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Bullies to Buddies: How to Turn Your Enemies Into Friends Paperback – January 1, 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-8 - Kalman shines the spotlight mostly on verbal insults and name calling. His point of view is that, "When victims stop being victims, bullies stop being bullies." He advocates living by the Golden Rule and seeks to empower students by teaching them to turn anger into humor, fear into courage, and enemies into friends through verbal exchanges and body language. Four sections, "Understanding Life," "General Rules," "Some Good Advice," "Specific Situations," and corresponding multiple-choice quizzes organize the themes. Humorous spot drawings are scattered throughout. Kids are discouraged from telling adults that they are being browbeaten unless stealing or extreme physical violence is involved; telling is said to be unhelpful and even counterproductive. The larger picture of bullying outside of the school is explored as well, but there is no discussion of discerning abuse that is mental and emotional from the more easily recognized form of childish insults. This book is not for schools where guns and knives are already prevalent but has some good ideas for quelling youth anger. While letters from schools and quotes from social workers attest to the success of Kalman's ideas, the book would probably be best used by teachers gleaning ideas and passing them on to students, rather than teaching the entire book, which tends to blame the victim and minimize the psychological damage that bullying can cause. - Kelly Czarnecki, Bloomington Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Easy to read and practical guide on how Victims can break behavior patterns seemingly deeply entrenched --Dr. Bernie Stein, President of the International School Psychology Association, 1999-2001

Empowers victims of bully behaviors to move to a higher ground, a safer place where they can't be hurt.; Izzy's 6 rules in communication helps me get more of what I need and everyone comes out a winner! --George Anthony, Director, Peace Dynamics Consultants

Finally, a program that works near miracles in helping victims to deal with bullies. After more than two years of implementing Izzy s principles, the students at William Snyder Elementary School smile at one another with confidence. Our school climate is pleasant and conducive to learning. Discipline referrals for bullying behaviors have decreased significantly. Teachers can now teach more because the kids are handling their own issues. And (drum roll here)...our test scores are going UP. In a school where the population is 63% Hispanic, our school reached every testing goal. In my 15 years as a school counselor, I have never seen a more effective social skills program. This one is pure genius. --Jeannie Brewer, School Counselor, Snyder Elementary, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Pages; Third edition edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970648219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970648211
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's surprising that this psychologist believes that all bullies are the same, or that they can be handled in the same way. In the Enneagram typology, there's a "type 8" person who's basically aggressive as a way of testing others, and doesn't respect anyone who doesn't stand up for themselves. But when their target does fight back, they've earned the bully's trust, a bond is built and they become solid friends. This is a useful concept for anyone to understand, including adults. Sometimes people are just testing you.

But this is FAR different from a bully who is acting out out of deep disempowerment, usually from being abused themselves or living in a household with domestic violence, and attempting to elevate himself or herself by keeping others down. The underlying unconscious motive of these bullies isn't to test whether the other person has a backbone. It's to empower themselves at the expense of others. Thus, the more their victims appease, the more abusive they become because it proves their strategy works.

Sadly, an honest look at the dynamics of domestic violence shows clearly that continued appeasement of a bully or abuser does not result in a healthier more solid relationship -- quite the opposite. In the Cycle of Violence, the victim spirals down through a series abusive episodes, followed by honeymoon periods and then increasingly abusive episodes, losing all sense of self as they continue to try to "please" their abuser. The myth that fuels this is the myth Karman perpetrates -- that we can control the behaviour of others.

Put it this way: This second type of bully doesn't understand or accept the kind of equilibrium that Karman assumes, where if you do good to someone they will do good back to you. Their primary motivation is "power over".
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Format: Paperback
This book is well-intended, but I can't see it working for seriously bullied children. It won't help either the bully or the bullied.

This is what he wants the bullied child to do:
Rule 1: Refuse to get mad.
Rule 2: Treat everything as the words of your best friend.
Rule 3: Don't be afraid of bullies.
Rule 4: Don't attack bullies.
Rule 5: Don't defend yourself.
Rule 6: Don't tell on bullies.
Rule 7: Show you are hurt, not angry. From page 33, Turning Bullies into Buddies - the Secret)
(Rules 1-5) Can you see a seriously bullied child being able to pull all that off?
(Rule 6) The not telling on bullies really bothers me. He makes exceptions for blood, broken bones, breaking or stealing your possessions; that's it. So kicking and screaming at you don't count?
(Rule 7) So he wants you to say, "That really hurt" and be careful to not sound angry (page 48) and somehow that will make it better. I think that hurting you is probably just as satisfying for the bully as angering you. I think it leaves the bullied more vulnerable; the last thing we need.

I think these ideas would work great for someone who need help dealing with some abrasive friends, but in no way can I see it helping some kid who is being seriously bullied by one or more kids.

He also makes a serious case for not helping other kids who are being bullied, to just be a bystander. That bothers me.

I agree with the concept of toughening up the bullied kid, but I don't think this book will help with that. I also think that something needs to be done about serious bullies and this book doesn't even touch on that.
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Format: Paperback
The general idea behind this book is great: Don't give the bullies your power and they'll get bored and go away. The message that YOU are causing bullies to bully you (as if the bullies have no ownership of their lack of integrity) and that you should never tell an adult about the bullying (because hey, an adult is not capable of explaining to you "don't give the power to the bullies and they will get bored and leave you alone", right?) is so far off it ruins the rest of the book.

This book is correct that the bully is looking to upset you, and the more you react, the more they will bother you. It misses the mark when it tells you that if you just be nice to that guy who keeps pouring milk on your head at lunch every day, everything will be OK. That would be true if you wanted to be part of milk drencher's goon squad. But every bullying case needs to be addressed on an individual basis. True, sometimes people will bully you because you aren't "friendly" enough (you don't kowtow to them like their minions do), and learning how to be friendly to people is a good life skill, but do you WANT to be friends with people like that? Really?

I have to tell you, my son is a nice kid. He knows a lot of people, but only a few he calls friend. He has the world's longest fuse and doesn't let bullies bother him. But one day, a bully who had been hassling him for years picked on one of his classmates, and my son grabbed the bully by the lapels, shoved him against the wall and told him to leave the other kids alone. (Where was the teacher? No one knows...) The bully never bothered my son (or the classmate, or anyone else for that matter) again. Left the school the following year. Individual case. Being nice didn't cut it.
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