“Bully Blocking, six secrets to help children deal with teasing and bullying” (Finch 2007)

“The best cure for a bullied child is to acquire life skills”

Many parents discover that their child is being bullied (teased, excluded, physically harassed or cyber bullied) and don’t know what to do how.

Evelyn Field says: “It’s important for parents to regard this as an opportunity to help their child develop resilience and acquire some valuable life skills. If acquired when young, these social survival skills – which I call the ‘Secrets of Relating’ – help children deal with bullying and teasing now and in the future. The reality is that in life we will encounter some difficult or nasty people. Some consciously bully, while others are oblivious to the impact of their bullying behaviours. We need to teach our children how the bullying game works.”

“A range of simple skills, learnt early, allows a child to block bullies no matter where they are encountered – as well as to block his or her own bullying behaviours. Often parents want to blame the school – but schools only have limited resources. In fact, even the best international school programs can reduce the incidence of bullying by just 50%; in Australia it is more like 15%. Legally and ethically, schools must make a reasonable attempt to deal with bullying, but they are not able to eliminate it.”

“I show parents and their children how to discuss the bullying and then help them learn the skills to block the bully. Once a child decides not to make a bully happy, then she or he can stop the bullying. I’ve worked with thousands of children over the last thirty years, and I love that point where a vulnerable, distressed child smiles because they realize they have the power to block the bully.”

“My research in recent years has been into workplace bullying – and I’ve seen clearly that the effects of bullying on a target are pernicious and long-standing. I believe that the school years are the time for a child to develop their resilience and to learn these essential life skills. We know that if the child is allowed to remain a target, he or she will take a sense of ‘victimhood’ into their adult years and continue to be bullied by others – friends, family members, spouses, colleagues and bosses. Learning social survival skills is a vital and necessary life skill for any child.”

“As a parent, the most important thing you can do is to read this book with your child. By constantly practising different aspects of the model, children can improve their assertive, self-protective skills.”

  • The first part of “Bully Blocking” helps parents understand what happens when children are bullied, the bully game, the causes and damage done.
  • The next section deals with transforming the child’s attitudes, skills for parents and options for schools.
  • The third section introduces young readers to the six Secrets of Relating.

The Secrets of Relating

  1. Regulate your feelings – Secret 1
  2. Understand why you are bullied or a bully – Secret 2
  3. Build your self esteem – Secret 3
  4. Become a confident communicator – Secret 4
  5. Creating you own power pack – Secret 5
  6. Develop a support network – Secret 6

Advance praise for this book

Bully Blocking contains many imaginative suggestions for parents and children on how to cope with the problem of being victimised by their peers at school.

         Ken Rigby, Adjunct Professor, University of South Australia, author of Bullying in Schools and What to Do about It

Evelyn Field’s thoughtful and beautifully written book is both timely and needed, providing young people and their carers with a variety of skills, knowledge and strategies to counter the problem of bullying and teasing. The illustrations and activity pages ensure the user-friendliness of the book for young people. Bully Blocking is a “must read” for parents who want to give their children the gift of a range of social and emotional competencies to help them traverse the sometimes rocky terrain of the schoolyard and beyond.

         Assoc Prof Michael Carr-Gregg, PhD MAPS, author of Surviving Year 12 and co-author of Adolescence

Evelyn Field has drawn on her vast clinical experience over many years of working with children, their families and teachers to write a superb book about all aspects of bullying. Beginning with descriptions of different types of bullying, Field goes on to list the manifestations and consequences of bullying, and devotes the rest of the book to information and practical exercises as to what parents, teachers (and children, too) can do. It is written in a style that is interesting, very practical and easy to read. Bully Blocking is an invaluable resource for children, parents, teachers and all professionals working with children who are aware of the often-devastating consequences of bullying that is allowed to go unchecked.

         Professor Frank Oberklaid Director, Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

Parents of today’s children see no place for bullying. They also are seeking a strong partnership with schools to ensure all children are happy and safe at school. In Bully Blocking, Evelyn Field provides parents with a most practical and easy-to-read road map into the future without bullying. Parents who unfold Evelyn’s road map will find support and confidence to make that journey successful for their children and their school communities.

         Duncan McInnes, Executive Officer, NSW Parents Council Inc.

This is a book packed with practical ideas for parents and children to use in understanding and addressing bullying. Evelyn writes with confidence and clarity, and I like her light-hearted presentation. Few of the books available on bullying target both the parent and the child readership – Bully Blocking does. It is easy to read, and the extensive information is presented in an attractive format.

         Dr Valerie Besag, Consultant Educational Psychologist, author of Understanding Girls’ Friendships, Fights and Feuds: A practical approach to girls’ bullying.


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Bully Blocking The Book