“The bullier is someone’s child, someone’s friend, and an ongoing member of society. We must also help him to heal both for his sake and ours.”
Best For the Boy™ is a short-term, after-school online course that approaches bullying from the standpoint that the child’s behavior is unacceptable, but they remain valued and deserving of patience and earnest support.
Best For the Boy is designed primarily with boys aged 10 – 14+ in mind, good boys stubbornly making some unfortunate and hurtful choices in their peer relationships.
At once educational, supportive and constructive, Best For The Boy is indeed an after-school consequence for repeatedly mean, mocking, aggressive, dominant, threatening, entitled, and/or cruel behavior toward peers. Behavior draws consequences. But instead of punitive consequences, why not employ one that also has the potential to adjust, to tune behavior toward better performance in the long run?
Best For The Boy is applied case-by-case. The school’s overall wellness plan may be working wonderfully—except for a few. In those few cases, something special might be needed, something that communicates the unacceptability of the behavior while challenging the child to consider his ability to choose and behave differently—later, sooner or RIGHT NOW.
Guidelines on Identifying a [Potential-]Bullier:
If 3 or more of these are answered in the affirmative, you may be sure that your referral is in the best interests of the child, family, and school.
Does this child…
– Have to always be the ‘first’ or the ‘winner’? Become mean if not first/not victorious?
– Habitually blame others without taking on any personal responsibility?
– Declare him/herself the victim in all conflicts?
– Become angry at—or insulted easily by—peers?
– Seem less emotionally upset (other than indignation) than others after a conflict has occurred?
– Enjoy seeing others make mistakes?
– Lie/obfuscate to avoid even simple, non-serious consequences?
– Regard rules as only applicable when adults are nearby?
– Appear disinterested or unaffected when being scolded?
For the duration of the course, an enrolled student will need the assistance of an adult helper, someone not unlike a tutor, available to discuss the content of each lesson with the child to ensure understanding. We call this person the ‘mentor’. Identifying an appropriate mentor is a parent responsibility, sometimes fulfilled by a member of the school’s faculty or a trusted family friend with some experience working with children.
For more information on program expectations for mentors, please go to the Mentor Overview video found on this website. And as always please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
Staying on top of other responsibilities
The course lessons and activities are not considered heavily time-consuming, but in this tightly-scheduled world the time spent doing Best For The Boy coursework will be felt. In our view the student’s responsibilities to the household, his family, his classroom, and other established commitments stand just as firmly during the course as they should before and after, indeed more so. Having responsibility to (self and-) others is highly validating, provides identity, and helps satisfy the need to be needed. One reason children experiment with ‘alternative’ personalities and behaviors is a lack of this validation.
There is sometimes disagreement between the school and the family regarding the nature, causes, and administrative handling of student conflicts. At all times we maintain a neutral position that attends to the healing of the child. We don’t take sides nor express opinions regarding the events that led to the referral nor the consequences that have followed, since we do not and cannot know the full details with accuracy. At the same time, we always operate on the assumption that the school has used professional and well-meaning judgment in its assessment of events and assignment of consequences.
Notice of Completion
Students completing the course will be issued a Notice of Completion. This informs the family (and school) that the child has engaged in lessons, assignments and mentoring sessions according to schedule and through to completion.
A Final Word
This course is designed to be delivered to one student at a time, and it is recommended that it not be delivered in group video or mentoring sessions. Group sessions cannot be expected to yield the success outcomes that individually conducted sessions do, and for fairly clear reasons: students in a group setting tend to very self-consciously monitor their behavior according to the evident standards of acceptability (measured in “coolness” units) by their peers. This predictable phenomenon seriously lessens the likelihood that a student will carefully attend to—and take seriously—the video lesson or the follow-up mentoring conversations, even if they sincerely want to.