How Bullying and Abuse Affect the Brain in Kids and Adults and How to Repair It

Dr.-Jennifer-Fraser-headshot.

Written by: Where Parents Talk Staff

Published: Oct 19, 2022

There was little question as to the trajectory of her immediate future purpose after learning one of her own students committed suicide.

That agonizing reality came in 2019 for Dr. Jennifer Fraser.

It had followed a string of harrowing personal experiences, becoming a seminal moment.

Herself a victim of childhood abuse, she would later see abuse through the eyes of a parent, when one of her sons was bullied in school.

“There was really destructive bullying going on lots of swearing, yelling in the face, homophobic slurs, public shaming, and the teenager would be held in for more,” says Dr. Fraser, who was a teacher at the same school. “And what kind of shook me to the core was it wasn’t students doing this, it was teachers.”

Click for video transcription

Welcome to where parents talk. My name is Lianne Castelino. Our guest today is an award winning educator of more than 20 years, an accomplished author, speaker and mother of two. Dr. Jennifer Fraser is also the author of three books. Her latest is called the bullied brain, heal your scars and restore your health. It was published in April of 2022. Dr. Fraser joins us today from Victoria BC. Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you so much for having me. Lianne. I’m really excited about the conversation we’re going to have.

And you know, it is such an important conversation and probably never been as important as it is today. What was the impetus for you to write the bullied brain?

my son got involved in a situation in a private school where there was really destructive bullying going on lots of swearing, yelling in the face, parading homophobic slurs, public shaming, and the teenager would be held in for more. And what kind of shook me to the core was it wasn’t students doing this, it was teachers. So these are my colleagues and put me into a terrible position, obviously, but I just had to see it through in terms of not, this is where the science came in, actually, because, you know, I have a PhD in comparative literature, we were trained to not even speak, let alone write or publish without doing our research. So when I was being told by the administrators of the school and the board, you know, sort of just oh, let it go. It’s not a big deal. It’s old school coaching. It was motivation. Really, it’s because the teachers are so passionate, I started to feel a lot of like, cognitive dissonance, I started to think this doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t sound right, from a mother’s point of view. And it doesn’t sound right, from a teacher’s point of view, or an academics point of view. So at that point, I just kind of like silence that all that messaging. And I turned to the research, and I looked at the law, I looked at psychology, I looked at what doctors were saying. And then I found the neuroscience. And when I found the neuroscience, there was no going back. I’ve been working on it ever since I have been educating myself by reading top studies, in terms of what does that kind of verbal, psychological, very aggressive physical abuse? What does it do to a child’s developing brain became my my absolute overarching goal. And I think it’s important information for all parents, all teachers, all coaches to learn this.

Lots to unpack in what you just said. But let’s start with the research that you undertook in the course of producing the bullied brain. What did that research look like? 

Well, I initially was very sort of laser focused on what do all forms of bullying, and abuse do to brains? And when I say all forms, I’m talking from a research point of view, I was looking at things like yelling, what does yelling in the face do to the brain? What do put downs do? What does harassment do? What does humiliation do? You know, in our legal system, we privilege the body, we say if the body is hurt, that will be criminal. We don’t talk about what happens when the brain is hurt. It’s not it doesn’t receive that receive the same seriousness from experts. And so we as parents think, Oh, it’s just words, or it’s just yelling, or it’s just humiliation, we can’t see the damage being done just like a concussion, we don’t see the damage, therefore, it’s not happened. So we live in a really amazingly sort of limited way, when it comes to our own brains. Because we can’t see them, we tend to ignore them. And we lack a lot of understanding of how they operate. And yet, arguably, they’re the most important part of ourselves. And they are the absolute sort of core to leading a meaningful, healthy, and happy life, and certainly raising healthy happy children. And yet, we ignore our brains. So that was my focus. And I was really studying and reading the neuroscientific conclusions and all these different massive research projects that have been done over the course of the last 30 years. But over time, I realized that there’s an entire other side to it. And this is the subtitle of the book, heal your scars and restore your health, because the most exciting and empowering part of the research that I learned was that our brains are miraculous and healing. If you have a child with a hurt brain, you can’t see it, but you could see it on a brain scan. If you have an adult who is behaving in incredibly dysregulated ways who’s abusive, who’s aggressive, who’s harming people in their lives or children. Worst of all, that brain can be rehabilitated. It is a medical issue. It is not a moral issue. issue, and we need to walk away from that outdated paradigm, that outdated moral framework, it no longer applies. When someone when a child is bullying, when an adult is bullying, it’s a red flag that they have a harmed brain, they have a damaged brain, and they really need intervention. And the exciting thing is the invent intervention is something that we can all do ourselves.

So let’s, let’s talk a bit more about the scars, because I want to unpack that a bit more. So there’s scientific evidence that shows that bullying and abuse can leave actual physical scars in the brain? Can you take us through what that means? And what does that look like in terms of how does it manifest itself outwardly in behaviour, etc? 

Okay, well, let’s take it, I’ll give you one example. So the book is full of this kind of research. But for the sake of our conversation, let’s talk about the hippocampus. So the hippocampus is a part of the brain that is correlated with memory with sorting and organizing memories, it makes decisions around short term memory and long term memory, it’s the seat of learning. And when I say all these things, it’s very artificial, because the brain is a holistic organ that works all together, and simultaneously and in the most amazing ways. But just for the sake of trying to explain this one aspect, we’re isolating a part of the brain and talking about it as if it’s some kind of independent entity, which does not. Okay, so the hippocampus, if you were bullying me, and we work together, and I saw you regularly, and you were putting me down, and you were telling me, I was never gonna go anywhere, and I was a loser, or whatever you were telling me, and this constant barrage and messaging, and especially, let’s imagine that you’re my boss, so you have power over me, I, I really can’t speak up to you, I can’t push back, I can’t defend myself because you control my livelihood. So I’m dependent on you. And this is how you’re treating me. So what what’s happening in my in my body, and what’s happening in my brain, and you can’t separate the two, the brain and the body are an inextricable whole. But we tend to separate them. So what’s happening is, every time I’m coming into work, and I’m anticipating that I’m going to be with you, and I’m going to be in a meeting, or you’re going to talk to me on the phone, or you’re going to send me an email that’s going to decimate the work that I’ve handed in, I’m feeling lots of anxiety. So what I’m doing is my brain and body are activating the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is designed by evolution to keep us safe from threats, you are a major threat in my daily life, and I know it. And so just thinking about you, my brain doesn’t know you’re not there, it’s just thinking about what you’re going to do to me when you are there. So I’m pumping up adrenaline and cortisol, because when it comes to this understanding of threats, and danger, the brain is really quite, it’s still thinks of it as a predator. So what it’s trying to train me to do, is to fight you, it’s giving me all the necessary is pumping up this very healthy stress hormone called cortisol so that I can fight you or I can run away from you as fast as possible, or I can freeze so that you don’t notice me. So these are very outdated mechanisms that the brain and body have us do when we’re faced with a threat, but it’s designed to keep us alive. Now, what’s happened in the modern world is, and this is so important for parents, we need to learn how to teach ourselves and our children, how to calm down the sympathetic nervous system, because what’s happened is, it’s gotten disregulated by modern society, we are bombarded with threats, we’re bombarded with financial threat with with bullying, we’re bombarded with anxiety around public speaking and social, emotional, you know, information being thrown at us every which way we feel responsible for the crisis in the world. So our brains are on overdrive and our children’s brains are on overdrive. So what we need to do is working with that, we need to protect the hippocampus. So what happens to a hippocampus that is getting bathed in this corrosive stress hormone cortisol is it’s shrinking. It can be seen on a brain scan, that it’s gotten smaller and shrivelled and it should be plush, and full of learning and memory. But it’s actually gotten very condensed, and it’s harmed. Essentially, a lot of brain architecture gets harmed by things like neglect. You can see on a brain scan absolutely clear as day evidence that that brain is not activating or functioning in the way that it should. It’s damaged. Cortisol damages brain architecture, especially in the developing brain of children. So this information, it sounds very are concerning and it is very concerning. But if there’s parents listening to this and thinking to themselves, Oh, no, my child’s brain is damaged. Well, that might be the case. But that really is a very limited way of thinking about it. Just like if your child had a broken bone, you wouldn’t be full of despair, you would take your child into an expert, you would get a cast put on that child, you would look at an x ray and see the break, they would make a wise, informed decision about what to do with that break. And within six weeks, your child would be up and walking and healthy again, the brain has that same capacity, we can turn around all of that damage by doing the right evidence based practices.

Well, you know, thank you for that explanation, because I think, you know, having it digestible in in terms of in layman’s terms that to really help people understand what’s going on here is absolutely pivotal if we’re going to understand the bigger picture down the road. So let me let me ask you, before we get into how you restore it, the brain to sort of its healthy state, is there a way then to protect it to protect somebody from being bullied before that even occurs? In other words, is there a way to strengthen that bullying muscle? Let’s call it that, before it somebody ends up getting bullied themselves?

So that’s a really great question. I there’s a whole there’s a series of different answers to that, which some of it will, we’ll talk about when we come to the how do you restore the brain, because what’s really interesting is the same practices that help you restore a brain, once it’s been heard, are the same kinds of practices that build resilience in the brain, that give it the kind of flexibility and strength to be able to not get harmed by other people’s negative behaviours. So we will talk about that. But in terms of my my goals, and my hopes with this book, is that once we get parents, and kind of a grassroots groundswell response to it, where parents say to themselves, this is important information. And this is the way in which bullying should be handled in schools. And we get the teachers on board and the principals on board and the coaches, because really, we have to completely shift our system. So what I try to show is, we adults, we have been raised in what I refer to as the bullying and abuse paradigm. We have been raised to think that bullying and abuse as much as we say it’s not true. We say we don’t have tolerance for it, but we absolutely do. We in fact, put people who manifest publicly bullying behaviours into positions of power and prestige all the time. So we really have to be honest with ourselves, gotta take a hard look in the mirror and say, You know what, on the bottom, like on a deep part of ourselves in our culture, we’ve been raised to believe that bullying and abuse are necessary evils for greatness. And so we are telling our kids to things that that are in contradiction, and we’re confusing them. And we’re we are actually causing a lot of youth mental illness, I would argue, and youth mental illness, statistically, right now is, is the worst it’s ever been. So we do all of these good hearted, well meaning methods around oh, we’re going to stop bullying and zero tolerance for bullying. And we’re going to tell children who bully they’re bad. And we’re going to talk about it this way in the school system that needs to go, we need to enter what I call a new neuro paradigm. That is a paradigm that is brain informed. What we need to teach children from an early age on on a daily basis, just like we teach math, and soccer and geography, we need to teach them that when a child is acting, or an adult worse, is acting in a negative destructive way, in a way that makes you feel anxiety, or feel sad, or feel depressed or want to shut down or want to escape any of those types of behaviours that are harmful and hurtful. You need to know that that person is hurting. They’re in really serious medical condition. And we can intervene right now and save them. Or we’re going to see that poor person go down a terrible path where they’re going to reinforce those destructive neural networks, and it’s going to quite possibly ruin their lives. Why would we not help them? If we see a child with diabetes who has low insulin, we help them we need to help dysregulated children and adults who behave this way. Treat them as if it’s a medical problem and shower them with expert intervention and compassion. And so the kids will stop thinking, Oh, the bully is harming me. The bully has power. The bully is making me unhappy and ashamed. Where did that ever come from? The second you see someone bullying the entire group of children should be like, oh, boy, you really need help. You really are in trouble. I wonder what’s happening in your life. It’s making you behave in such a destructive way. It’s like seeing a kid with a concussion. They can’t speak. They can’t balance they can’t Remember, that’s what you’re seeing when we see bullying behaviour. So we need to start talking medicine, and what the scientists know and stop all the outdated mythology around bullying and abuse.

So I want to pick up on that example that you just provided, which is such an important example. Because oftentimes what you’ll hear is the bystander, right? So people that see that this is happening, and they don’t are too afraid to intervene. There’s a power dynamic, which you described earlier, potentially, there’s a million reasons why they would want to run away, instead of speaking up. In an ideal situation, based on the research that was conducted for your book. 

How should people react, whether they’re the victim or the bully themselves, when they’re in a situation that is considered to be a bullying or abusive situation? What steps should they be taking, ideally?

From a very early age, because the brain learns at with repetition at timed intervals. So we should be teaching about the brain every day or every second day, at least in school, beginning in kindergarten, and all the way through until high school. And for the lucky people that get to study the brain further, at university even better. But starting in kindergarten, we need to tell children how their brains operate. And we need to tell them the proper vocabulary for what is going on in their lives, if they are suffering abuse in the home, or from a someone in the church or a boy scouts or an arts programs, or in sports. And I use those examples, because those are examples of rampant abuse that goes on for decades in our society and is not addressed by the adults, the adults enable this abuse, they are aware of this abuse, and they do everything in their power to cover it up. So this is what I mean when I mean it’s a tough book, The bully brain. But it is arguably that going through that toughness is important to come out the other side to understand how much positive change we can make, when we start to understand this these mechanisms. So what we do is we train children, we say, if you see a child that starting to manifest very aggressive behaviours, you need to go and get a teacher to help them, they need help right away. It’s like if you saw a child fall down on the playground, and he or she was bleeding, you need to go and get a teacher right away. A child who’s bullying is a child who’s bleeding. Like, we got to get them to understand that this is an invisible injury, but it can be like a broken bone. But you can see a broken bone on an x ray. And you can see a broken brain on an EEG. So all we need to know as lay people and our children need to know is when you see that behaviour. It’s not about being a bystander, you shouldn’t be afraid of it, you know that child needs help, and all the kids need to go and help that child. So I’m what I’m trying to do is show the shift in dynamic, what we train children to believe is somehow the child behaving that way. And this is what we do with our very top leaders in society, we see a person behaving that way they have power. Really, where does the power come from? If you’re bullying somebody else, I can tell you from a research point of view, you have such a damaged brain, it’s it’s so concerning, you should be deeply worried, because your brain is malfunctioning on a deep level. And it can be seen on brain scans, the narcissist brain, the Machiavellian brain, the brains of people that abuse other people, they are hurt. So this is where we need to start to just completely overturn the entrenched belief system that we’ve been operating under what there is no power dynamic between children on the playground, I mean, kids will find anything to act out their own distress, their own mental suffering, their own broken brain, that all you need to do is be the new kid on the block, you need to be a kid that’s too talented, you need to be a kid that comes from a different background. I mean, kids will come up with anything because it has nothing to do with power. And the other thing that’s so important in our society, we want to stop bullying by focusing on children and talking about children. But that’s like trying to fix global warming by talking about children and focusing on child populations. Bullying is an adult problem. It’s a huge adult problem. If adults were compassionate, all of them, like 98% of teachers and parents and coaches, you know, they they have the best interests of children at heart. But we give lots of power and lots of protection and cover up to the small percentage of adults that are highly abusive. And those are the ones that create bullying children, and the fact that we never address them and we don’t like to talk about them. It’s very taboo. This is the this is why bullying increases every single year. All of our methods aren’t working. And we have to admit that to ourselves. It’s a tough one, but we have to admit.

Yeah, and you know, it makes me wonder like, do you think that we’ve reached a tipping point in society where You know, the work that you have put out in the bullied brain and other researchers as well as well around this topic, you know, it can no longer be ignored, because it does seem to be so rampant. And you know, depending on who you talk to, we are in a global epidemic as it relates to youth mental health. Now, there’s lots of reasons for that. But bullying is certainly one of one of them. So have we reached a tipping point in your estimation?

Well, you know, it’s interesting, because my PhD is in comparative literature, I really felt strongly that I needed a neuroscientist to sort of give me a stamp of approval. I mean, who was I to be reading all this science when my background is not in science? And so I ended up through a series of individuals that helped me get in an interview with Dr. Michael merzenich. And Dr. Michael merzenich is arguably one of the most important neuroscientists alive today. He’s one of the most highly awarded he’s referred to as the father of neuroplasticity. And if there’s any word that parents take away from this talk today, I want them to take away the word neuroplasticity. Because that is the capacity every single one of us has, until our last day on the planet to change our brains. So there are no excuses we can make and say, Oh, I behaved this way, because I was raised this way. I coached this way because I was coached this way. Nope, you have the ability to change your brain, you can take an unhealthy brain or a dysregulated brain, and you can make it healthy. So so can our kids. If our kids have been hurt, they can get better. They can change their brains. It’s just that we don’t teach them how to do it, which is amazing. But don’t I came before Dr. Michael merzenich. I explained to him about the book. And he took a passionate interest in it. And he read every single word of the book. And then he commented, he wrote me long involved emails about oh, a scientist would change the word here. And this is how we understand things. And in the laboratory, when you come up with a conclusion like this, here’s some of the back backstory to it that other people wouldn’t know. And I just included his voice, his incredible, brilliant, genius voice all through the book. But he said to me at the end, he said, you know, this is the most scientifically thorough treatment of this subject on planet Earth. And I was like, that fascinated me because it shows that every single one of us, we don’t have to be neuroscientists to care about this. We don’t have to be neuroscientists to learn about our brains and about our children’s brains. We can share this knowledge learn this knowledge, I’ve put it into a book for the general reader. It’s full of stories. It’s full of, it’s so readable, but it is backed by the evidence, and it’s the evidence we need now. And I get interviewed by people and I get pushback from people who say, you know, you have to toughen kids up. It’s a tough world. We’ve got it, we’ve got our kids are wusses, our kids are snowflakes, the millennials are the most indulged generation. I’ve listened to them and I just got off, it’s going to be an uphill battle. Because here’s what the evidence shows. If we were really doing such a great job, as adults, if we had really created an incredibly healthy, caring, trusting society around our children, as they grow up, we wouldn’t have statistics like this one. From 2000 to 2018, youth suicide, that’s 10 year olds to 24 year olds has increased 57%. So I want all parents to hear that agonizing statistic and say to themselves, you know what, it’s not okay anymore, that we have a society where we had to create a word for this called bully side. When you commit suicide, you kill yourself. When you commit bully side, you kill the bully, but you have so identified with that aggressor you have been, it’s been hammered into you that they have the power, that they can tell you who you are, whether they’re a teacher, or a coach, or a kid, that they can somehow shape your brain and your future in your life. That is a myth. That’s not true. Every kid has power and agency. We just don’t teach them how to stand up to this kind of an onslaught and recognize it as someone who has an infectious disease who’s in really serious trouble, and they should try and help them. That’s the way that you should be taught.

Dr. Fraser, you bring such a powerful perspective to this topic. You mentioned your personal story with respect to your son, as an educator yourself. You saw it with your own two eyes, probably different aspects of your life. You’ve seen similar behaviour. What do you want people reading the bullied brain to take away from this book to take away from this research? So that parents reading this book, what do you want them to take away as actionable steps that they can practice or consider in their own lives?

The book is constructed with each chapter there’s 10 chapters in A book and it’s constructed so that you go through the Okay, what does bullying and abuse do to brains? Why do our brains act the way they do? I mean, why do we identify with the aggressor? Why do our brains have all of this corrosive stress hormone pumping through them? At the end of every single chapter, there’s a dedicated section on what do you do? What is the action step. And so I take the reader through my action steps, and every single thing that I did in an evidence based way to repair the trauma to my brain. Now, what’s exciting and kind of gorgeous is that we all have unique brains, it’s as unique as your fingerprint at the very getgo. And then through your life, all your different experiences, shape, and change your brain, all the things that you practice, and learn, shape and change your brain. So no brain looks exactly alike. So what I’m teaching parents is, look, this is the method that I used very successfully, to go from having a heavy, heavily traumatized brain to having an incredibly healthy brain. And it’s, you know, when you’re a teacher, especially, when you find out something amazing, you want to teach it. So my book is really about I want to teach parents, I want them to know what I know. Now, it is just 200 pages away. And it really changes how you feel about yourself. Because the point of the book is to say, there’s no more blaming and shaming, we don’t blame parents and shame them if they’re abusive. We don’t blame and shame a child who’s bullying. What we do is recognize that they have a very hurt brain, and we help them get better. So parents have to understand that when they act the ways they do, I mean, for example, with my kids, I love my kids more than life itself. But from my background, and the way I was raised, I yell at my kids, I yell and get angry, and rant and rave. And then I have to go and say sorry, five minutes later, and you know, eat crow and feel horrible and tell them I made a mistake. And my kids are hilarious. One in particular is very steeped in psychology and he’ll say things like, you know, a 15. He’d be like, That’s okay, Mom, I know, I was the site for you recipient anger. I was like, okay. But it’s, it’s an inspiring book. It’s an empowering book, it is a tool to change your life and really see your kids in a different way. And help them understand that they have this miraculous thing inside their head, they can’t see it. But if they work with it and not against it, they’re gonna have happier, healthier, better, more meaningful, successful, high performing lives.

Well, certainly a positive and optimistic note to end on a timely and incredibly relevant topic, Dr. Jennifer Fraser, author of the bullied brain, heal your scars and restore your health. We really appreciate your time and your perspective today. Thank you. 

Lianne, it was lovely to speak with you. And I have just one more inspiring note to add. I think it’s really important for parents to know that the neuroscientist Dr. Michael Merzenich’s next lab, they were all working together, they were really developing this brain training program. And they got a telephone call from Tom Brady, the quarterback who’s about 45. But he competes successfully against 20 Somethings. And the trainer called and said, you know, you guys do know, the Tom Brady daily does your brain training. And they didn’t know. And it just, you know, we have so many parents that want their kids to succeed. They want them to be high performing. They want them to be fabulous at school and at sports and everything that they do. And all those parents who want that for their kids. Honestly, the more you know about their brains, the more you know about brain training and the practices and action steps you can do. You’re going to help your child on that journey. And it’s so wonderful that we can do that now in the 21st century with the knowledge that we have.

Absolutely and certainly a hopeful message for our all parents out there and kids listening to this interview. Thank you again for your time today. 

Thank you

The cumulative affect of these lived experiences of abuse set her on a path to affect change.

“I have a PhD in comparative literature,” she continues. “We were trained to not even speak, let alone write or publish without doing our research. So when I was being told by the administrators of the school and the board, just let it go. It’s not a big deal. It’s old school coaching. It was motivation, it’s because the teachers are so passionate, I started to feel a lot of like, cognitive dissonance. I started to think this doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t sound right, from a mother’s point of view. And it doesn’t sound right, from a teacher’s point of view,” Dr. Fraser told Lianne Castelino during an interview for Where Parents Talk.

“I turned to the research, and I looked at the law, I looked at psychology, I looked at what doctors were saying. And then I found the neuroscience. And when I found the neuroscience, there was no going back.”

More than three years of poring over studies, conducting interviews, distilling the neuroscience and educating herself on how the brain is affected by different aspects of bullying and abuse — from yelling, harassment, humiliation, etc.,—- yielded her latest book, published in 2022, called: The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health.

“When a child is bullying, when an adult is bullying, it’s a red flag that they have a harmed brain, they have a damThe Bullied Brain book coveraged brain, and they really need intervention,” says Fraser who is married with two sons. “The exciting thing is the intervention is something that we can all do ourselves.”

The foreword for the book was written by renown neuroscientist, Dr. Michael Merzenich. He describes The Bullied Brain as “scientifically the most thorough treatment of the subject on planet earth.”

Professor emeritus in neuroscience at the University of California San Francisco, Dr. Mezernich, goes on to add that in The Bullied Brain, Dr. Fraser, “lays out an evidence-based, step-by-step plan to repair the harm done to bullied and abused brains.”

Dr. Merzenich is a global leader in the field of brain plasticity, and founder of BrainHQ, a cognitive ‘workout’ program.

In The Bullied Brain, Dr. Fraser, who also has a blog on Psychology Today, addresses how bullying and abuse: 

  • have been normalized in society today
  • cause both mental and physical harm to the brain
  • can lead to illnesses, dependency, and chronic conditions across the lifespan, if left untreated (eg: mental illness, substance abuse aggressive behaviour, chronic disease)
  • can trigger infectious, cyclical, and systemic abusive behaviours, failure to perform

The book also examines how the human brain is innately equipped to repair and restore itself, via the brain’s neuro-plasticity — which can replace damaged neural networks with those capable of critical thinking, trust, and empathy.

During her interview with Where Parents Talk, Dr. Fraser discusses:

  • The impact of adult bullying behaviour on children
  • How bullying and abuse can leave physical scars on the brain
  • The consequences of bullying on psychological, emotional and mental health across the lifespan
  • How to restore the brain following abuse and exposure to bullying

“From 2000 to 2018, youth suicide, that’s 10 year olds to 24 year olds has increased 57%,” continues Dr. Fraser. “I want all parents to hear that agonizing statistic and say to themselves, you know what, it’s not okay anymore, that we have a society where we had to create a word for this called bullycide. When you commit suicide, you kill yourself. When you commit bullycide, you kill the bully, but you have also identified with that aggressor you have been, it’s been hammered into you that they have the power, that they can tell you who you are, whether they’re a teacher, or a coach, or a kid, that they can somehow shape your brain and your future in your life. That is a myth. That’s not true. Every kid has power and agency. We just don’t teach them how to stand up to this kind of an onslaught and recognize it as someone who has an infectious disease who’s in really serious trouble, and they should try and help them. That’s the way that you should be taught.”

Related links:

BulliedBrain.com
PsychologyToday.com (Dr. Jennifer Fraser’s blog)
BrainHQ.com

Related stories:

Understanding a Parent’s Role in Bullying: Clinical Psychologist POV
The Irreversible Consequences of Bullying: A Mother’s Quest
Barbara Coloroso: Bystander Behaviour and Cultivating Inner Discipline in Your Child

 

You May Also Like ..




Latest Tweets

Sponsored Ads




Pin It on Pinterest

Share This