

So if you are upset over the rejection, here are some ideas for tackling it, because the upset and brain noise associated with it, will drain you and get in the way of you making a plan as to what to do from now on.  I’m going to list some potential reasons why you might be upset and how to tackle it.  Even if you have a different situation, you will probably be able to get a clue from these examples, if not, feel free to contact me.

a) You are upset over the ‘rejection’.

This is a sign that you are really sensitive about the times that you have ‘rejected’ your child.  Now we ALL ‘reject’ them at some point, but you are feeling really guilty about it.  When I say ‘reject’, I mean things like when disciplining them, you stick to your guns, even though they are upset.  Or when you have to leave them for nursery or to so something important and have to ignore their cries.  Or when you are over tired and just can’t face any more.  There are loads of different times that we might have done it.

If this is how you feel, then there are 2 things that I would like you to look at.

How the ‘rejection’ from the school helps, benefits or works for your child?  For example, are there other children you are not keen on going there?  Is it very strict?  Is it a long way away?  Is there something missing from it?  What’s important to them, that the school doesn’t have?  What’s important to your family that the school doesn’t have?

How has it helped your child when you have so say ‘rejected’ them.  Ok, so they were upset at the time.  But, did they gain independence, learn that you would come back, or broaden their horizons about who they could turn to?  Why is that important in the long run for them?  What would happen if you didn’t do it?  Might they end up spoilt, clingy, or lacking in confidence?

b) You are upset because it didn’t work out straight away, even though you know there will probably be somewhere for them.

My ‘brain noise’ was.  ‘It would just be so much easier if rather than being put on a waiting list, he had been given a space immediately’.  So I had to keep thinking, ‘Why is it for the best that he didn’t get a place straight away’.  It took me some time.  Hubby mentioned that it had got him more involved in the whole decision, which started me off, and then I got a key insight.  I realised that it gave me more time to rethink my own decision, and to investigate a couple of options that I hadn’t looked at beforehand.  Otherwise I would have to hand over £500-£1000 to keep a spot, and then find out later that there was an option that would work better for Max.

c) You are worried that there will be no-where for your child.

So you need to double check this assumption.  Has anyone ever not got into a school?  Nope, even in my case, I could still send my son to the state school.  For me, this would mean taking more responsibility for teaching him, doing sport and consistently reminding him that swearing and inappropriate behaviour will not be allowed.  For you, it might mean a longer journey.  But there is an option, and you might then get a chance to get into the school of your choice later.  It’s not over until it’s over!  Go back over your assumptions, have you ignored a location or type of school?  If this happened, it would be time for me to look up the M25 potentially, or into town.  All the private schools near me, will have spaces in Feb, because the most academic school doesn’t offer until then.  Then there will be spaces in April, when some will give up their places because they did get the state school of their choice.

Write down whats the worst thing that could happen?  Face the fear, rather than keep letting it rattle around in your head.  At the very worst I could home educate, move, go to church or change religion (we have a lot of religious state schools in out area).  Even when you think there are no more options, I bet there are some.

By the way, if your child has some very specific problems which might get in the way, like aspergers, or a physical challenge, then you might need a great deal more assistance than just this blog.  But it will hopefully start you off.  It’s key to talk to people who have been in the same situation as you, and find out how they tackled it – so get on that internet and find the support groups with the info!  Feel free to get in touch.

Step 6 – Still Overwhelmed?

If you still feel terribly upset about the whole process, then you are probably over-tired and need a bit of time-out.  Get a friend round for a cuppa or a glass of wine, and ask them to help you brainstorm for some outside ideas.  Focus on some sleep (epsom salts in the bath helps), healthy food, fresh air and taking care of yourself.  Decide that you are going to put this ‘school issue’ into a box for a week, and literally not open the lid.  Each time it crops up, put it back in the box.  You need a rest, and after a good rest, things will not seem so bad and you will be able to cope better.

Let me know if this post has been helpful at all, and how you have experienced this whole school assessment process.

Bullying Pt 12 – The Bully returns for my son

So, if you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that I was originally inspired to write all these ‘bullying’ posts by my little 3yr old being ‘bullied’ at his nursery.  It was a situation with a little boy, who I suspect (but I never got a chance to help the parents, which I would have loved to do) was feeling powerless at home due to having one very dominating parent, and another not giving clear rules/controls.  He would also get suddenly bored, which is how come it was difficult for the nursery to predict when the problem would occur, because it was as though he would suddenly switch for no reason.

I applied some changes to the support/challenge in my son’s life at home (i.e where life goes his way and doesn’t) and did puppet role play shows on how to walk away from a situation, and the problem appeared to go away.

However, new nursery, new problem!  This one has less of a problem with boredom as it is more structured, and they are stricter, so there isn’t really obvious physical bullying.  Instead, we have the more subtle feminine side of bullying, with the use of WORDS and power over who does and doesn’t belong!  The kids are brighter, older and much cleverer, so it is a totally different kettle of fish.  Now I don’t know them well enough to know exactly what their backgrounds are which is creating their behaviour, but they are definitely looking to create more ‘support’ for themselves at nursery, by creating a ‘gang’ that they can belong in.  (Remember, bullies are not ‘bad’ – we all bully somewhere – they are just attempting to fill a need).  There are quite a lot of girls, so they are all attempting to work out the hierarchy and displaying signs of ‘power’ and who would be most valuable to ‘belong’ to!

Why has it occurred for Curly Headed Boy again?  Well, we have just come back from holiday, where I worked for 5 days and he got thoroughly spoilt.  Plus he arrived 2 weeks after everyone else, so isn’t automatically fitting in.  He probably walked in a little cocky, expecting it to be like his old nursery where the shouts of his name would be everywhere as he arrived.  He needs to learn to adapt to a bigger environment, where he isn’t such a big fish.  Plus, he needs for life to be going slightly less the way he always wants it at home!  (Remember, I’ve talked about the ‘challenge’ of bullying occurring when there is too much ‘support’ elsewhere in their lives).

 

Now, although I don’t get really ‘upset’ about bullies etc, it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to take some action.  So here is what I’ve done so far:

1) Alert the nursery to the fact that I’m totally aware of the situation, and am not willing for it to continue for too long.  In my view it is their job to ensure that the kids all understand that it is not acceptable behaviour at school to refuse to play with someone because of their gender/size/race/background etc.  If they don’t do that, then they aren’t helping the ‘bullies’ who need to learn some safe boundaries.  If they get caught with that sort of behaviour at the up and coming assessments for primary schools, they will be in big trouble!  However, of course, they can’t force a child to play with another child, and that’s not what I’m attempting to make them do.

Update: the nursery were great, and admitted that there was a slight problem in the room.  They are now being much more consistent and certain about the behaviour expected at nursery.  They have also had a whole week concentrating on ‘friendly behaviour’ at circle time, and have even asked Max to share his strategies (see below).

2) Started to suss out the Mums in the playground and found another Mum in the same situation.  So we can set up a ‘play date’ where are kids gain some ‘power’ by getting to know each other.  I’m going to keep looking and help Curly Headed Boy learn how to look for potential friends and remember names (challenging in a larger class of 16 with 2 teachers!).

Update: This very quickly helped both him and another child facing a similar problem.  They immediately understood that it wasn’t personal, and that there were potential allies in the room, so it had an almost overnight affect.  Got lots more booked up as well; gonna have to buy him a diary to keep track ;o)

3) Talked Curly Headed Boy through the 4 alternatives to what to do (at his age) when a child doesn’t want to play with him (they told him he was a boy, so he couldn’t play with the girls).

Firstly, clearly say that if they don’t want to play with him, it’s not a problem, because he’ll find someone better to play with (maintain his power).

Secondly, to check around the playground for someone else who is alone and play with them (Look for opportunities).

Thirdly, look for something fun to do on his own (show initiative & confidence).

And Finally, in the situation that they want to play with him, but not do what he wants to do, then he can either give in and play what they want, or create a new idea, or make a ‘deal’ to play their game and then his (he is good at deals!).

Update: Not only did he apply these strategies, but I also saw him apply them in a park a few days later.  There was a group of boys, with a ‘leader’ who was very clever at manipulating situations.  They systematically spat at, kicked, pushed and called him names.  During which time, I clung to the park bench, knowing that I needed to let him handle the situation himself.  He was amazing, I was so proud of him,  He tried every strategy I had given him (I’m going to blog more about strategies soon), and eventually actually started to create allies int he group.  I’m now very grateful to those little girls at his nursery, for their very gentle introduction into a much more severe world of child-power-play.

 

I have no doubt that the social lessons he is learning here will set him in good stead for when he goes to primary school next year.  Plus although the game has upped in intensity/complication a bit, he is also capable of understanding more complicated social situations now.  Finally, he is beginning to get his head around the fact that I’ve been telling him that there will always be people both loving and disliking him in life, and that is OK.  If he can learn to understand that, it will save him a world of pain in the future, and instead he will automatically just look around for who does like him, rather than worry about who doesn’t.

It’s ironic that I have picked a co-ed school for Curly Headed Boy, rather than single sex, which would have a much simpler version of bullying for him!  But heh, that is real life, so, and I think that he is capable of dealing with it, even at this age (others might not) and therefore it will stand him in good stead for life.  Bear this in mind when considering single/co-ed schools – what would suit your child and their current social maturity levels?

Is It OK to threaten your toddler with popping their balloons?

I dont know the full news story, but I saw the Wright Stuff talking about a Mum who couldn’t get her 3yr old out of the park, so threatened to pop her balloon.  Apparently the daughter immediately got off the swing.  But the Mum was also seriously told off by other parents who said that she will have permanently scared her child’s life by doing it!

What do you think?  Would you walk up to a parent in a park and tell them off for their techniques?  Has someone done that to you?  Is it going too far to threaten to pop a balloon?

My answer is as always going to be based on common sense, and practicality, which is it depends on the child and the situation.

If that balloon was the most important thing in that child’s life and they valued it incredibly highly, then yes, it was probably quite a cruel suggestion, a bit like if I threatened to put spiderman in the bin.  However, if it was a fleeting attraction, and the child was fully aware that there are more balloons, then it was a just a sensible application of consequences and boundaries to the child; a bit like me threatening that there would be no 10 minutes of ‘strictly come dancing’ before bed!

I totally think that with kids ‘what comes around goes around’.  So bully them and treat them with disrespect, and expect them to do so back to you very quickly.  So whatever method you decide to use to get them to do something, you are best off being respectful.  BUT!  That doesn’t mean you can’t be forceful, and have clear boundaries.

I have no idea how the Mum in the park did the balloon popping threat.  However, if she had attempted to get her ‘little darling’ out of the park with normal methods like, “We need to leave the park in 5 mins”, followed up by “Time to leave”, and then when she was resistant “If we don’t leave the park now we will be <fill in consequence etc late, unable to do something etc>”.  Then I can totally see why she would then have resorted to an offer of a stronger consequence.  Plus it worked ;o)

If she was at her whits end, shouting at her ‘little darling’ and aggressively threatened to pop the balloon, without much attempt to find alternative means, then yes, this might not be the most ‘ideal’ option.  But none of us know whether she was sleep deprived, handling huge stresses at home, or generally just at the end of her tether.  I don’t know any Mum who hasn’t been there!  So no, it might not have been ‘ideal’, but heh, it was all she could come up with at that time.  From the perspective of ‘permanently damaging’ her daughter, then there will be some ramifications if she continued to behave like that for a long number of months.  But I’m not one for agreeing with ‘permanent damage’.  If I can work with people who were abused physically/sexually as children and quickly help them to move on, with great empowered lives, that have no ‘ruin’ in their past, then there is no reason ever for a child to be ‘permanently damaged’.  Don’t fall for our general tendency to victimise people for life in the moment in the UK, it’s really not the best option for these so called ‘victims’.

I’m quite surprised at the behaviour of the parents who tackled this mum in the park.  It’s either come from a genuine concern, in which case, good on them, because loads of us are parallised by being politically correct.  However, I suspect it came from a self-righteousness, and lack of empathy, which is a terrible shame.  As parents, we have a difficult enough job as it is (whilst also being joyful), without turning on each other.  Do you know what I can promise you about those parents?  If they were that enraged by it, I can be 100% sure that it was because it reminded them of something that they have done somewhere in life, or know they could do, and the reflection of someone else doing it, made them feel terribly guilty and hence lash out at this Mum.

I’m kind of in the middle road between the people who think that you should only ever ‘negotiate’ with a child and those who think that you should always rule the roost.

I’m a proponent for finding out the values of the people who are important in your life (I teach how to do it on my workshop and have blogged about it before), and then talking in their ‘language’.  Which could be termed ‘negotiating’, expect for the fact that I also underline the importance of any option working for both parties, whereas for some people ‘negotiating’ suggests that the children have the main control in the situation.  Like I said before, this is the most respectful way to deal with your kids (and anyone else for that matter).  HOWEVER!  All kids need boundaries.  So sometimes it is talking in their values and best interests to teach them that there are consequences for our actions.  If there are no boundaries then we get a pile of spoilt, demanding kids, who will struggle with adapting to ‘real life’ as they grow up.  (Obviously the boundaries need to be relevant to the child’s age and maturity).  With no boundaries, at the very worst we get a pile of kids with no financial sense, all wanting to become famous, probably bullying people left right and centre.  It can even get to the point that they have very little appreciation for what they get in life, so they either end up treating everyone in their lives like dirt, and becoming physically or emotionally destructive.  I saw an example of this in the park this week.  A little boy systematically spat at, kicked, pushed & called my little boy names, and his Mum did little about it.  He wasn’t a ‘contented’ child!  When later one of her group pointed out to her the behaviour and she therefore tackled it, her child mixed with the other children much more happily.  He actually needed and wanted the guidance on boundaries.  (I have another blog enroute about bullying, so you’ll find out how come I didn’t step in soon!).

Anyway, I’m off to pick up my ‘little darling’ now from nursery, so gotta end there.  I’d love to know what do you think?

Bullying – Summary of what to do

I’ve been blogging about bullying for ages, but it’s a complicated subject and I realised that you might be needing a quick summary on how to start tackling the issue.  Please bear in mind that you will probably need to read my other blogs to get the background situation and examples, plus you will definitely need to read the Bullying Summary of the concepts.

So this is a ‘quick’ summary.  With the proviso, that it is ‘quick’, not thorough, and there are different degrees of bullying, some of which are quickly resolved and some of which you might need some assistance with.

 
Step 1 – Deal with your issues first so you can be objective

This is an emotional subject and you are likely to either be upset because you are remembering what it was like to be bullied yourself, feeling terribly protective, or really mortified because you feel guilty that your child has been doing the bullying.  So in order for you to deal with this, you first need to be able to see the situation clearly.

 

Step 2 – Stand back and have a look at the Support/Challenge

If your child is being ‘bullied’, where is the support/ease/life going the way they like it?  Where are they ‘popular’?  Where are they getting their own way?  Are they ‘over-protected’ somewhere?

If you child is the ‘bully’, where is the challenge/difficulty/unease in their lives?  Are they feeling insecure, lacking in power, bored, or needing more freedom?

 
Step 3 – What are they getting from it on both sides?

 
What is your ‘bullied’ child getting from being bullied?  Why do their so called ‘persecutors’ need to do it?
What is your ‘bullying’ child getting from the bullying?  What are their so called ‘victims’ getting from it?
What do they all need to learn?
What is it directing them to do or not do?

 
Step 4 – Devise a strategy

 
1) Where can you help to re-balance the support/challenge in your child’s life? Does the bully need something to give them more security, or more clear guidelines/boundaries, or for a parent to back off, or for a parent to stand up for themselves more?
Does the bullied child need more responsibility at home, less spoiling, or more consistency and rules.

 
2) Help your child learn directly, what they have been learning indirectly.
Now my son is nearly 4, so I can have chats with him, but I also need to use things like role playing with puppets to get the point across.  If your child doesn’t understand chats, then you might want to look for a media that they will understand for example a story/book/film/TV program that will initiate a conversation.  If they are bullying they may need to understand the consequences of their actions, either with a form of punishment or a look at how it will affect them detrimentally in the future.  How can you teach them the social interaction lessons that they are learning from the episodes?

 
3) Involve the school
Just because I don’t think that bullies are bad kids, doesn’t mean that I don’t think that the school should get involved.  I don’t think that vilifying the bullies will help, or rescuing the bullied.  However, clear signals an rules as to what is expected and allowed in behaviour at school is definitely necessary.
 

4) Create a plan of action & monitor it
Remember you can’t remove bullying from your child’s life, but you can rejig where it displays.  So create a plan of action, and then monitor it over a period of time to see where it is and isn’t working.  Get in touch with me on my fan page or via my website if you require any assistance.