“Once kids spend two and a half to three hours with me on a one-on-one basis, I guarantee they will never be bullied again because they’ve been to hell and back,” Manoli told the crowd. “So when they’re facing a bully, it’s a walk in the park. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.”
Helping children, women and teens assert themselves successfully when victimized by bullies since 1982, the Montreal police officer offers parent-child workshops, such as the one hosted in CSL, and one-on-one private sessions that give people the tools needed to stand up to bullies.
Manoli used the CSL-based workshop to show parents some of his methods. Kids, ranging in primary school ages, gathered on the floor around Manoli as parents observed from chairs. Manoli and the children discussed the complexities of bullying, be it the more physical abuse of boys to the name-calling and ostracizing of girls.
The officer stressed that teachers often don’t even realize how much bullying is going on in their classrooms or schools — something the kids all understood and nodded their heads to as he spoke. It happens, the kids said, during recess, in the halls, in the bathrooms, outside of school or even in the classroom itself.
Going straight to the teachers each time a bully uses name-calling or physical abuse, said Manoli can make for vengeful bullies or teachers sick of hearing about the same problem over and over again. The trick, he explained, is to use a series of techniques in order to avoid trouble. Based on the three-strikes rule of baseball, the techniques involve verbal commands and getting out of the situation with confidence.
These techniques, he explained, are much different than the common recommendation of parents which usually include “when I was your age” type advice of fighting fire with fire. However, he said, it’s not that simple. Just like with anything in life, practice makes perfect.
“If you’re telling your child: ‘I want you to stand up for yourself and I want you tell Johnny to stop pushing you’ well, I’m sorry to say, but you need to practise,” said Manoli. “No matter what strategy you are going to use, you need to practise. Nobody out there has a magic wand to deal with bullying. There is no simple way. You need to practise with your child.”
For more information on our Anti-bullying workshops, please visit our Course and Workshop outlines.