Empowering Your Kid to Become Bully Proof
Master Rich Grogan is a Master Martial Artist, 6th Degree Black Belt, and a Bully Proof & Self-Defense Expert with over 40 years of experience. Having personally experienced bullying as a victim, bystander, and parent of his own child being bullied, he has made it his life’s work to empower kids, parents, teens, and adults with hope and the self-confidence to believe in themselves to “Become Bully Proof.”
Today we talk about Rich’s new book, Becoming Bully Proof.
Let’s dive in!
What You Will Learn:
- Has bullying become worse in recent years?
- How do we help to bully-proof our kids?
- What are the ABCs of being bully-proof?
- What are some of the common mistakes that we make as parents that disempower our kids when they are experiencing bullying?
- What should parents say to empower their kids if they are being bullied?
- What questions does every parent need to know the answer to regarding bullying?
Where to find Rich:
Find more encouragement, wisdom, and resources:
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And here is the episode typed out!
Welcome to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. If some days you doubt yourself and don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve ugly cried alone in your bedroom because you felt like you were failing. Well, I just want to let you know you are not alone, and you have come to the right place.
Raising tweens and teens in today’s world is not easy. And I’m on a mission to equip you to love well and to raise emotionally healthy, happy tweens and teens that thrive.
I believe that moms are heroes, and we have the power to transform our families and impact future generations. If you are looking for answers, encouragement, and becoming more of the mom and the woman that you want to be, welcome. I am Sheryl Gould. And I am so glad that you’re here.
SHERYL: Welcome, Rich, to The Moms and Tweens and Teens Podcast. I’m so excited to have you here.
RICH: So thank you so very much for the opportunity to connect with you. And, heck, we’ve already had a great conversation off the air. So I’m excited about sharing all this wonderful information – empowerment with your moms and listeners and followers, and hopefully, even some dads listen too.
SHERYL: Well, you’re so inspiring. And I can’t wait for my listeners to hear about all that you’re up to and the resources and your book that is out. Well, you have another one that came out. And the one that came out last year is Becoming Bullyproof. And excited to talk about all of that. Yes, he’s holding it up. For those of you watching on YouTube, I love the cover, by the way.
RICH: Yeah, the whole attitude behind the cover is this, unfortunately, the little guy here could be a little girl, or anybody has the shoulders down kind of the defeated posture. Life will do that to us.
But essentially, the shadow is who we are. We’re empowered. And that’s what Bulletproof is all about. But we need a hero or a guide to remind us this is who we are. Because sometimes we get in the funks of life. And that’s how we feel. And we walk around looking like a victim and feeling like a victim.
Guess what’s going to happen? We’re going to be a victim. However, we walk around feeling and looking empowered. We’re not only going to empower ourselves, but we’re also going to project that out. It’s going to empower others, which essentially is kind of what I’m trying to talk about with our brand.
Bullyproof empowers kids, parents, teens, and adults with faith and confidence to believe in themselves, overcome their fears, and battle the challenges of being who they were born.
SHERYL: I love that the tagline is so good. And it’s not just kids. It’s us, too. And we’ll dig into that. But I want you to tell our listeners a little bit about you. How did you end up writing books doing all that you’re doing now around bullying and empowerment?
RICH: Well, the book here, Becoming Bullyproof, is all about essentially, it’s me as a 12-year-old, meeting me 40 years later, and we go on a journey together, where the older me is teaching, the younger me everything I wish I would have known about standing up for myself, about believing in myself about realizing that I’m unique, just like every single one of us is unique in our God-given way.
But it’s taken that unique God-given talent and becoming who we were born to be – not trying to fit into the proverbial round hole with everybody else. But standing out from the crowd and believing enough in ourselves to do so.
Because, as we know, in society, it’s so easy to just fit in with everybody else. And it’s like, well, I want to fit in. You get in there, fit in, and feel, man. Okay, I guess I’m comfortable. But I’m all melded in here together. We’re meant to stand out and utilize our unique gifts. Just like you have a gift or listeners, you have a gift.
There are 8 billion people on the planet, but no one is created like anyone else. Now we have a lot of similarities, but we’re unique. But often, what happens is the bully in our mind, which is where the bully resides, because the bully in our mind takes on somebody in third grade who told us we were dumb or stupid or slow or fat or ugly, or they didn’t like our hair, they didn’t like our looks, they like our clothes, whatever, the list goes on and on.
But what happens is we kind of categorize those in our brains. And anytime we’re feeling down, that bullying, our brain kind of digs that back out and says, you know what, they were right in third grade. Now you are slow, though. When you can’t figure it out, you are dumb.
I call it weeds in your mental garden. And I talked about it in the book there. But if you plant something in a garden, you must remove those doggone weeds first.
Because if you don’t, it doesn’t matter how fertile the seed is. Those weeds are going to suffocate that seed. And unfortunately, that’s what negative thoughts do in our minds.
So often, we talk about positive affirmations, and I believe in myself, which is powerful. But if we have more negative weeds in our minds than positive seeds, then we will turn to the negative.
I’m just a normal human being. I grew up on a farm, and we had horses and cows, and I was told as a kid – that’s kind of what’s in the book that cannot never amount to anything. And it was a loser and a dumb stinky farm boy.
And one of the ways kids would bully me when I was a kid would be What’s that smell? Oh, that’s Richie. He’s poor. He’s on a farm. Now. I didn’t think about it. Yeah, I shoveled horse poop and baled hay and showered daily.
But that was just the way kids would try and pick at me. And we had a milk cow, which we used for milk. And that was another way – kids would say he’s so poor, can’t even afford milk. And so anyway, many of those things plant those seeds in your mind, and before you know it, you start believing those negative thoughts.
And if you give him any type of attention at all, those weeds, as I mentioned, grow. And something I talked about in the book is how hard it is to dig a weed out of a garden. I give an example of the younger me as Logan in the story. And the older me is Uncle Joe. It’s the same. It’s the same person, but I tell the story of me as a kid through Logan’s eyes.
And then Joe – the older me with the wisdom, experience, and knowledge of being a martial art – 40 plus years and being a PE teacher for 11 years, a coach for 30 something years, and then become blessed to Zig Ziglar speaker, trainer, and coach.
And so I’ve kind of melded all that experience in there. So the older me, Joe, is teaching, the younger me, Logan, everything I wish I had known about standing up for myself and believing in myself. And essentially, Joe is the hero that Logan, the younger me, if people can follow that, was always looking for.
And I’m hopeful that’s what the book is written for kids nine to about 15. Now I encourage parents to read it as well. And older kids can get a lot out of it too. But that’s kind of the general audience. Because that’s when – I know in my life, and I saw it from being a PE teacher and a coach. That’s where the heaviest bullying seems to occur between those ages, simply because kids are mature, so Gosh, darn fast, it’s scary.
But that’s when they start hitting puberty and going through the changes. And for whatever reason, their attitudes start drifting in the wrong direction. And they’re all dealing with mental bullies, as everybody is. And some kids handle it better than others. And unfortunately, the kids that maybe don’t have strong support or role models, or even a good foundational parenting duo, the kids that seem to act out the most and hurt people hurt others.
So a lot of times, these bullies hurt themselves. And what do they do? They do what they’ve learned to do, and that’s hurt somebody else. So part of the message about Becoming Bullyproof is helping the victim and the bully. To learn how to be a better person.
SHERYL: Yeah, hurt people hurt people. Yeah, and the bully needs help, too, because they’re acting out a lot of their stuff but a lot of their pain on other people. So you were a PE teacher, then had your martial art studio, and you’re not even a triple. Are you even more than a black belt?
RICH: Yeah, I’m a sixth-degree black belt. I’ve been blessed. I’ve been to Korea four times to receive all my advanced certifications. So that was pretty special. Most moms don’t give a hoot, and many times, dads would come in, oh, what style of martial art you’ve taken?
And I would tell them, saying, Well, what do you want to learn? And they would say, Well, I’ve heard this, I’ve heard that, and everybody’s got their take on it. The style is in is called tongue pseudo for over 40 plus years. I’ve dabbled in many styles, but that’s the primary style that Chuck Norris started in.
And it’s all about pretty much physical hand-to-hand combat of techniques on how to protect yourself in any capacity, but just as important as the physical. And often, I find that other martial arts drift slightly. A lot of them focus just on the physical.
Well, they have a thing called the martial arts triangle, and it’s almost like the guy, but being a Christian, we call it the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with martial arts triangle is body, mind, and Spirit.
And the body is the physical mind, the ultimate weapon here, right? It can either work for us or against us. And then the Spirit, regardless of whether people are Christian or not, talks about the Spirit as believing and knowing that you are a speck in the universe. There’s something bigger and better and greater than you are.
So living through that Spirit is that drive to be a better person every single day to be a better person today than I was yesterday. And we have our battles. I’m a human too. So some days, it just happens.
But I tell you, what motivates and inspires me is what we’re doing right here. Being on a podcast, being on the show, talking and doing YouTube videos, and being in front of audiences. Not only giving them the energy but feeding back off of that energy. Because to me, it’s just so empowering to know that I’ve been blessed. We all have our gifts. Mine is talking too much.
According to my second-grade teacher Rich, he talks too much. But anyway, I don’t give it back to martial arts. I started in 1979. So a few years ago, I’ve always wanted a Martial Arts Academy, and I played hockey competitively as a kid. But once I realized it wasn’t gonna be a pro. I dove back into martial arts at about 19 years old, the phone wasn’t ringing, and I wasn’t getting any calls.
I cried for a little bit. I’m not gonna be a pro hockey player. But that’s what I still play today. So I’m happy about that. But the more sports category, that’s when we started the quest to do that. And then, I went back to school in the midst of that and got my degree in kinesiology education.
And Kinesiology is the study of human movement. And then the secondary was education. So I taught PE for 11 years during the day while I was growing the business in the martial arts academy. And I put out a couple of exercise videos in the timeline too. Those who want to look those up are called Kick to Get Fit.
And yeah, Kick to Get Fit, a kick to get in better shape, a foot kick to get back up, and life knocks you down a kick to get fit. But anyway, so I taught for 11 years, and it got to the point where the Martial Arts Academy was growing the way I’d hoped it would.
On a nice day turned in my resignation to stop teaching, then focus full-time on the business. And that was in 2012. And since then, my wife, who might have, I don’t know, moms listening out there and, otherwise, you are the pillar, you are the foundation, you are the support beam.
Regardless of what anybody says, behind every successful man is a strong, supportive woman. And I called her my sugar mama because she’s the one that worked and made all the money while I was failing at business. And she put up with me, but she’s the route that drove everything as I have.
On another note, you got to get back up for those struggling, maybe with business or life. I went bankrupt twice and had a house foreclosed on, and cars repossessed. And those are things I never used to talk about because I was embarrassed to death.
But now I openly talk about them because I find out more people than not are struggling with different things, either financially, mentally, or emotionally, or in a relationship or whatever. But I always encourage you to keep fighting, battling, and communicating with your spouse, just like you got to communicate with your kids to know what’s happening in their lives.
And that’s one of the best ways to help bullyproof yourself and your relationship is that communication because problems just do not fix themselves. Bullying just doesn’t go away. And we have to do something, too, and that part of ABC – C is to communicate clearly and confidently. And I know you got that listed as a question. So well, I’ll wait to ask about that. And we’ll dive into that.
SHERYL: So yeah, going through all of that, it’s like you also connected to the bullied brain and going through hard knocks, which we all have, and internalizing those messages when we’re young, and it’s hard when we attach ourselves, as I had learning differences.
They call them disabilities that stick with you all – I’m not smart enough, and so I have to prepare my brain because that can still be there – you’re not enough in some way and to be able to speak back to those voices to like you said they continued to be in or do what I feel called to do, but we all have that our kids and that’s why I like to your you aim a lot of your stuff towards kids but also towards parents because we all have it one one way or another so why don’t you tell share with us the ABCs.
RICH: If I could, I just want to touch base with the parents because at our martial arts academy, we’re teaching the kids, and we had adults in the class too. But the primary audience was kids. And I would always like we do have what we call a mat chat.
And we had a different mat chat, we had a mat chat message of the month, week, and then day, kind of breaking it down that way, and two to three minutes of every single class right in the middle middle of it, we would call the kids over there, take a knee, and as our parents, if you could please put your cell phones down and listen in.
This is our Matt chat message. I would say what the month was, hypothetically speaking, saying it was respected. And then the message of the week was self-respect. And that message on any given day would be art.
What is self-respect? Is treating yourself with kindness, and what is respect, treating others with kindness? So how do we do that? We must respect ourselves by following directions, doing our very best, having the right attitude, and putting forth the right amount of effort.
We would say, parents, now we’re going to count on you because you are only with us an hour and a half a week to help hold the kids accountable. Because it takes a village to raise a child, not just you go to martial arts class for an hour and a half a week, that will not change things.
We have to continue to put these messages forward. So we’d always encourage the parents, if anything, to record the messages, so they could replay them or at least listen when we’re talking about it. So they could talk about it in the car or later in the week.
If a child in the parent would say, Hey, have you cleaned your room? Well, I just don’t want to or whatever. I mean, I never like cleaning my room or any kids, right? But it’s all about that sense of respect.
And so I tell the kids, what will happen if mom and dad clean your room, put your shoe side by side, or do your homework, and you don’t do those things? Because, well, I’m gonna get in trouble. I said, right.
And we all love to get in trouble, right? Kids like, Well, no. I mean, you don’t like to get in trouble. Oh, of course not. I said, have you said it? I did. And, of course, you don’t like getting in trouble. So how do we avoid getting in trouble? By doing what we’re told?
It’s almost like a revelation to them. It’s kind of a little mind game. But I’m connecting with kids on a level they understand. I said, so let me get this straight. What should you probably do if you don’t like getting in trouble?
Follow directions. And when you follow directions, is that being respectful to yourself? Yeah. Why? Because I’m not getting in trouble.
Yes, I said, because you’re not respecting yourself when you get in trouble. So I kind of, and I feel like I connect with kids so well because I’m nothing but a big kid trapped in this adult body. But I’ve got some wisdom and experience in what I used to get in trouble for.
And the things that would bother me, I try and use those I don’t know called Jedi mind trick with my kids or other kids, but just connecting them instead of just yelling at them for what they did wrong or saying, Gosh, darn it, you’re gonna be in trouble or this and that.
And I’m not saying I didn’t do those things; I learned through an experience like everybody else. But I found out connecting with kids on a level they understand is far more receptive and productive than using words that we kind of try and plant in their head like respect and then self-respect, let them know when you’re in trouble. It’s not respecting yourself because you don’t like being in trouble.
So it’s kind of an avenue of how we would connect with the parents and the kids to continue to plant the seeds in a mental garden with that message. So I just wanted to touch on that. It was longer than quick, but I wanted to tell the story to help the parents listen.
SHERYL: Well, I like that. On that note, I like how you talk about self-respect because I watched so many of the YouTube videos and listened to your podcast as I was preparing, and I loved the message you gave there. And they’re shorter messages, but they’re powerful, and just about self-respect is us doing what we say we will do. And therefore, we’re respecting ourselves.
I love thinking of it that way. Because we can say to our kids, well, you need to respect me, or we might not be doing the things we’re saying that we will do either. And so I just thought that was powerful for me to think, am I doing those things that I say I’m gonna do my modeling is that for my kids, but my modeling that my life, am I respecting myself, and I think that’s a really powerful message to our kids am I doing by respecting myself by doing what I’m saying?
RICH: Well, that’s another way to help build what I like to call your bulletproof armor. If you disrespect yourself, now you’re opening yourself up for others to disrespect you. Because you’re like, Well, I don’t respect myself, and I guess nobody else will respect me either.
But you start showing that self-discipline and that self-respect, then it strengthens that armor. You’re not gonna allow someone else to disrespect you. But it all starts with that self-respect and little things the kids would do at the academy that put their shoes side by side, and I said that shows self-discipline and self-respect because mom and dad shouldn’t. Did my mom or dad pay for the shoes, but they’re your shoes?
So you should respect Mom and Dad for buying you their shoes and then respect the shoes and the value you have by putting them aside. And the same thing to your clothes, not all your clothes on the floor. It’s disrespecting your clothes. Put them in the laundry basket. So it’s a little bitty step. But, 1000 miles starts with one step. So a journey of self-discipline and self-respect is this little bitty thing. And those little bitty things compound into something.
SHERYL: Yeah. And it empowers them and makes them more confident, like you said, standing taller, giving, providing that more of that rounded feeling of knowing who they are doing what they say they will do.
RICH: Whether standing taller comes because if you respect yourself, as I mentioned, you’ll put up a bigger barrier before you let somebody else disrespect you. But if you feel down, you feel out, which we all go through the emotional roller coaster, I like to call life.
But when we’re down, not respecting ourselves, and not showing self-discipline to ourselves, we’re an easy target. We’re easy victims, and the predators in the wild, the lion. And I talked about this a lot.
I used to teach a lot of, and I need to get them going here in Florida, women self-empowerment workshops, and I call them the years ago, 20 years ago, I called them rape prevention workshops. But there’s no way. Just like I can’t prevent bullying from happening, I can’t prevent that from happening.
But I can empower you with awareness, confidence, strength, and belief in yourself to walk around not looking like a target but like a hero warrior. As I mentioned, the lion they go after the weakest gazelle. They don’t have the strongest Gazelle predators in our society. They go after the easy targets.
Why? Because it’s easy, and most bullies, predators, or attackers are not strong here or here. So they won’t go out to somebody who will put up a fight or resistance because all that will do is make them feel even worse. They’ll go out to the person they think they can get over on. Same thing with bullies at school. Armor.
SHERYL: Yeah, they are the ABC. So the first one’s awareness. Why awareness?
RICH: So putting that all together to answer your question, it was the number one thing I talked about in martial arts class and self-protection in the self-empowerment workshops with the women.
I think the greatest tool to protecting yourself is awareness, awareness of your surroundings, awareness of what’s going on around you, awareness of the thoughts in your mind, awareness of your kids and your family members, and of course, awareness of potentially dangerous situations, predators, bullies, and anyone that’s out there that are meant to do you harm, you have to be aware of those things.
Often, nowadays, we walk around; I’m going to those that aren’t watching the thing here, I’ve got my cell phone here, with our head buried on a device. And we’re unaware of anything happening around us because this thing sucks us in. I call it our digital pacifier because it keeps our attention. But we have no awareness of what’s going on around us.
So bullies, predators, people that are trying to do us harm. They’re looking for that lack of awareness. And then I say the awareness in your mind because also gotta be aware of what we plant is what grows.
In the book, I talk about if you want strawberries, what kind of seeds do you need to plant strawberry seeds? If you plant onion seeds, you’re getting onions. So if we plant negativity all the time, self-doubt, and limiting beliefs, that will grow in our minds. And our mind is the most fertile garden.
So the A is awareness, and then not only to be aware of it, but avoid it, avoid the negative self-talk, I’m stupid, I’m dumb, I’m worthless, and avoid dangerous situations, and other martial arts 40 plus years, I specialize in not only self-empowerment, but practical self-defense, but doesn’t mean I’m going to walk down a bad alley and challenge everybody in the alley. That’s just ridiculous.
So just being aware of that, and then avoiding dangerous situations. Like for ladies out there. First thing when you go out to your car, the little thing we’re talking about in the self-empowerment classes is, I know you’re busy, but you don’t need to be on your phone, have your keys out. And when you walk up to your car, walk up to the passenger side first and glance to ensure your tires are aired up, glance through the back window, and then go around.
To answer your driver’s side, make sure both tires are inflated, make sure there’s nothing on your windshield, and get in the car and immediately lock that locks the door. And many times, people say, well, when I get in the car, put it in drive or reverse the doors locked, just lock the doors immediately get into a habit of doing that.
Because who knows if you get a text or you get a call, or you’re looking over a receipt, you may be sitting there for a while you think it’s only 30 seconds, could be two or three minutes, where you’re vulnerable in that car, that doors locked. The person. And I say the element of surprise is indefensible. And I’ve been in martial arts for 40-plus years.
But if the element of surprise, if I don’t have my door locked and someone comes and grabs that door, the first thing I’m going to do is this, and it may be too late. But if the door is locked, I’m gonna. Whoa, what’s going on here? But now I’ve got time to do something.
So that little safety tip for the ladies. And then I also encourage you to start the car immediately when you lock the door. Because even if you think it’s only 30 seconds, you’re on your phone. It could be two or three minutes, and you realize, Holy crap, my car has been started. I gotta get out of here, which I encourage you to do. Sorry, I need a little bit of extra self-awareness.
SHERYL: So would you say that if you’re going down, like kids are walking down the hallway, they know a bully will be there? So they’re aware of the boy. So then, what would you say to that? Should they go a different way?
RICH: That is a great question. And that’s another we’ll talk about in the book. If you know what hallway the bully hangs out in, avoid that hallway if you can. If you know what a table bullies sit at in the lunchroom, avoid that. I never tell people to run from their problems, but I am wise enough.
Because unfortunately, unless something’s done to stop the bully, the bully will continue bullying. And if you’re not there to bully, they will find somebody else. Now, yes, we can work on and help the bully. But right now, we’re talking about working and helping the kids to develop the empowerment and self-confidence to believe in themselves.
And it’s a journey of 1000 miles. They can’t help the bully if they can’t help themselves first. So that first step, if you’re not there, the bully will find somebody else to bully. And then, once you become empowered, now you can help the other kids who might potentially be bullied.
But let’s learn the ABCs and the tools. Still, just avoid it, and the same thing to people at work or ladies. If you’ve got somebody in the office that you know isn’t appropriate or makes you feel uncomfortable, stay away; that person will find someone else, which is unfortunate. Still, once again, we can’t help, empower, and fix others until we make sure we’re bulletproof. So that’s kind of the progress every step there.
SHERYL: Okay, great. Such awareness.
RICH: It believes in itself by strengthening its bulletproof armor. So the in those, I’m flexing here, bulletproof armor, and you see the armor around our logo there. And that’s there for a purpose. And those that are Christians, I got the actual bulletproof armor from the armor of God, giving you that strength and protection to protect your two most vulnerable areas.
And those most vulnerable areas are your mind and your heart. Your heart is if you’re a good person, you’re out there and trying to help. You’re trying to be good, a great parent, and a great mom, and you’re laying your heart out there, and often, Hurt people hurt others.
They see somebody as vulnerable, get their heart out there, and fill it up. Now I’m not saying change who you are, continue to be that wonderful, loving, heart-centered person, but we got to make sure we protect that. And then our mind, I say that’s the secondary of the bully’s attack.
Because whatever has been said to us in any way, shape, or form or done to us, we keep file storage in our brain. And that a bully within the bully in our mind seems always to go to that and pull it out at the most inopportune times.
Because what we focus on magnifies, it continues to build, but the B believes in yourself. You believe in yourself by how you strengthen your bully performer. You go through avoiding the negative, being aware, and avoiding negative self-talk, negative input, and whatever you can. And then to be is planting the right seeds.
Once again, you want strawberries, you gotta plant strawberries, but at the same time, you must make sure you dig those negative weeds out of that mental garden to plant those. And so the B is to believe in yourself to strengthen that bullyproof armor. And that’s through positive affirmations and positive input listening to a podcast like this. And then continue to empower yourself to believe in yourself.
And then the second step is that every time you overcome a challenge. Regardless of what that is, maybe a challenge is just getting out of bed. That happens. You have strengthened your armor because you have overcome that challenge. Maybe your next challenge is not losing your mind because you’re stuck in traffic, talking to yourself, or listening to something positive.
Maybe your child’s first step is getting out of bed. We’ll have them get out of bed a little earlier instead of the mad dash rush because you’re running late. Now I say that because I’m a night owl. So getting up in the mornings is a little bit tougher for me. It’s something I need to work on the same to my kids.
But I know when you get up in a panic and are already 10 minutes late before you can get out of bed. You’re in a rush. And all you’re doing is everything’s gonna start going wrong. And that negativity in the mind that’s not strengthening your bulletproof armor. That’s not believing in yourself. And that’s not helping yourself. Start with a positive day.
SHERYL: Yeah, good. Okay, “B” is believed. C – you had said commit, right? Communicate? Oh, it’s community.
RICH: I love to commit to that for right now. We’ll just change it quickly to commit to communicating clearly and confidently. Okay, so, but yeah, it’s you have to commit to being aware. You have to commit to believing in yourself. And you have to commit to communicating clearly and confidently.
And that means that communication, as I mentioned earlier, is the key to thinking about most people that have separations or divorce or have a falling out with their kid’s lack of communication, right? Because we think we know what they mean and when, and then we think that they know what we said wasn’t communicated or interpreted correctly.
But unless we communicate clearly and confidently, we’re never going to. Well, I guess the communication barrier is gonna be broken down. But the way I present it with a bullyproof message is with your voice, with your actions, with your posture, communicate a confident message, don’t walk around defeated.
And those are those listening as long as you’re not driving right now. Do this with me and those watching the video here if you put your head down and your shoulders forward. And just in your mind, how does that feel? Well, it sure as heck doesn’t feel strong. It doesn’t look strong, and you’re doing far more than physically looking down.
You’re compromising your lungs and your lungs a source of oxygen. The more oxygen you have pumped into your brain pump into your extremities, the stronger you are. When you’re down, you’re defeated. When you’re defeated, you’re an easy target.
Now, roll that head back. Roll your shoulders back, shoulders up. Now you’re like, holy cow. Yeah, I’m in power, and you’ve expanded your lungs, and now your lungs are operating at their full capacity, so you get more oxygen, Brain, you’re thinking clearer, you get more oxygen to your extremities.
So your body is a lot looser, you can move stronger and better, and you don’t look like a victim. So that’s the body posture. And then when you communicate, like if a bully, I don’t say stuff that I shouldn’t say being disrespectful or rude, don’t go at it with a defeated posture and defeated tone going, you’re hurting my feelings stop that. Why are you doing that to me?
All I have to do is it’s like a shark smell and blood in the water. I’m going to attack. Well, I need to shoulders back, head up, and say, Hey, knock it off. And I mean it. Now you might be scared to death to say that you might be peeing in your pants on the inside. But you’ve projected strength, you’ve projected courage, you suspected confidence, and like, Whoa, now, a thing with a bully, and the longer it’s gone on, the more you’ll have to do to stop it.
So I encourage you the sooner you can stop it with A, B, and C, if you avoid it altogether, you’re aware that the boy will find somebody else. But at the same time, you’re working on the B – believing in yourself and working on the see communicating clearly and confidently.
And the best way to do this is for parents and moms. You can do this with your kids. Roleplay with them, have them put their head down and their shoulders forward, look defeated, then have them look in the mirror, heck, just take a picture of it, and have them look at that and ask them, how does that make you feel?
Well, it doesn’t matter if you’re a five-year-old, parent, or senior citizen, you’d look depressed and down, you’re gonna feel depressed and down. So then, having rolled the shoulders back and head up and taken a picture of that, say, how does that look? How does that make you feel?
Now look in the mirror and do the same thing. The mirror is like, say, the meanest, nastiest bully, whoever faces in our mind, and who we see in the mirror. So we look bad, we feel bad, we look great, we look empowered, and we’re gonna feel that way as well. It works together.
But then look in the mirror and say, I believe in you. You are special. You’re unique. You’ve got a special talent. And the more you say it, the more you’ll start to believe it. And many people say all those affirmation things, they don’t work, I tried it for a day, and you tried positive for a day.
But unfortunately, you’ve lived your whole life feeding the negative. It’s gonna take a little bit longer to dig those weeds out. But I promise you, the sooner you start it, the quicker you will start. And the more you stay at it, that commitment is gonna help. And another beautiful thing is pen and paper.
We had it as a gift on our website here. Right now, we got some bulletproof tips. Suppose you go to our website, https://grogansbullyproof.com/. You can sign up and get a free PDF. And one side is for kids, the ABCs. And the other side is for parents to the ABCs to become bulletproof.
But I call it to weed seeds and trees journal, which I discussed in the book. And you can just take a piece of paper at the top right weeds. And I want you to write every negative thought or emotion you’ve ever had, anybody maybe something that anybody’s ever said to you, or self-doubt or limiting belief you have about yourself. Maybe it’s I am dumb, fat, stupid, slow, ugly, and have terrible hair, whatever, anything negative, get it out of your head and get it on paper.
Then you’ll realize how ridiculous those things on paper are when you look at them. But we’re not done yet. The next step is to go through that I am dumb, cross that off, and say no anymore. I’m not dumb. It’s digging that weed out. And that’s destroying that weed, crossing off the next one, the next one, and the next one.
And you’re gonna see, oh my gosh, I allowed that to bother me. And it seems so simple. But it’s so effective. And then, on the next side of the paper or the next page, write seeds, all the positive things you will plant about yourself. I am smart. I am good-looking. I am intelligent. I have wonderful hair. I am awesome.
And often, people will say, well, in that, really lying to yourself. I said no, no, no, it’s predicting the future. Because that’s who you are. But you must believe it about yourself before you can make it happen. And, then the next one, it’s kind of a newbie. That was one of the last things we edited in the book. So we had the Weeds and Seeds. But I said, Man, we’re gonna have something else.
And it’s trees and what the trees are or your past successes. Because often, when we’re feeling down, it’s hard to think of anything positive. So the trees will help you plant more seeds, and the trees are any type of success you’ve had. And You can go back as far as I learned how to walk, I learned how to ride a bike, I learned how to drive a car, I learned how to write a paper, I learned how to do my ABCs now I’m being very rudimentary here.
But often, we have a hard time thinking of our past successes because we’re so focused on the present. And if it’s a negative present, that’s what we’re focusing on right now. So the more trees you have already planted, you put on paper that you can see, the more it’s going to encourage you to write more seeds down to grow future trees He’s at the same time, it’s gonna empower you to get those weeds out, look at him, cross them off and realize how ridiculous they are.
SHERYL: Yeah, I love that. Yeah, what we focus on grows. We have a whole, like affirmations. It’s always so popular for parents to affirm their kids put their fill-in-the-blank. So it’s like, Wow, I love how you put in the effort; you fill it in. So I fit your specific kid.
Because I find his parents, we spend so much time trying to fix something or tell them what to do or what they should be doing. But it’s negative. And we’re feeding more of those weeds rather than trying to focus on what are my constraints?
What are they are, what are they doing that I can notice, become more aware of and affirm the good stuff, versus focusing on the weeds and the worst grade, like, they see that your kids getting in math versus how creative they are and, and how much they love art. And they’re creating.
We focus on the lowest grade. And yeah, so we can do that with ourselves, we can do that with our kids. So it’d be cool to do it as a family, even saying, okay, what are some of our negative selves with some of our negative self-talk? And how can we replace though those with truth or affirmations?
RICH: That’s a wonderful idea. At the Martial Arts Academy, we talk about the ABC’s weed seeds, trees, and things of that nature. But that is a great idea: sitting down as a family and doing it together. Because the more support all of us have, especially when working with our kids, instead of saying, Hey, here’s a homework assignment to work on this.
Well, they’re not gonna want to do it anyway. Especially if they’re not feeling in a positive, happy state of mind, the mindset isn’t going to be right. And that’s kind of the reason I started with the weeds first, that that’s what they’re focusing on as a negative to dig that stuff up first, and get it out and cross it off.
But just hearing you talk there makes me think we can almost reverse-engineer it too. Instead of weed seeds and trees, we go with trees and seeds, and then weeds go back and forth. Start with a positive. If we can do that, plant more seeds according to the trees we’ve grown, then dig the weeds out.
But I went with the weeds first because many times with the kids, when they’re being bullied, they can’t think about anything else except the negativity. So I was wondering, the first step before we can put anything on the ground is we gotta get Oh, Gosh, darn weeds out because those weeds will suffocate those seeds.
SHERYL: Well, that is why I loved reading and going to your website because you include the parents in that. And adults because I think I was bullied as a kid. I grew up thinking I thought I was the only one. I am I’m the only one that feels like I’m stupid. Nobody likes me. You know, they stuck in that.
But if my parents had it, they didn’t know how to do that. But I struggled with negative self-talk and brought that out as a conversation, which is what you know: we’re all works in progress. We’re all working on this. Our kids will feel less alone too. And more empowered.
RICH: I never knew my dad, part A 101st airborne. He was a Vietnam vet. So there’s no way I could bring that up to him. And I was a farm boy. So I was taught to be manly and tough and not have feelings and emotions. And I get it. My dad and mom did the very, very best they could do with the knowledge they had.
That was almost brought up. There’s an old Johnny Cash song named A Boy Named Sue. What could have been, could have been a boy named Richie. Richie’s world’s tough. It means it’s hateful, will beat you down, and you better learn how to get yourself back up or live in misery your whole life. And that was the approach.
I talked in the book that at a young age, I remember being bullied. And this kid kept smacking me across the face, calling me different things, kicking me in the groin, and relentlessly. And I wouldn’t cry in, one day, dad’s is looking to punch that kid in the face. He’s never going to stop.
Well, I don’t want to punch a kid in the face. But kids added again, and he came up and hauled off and kicked me sprayer in the groin and fell crying, and he’s laughing in my face, and all I remember is his dad saying he’s never gonna stop.
Well, I grabbed the kid, and I went to town on him. Well, I lost control of myself. And I hurt the kid badly. I’m talking. I bet I broke his nose, and he had to go to the hospital. So all I know is, and I kind of lost it. All I remember is my mom pulling me off of this kid. And I’ve never seen my mom more scared, and there’s blood everywhere. And she’s yelling and screaming and freaking out.
All I could think of was how dead and proud my dad would be. I did it. I stood up to the bully. I punched him in the face, beat him up, and stood up for myself. When Dad got home, he wasn’t happy at all. I mean, to a boy, he freaked out on me. And I’m like, What the heck here? Who’s gonna pay his medical bills? You put him in a hospital. And I’m like, Dad, Dad, I couldn’t get a word in.
And all I think is you told me to do this, what that did. But I didn’t get what Dad said to stop the bully, punch him, or do whatever you needed to do to stop them. You don’t lose control and become the bully yourself. And it took me years to understand that message.
I allowed myself to be bullied for years after that because I feared freaking out and losing control. So all I do is pack it in. And the bad thing about that is that we all have our aggression. We all have our frustration or our anger. And often, as a parent, we pack all the stress in, and then we freak out on our kids because they do something silly.
Instead of gradually letting it out or communicating clearly to our kids and talking to them about it, we pack it all in. And unfortunately, at school, that happens, the school shootings that we have, it’s kids or even adults that have packed all this stuff in, and then at one point in time, it spills out. Another part of the book I talk about is you got to get it out in a safe manner.
So we all have frustration. We got to get it out. And exercise working out hitting equipment that’s a good way of getting it out. Another way of getting out is writing on paper, getting that stuff out of her mind. Because we continue to pack all that in, bad things will happen, or even as a parent, Zig Ziglar would always talk about who kept your cat.
And I’ll give a quick story on who kicked your cat. And it’s if you’re at work, and your boss is on to about who knows, maybe he’s having a bad day. Maybe his report came back negative. He’s frustrated. So he takes it out on you. When you go out for lunch, you’re mad as heck. And all you can’t, you can’t stop thinking about the boss.
Well, you get a speeding ticket. Now you’re mad because you were mad before the boss made you mad. Now you got a speeding ticket? Well, it’s the boss’s fault. So you get back to work. And now you’re mad as heck with your co-workers. So you’re getting on to them and letting it out on them. Well, they had nothing to do with it. But they’re right in the way of it. Well, that co-worker suddenly goes home and sees her kid with socks and shoes all over the floor. He’s got to tear in his pants, and the mom is going off on that kid. It trickles downhill.
When the kid gets up and writes down, the catwalks across in front of him, and a kid hauls off and kicks the cat. So Zig says it’d be better if that person, the boss, just went to your house, kicked the cat, and left everybody else out of the equation. But that’s how it trickles down.
And we continue to, and once again, we’re bullying ourselves. But at the same time, we’re also bullying someone else because the explosion or the cat who did nothing wrong is the one that gets the brunt of it.
SHERYL: Yeah, yeah. I’ve never heard the story Butt-Kicking the Can. Exactly right. That’s exactly how it happens.
RICH: Whose cat have you kicked today?
SHERYL: Yeah, so you got it. You got to get it out. So what would you say? I mean, bullying. It was one of the first questions I was going to ask you. So I’m kind of going backward. But it does seem like bullying is really on the rise. I mean, it’s always existed. Do you think that that’s true? Since college? Do you think it’s COVID?
RICH: So I will talk about when I was a kid. I knew that once bullying was over, I could go to my haven, I could go home, and I didn’t have to worry about it till the next day. It wasn’t what I was going to call and bully me. We had a landline, and then I could just hang up on him or tell my mom to answer the phone. So I didn’t worry about it until the next day.
The bullying, or and take this for how I say it, the fun for the bully, really begins when school gets out. Because now they can hide behind a device or a screen and say anything they want. And bullies. Boys are often rude and mean to disrespect because it’s a learned behavior. They’ve learned it and now Hurt people who hurt others. They’re just kind of passing it on.
Maybe they’re abused at home or bullied at home, maybe their younger sibling and an older brother or sister are bullying them, or they see their parents bully others. So they just think that’s the way to do it and not forgive them or excuse their behavior. Because it is behavior, that means it can be changed.
However, they’re choosing to be the bully. Well, bullies are behind a device, and even though bullies and moms, I know if you’re on social media, you see the bullies out there. They are relentless. And since there’s no accountability and no consequence, they will say and pretty much do anything online because there is no accountability. And the worst thing that happens is we get bullying on the playground.
Well, one kid is bullying another. Everybody around thinks, Gosh, darn, I wish someone would say something. I wish someone would do something. Everybody feels horrible about it. No one dares say anything. Why? Because all they know is, man. I’m sorry. It’s happened to you, but better you than me. So nobody says anything. The same Gosh, darn thing, but magnify that by 1000s. Online.
Everybody reads those comments. Everybody sees that and thinks, oh, gosh, you get an ugly, gross feeling about yourself. But instead of saying something, we’re like, Well, I feel sorry for that person. But you know what, maybe they deserved it. They didn’t deserve it. But we’re afraid to step up and say something. And I’d love to say I’m perfect at it.
A lot of times, what I try and do, I get a little thing, especially if I get well. I used to call them haters. I try not to call them haters anymore because I feel they got enough hate. They don’t need me to call them haters. So I do what’s called love, block, and delete. Love people because we’re supposed to love everybody. But we’re also supposed to love ourselves. So block and delete the negative comment and block those people.
Because they’re just miserable, looking for other misery. And too many other people out there want a positive message. And if that person doesn’t want it, I don’t need them on my profile. But to answer your question. It’s gotten far worse because the fun begins when school or work gets out. Because 24/7 people can post whatever they want on social media, and there is no accountability or action. So it continues to perpetuate. And it’s far more than the five or six kids standing around a bully on the playground. Now it’s millions that just dive right in.
And often, I’ll see people thinking, Man, why are you doing it? It’s almost like it fuels the bully, the comments. And with nobody stopping them, they continue to do it. And then, before you know what, everybody’s piling on this innocent victim, and it’s what happened outside of fear of the bully turning on them? No different than the fear of the bully turning on you on the playground, in the lunch room, or in the locker room when you were a kid.
SHERYL: Yeah, that added a whole nother layer. You can’t get away from it. Yeah.
RICH: I’ll often hear folks say, Well, I just added that parent, you do what you want to do, parent what you want, how you want a parent, but I’m holding the phone up for those just listening here. If you bought this for your kid, I encourage you to wait till they are teenagers.
Now, if you want them to have a phone for protection, or this or that, maybe limit that phone to just a device that only takes phone calls. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get that. But if you bought this for your kids, regardless of how old they are, and you’re paying for it and pointing to the phone again, it’s yours.
That means you have the right to know what the passcode is and the right to look at it at any given time. And I encourage you to do so because this is far too powerful for us as adults. It’s a form it’s too powerful of us as adults to think about a child’s mind who hasn’t fully developed yet.
And they are the things they can access on this. What did they say? Even ten years ago, phones had more power and accessibility than computers made 20 years ago. So the ones nowadays it’s insane. So parents, that is your phone, your device, you have the right, and I encourage you to look at that passcode at any given time.
And here’s what your kids are gonna say. They’re gonna say that I respect my privacy. That’s my phone. And here’s now, I used to say this a different way. My wife has helped mold me a little bit. I’ll tell you how I used to say it as a kid would say, well, Johnny’s, Mom and Dad, don’t check up on him. And I would say Johnny’s mom had a very good mom. That’s just me. My wife sugar-coated a little bit better. So I try. I’m still learning.
And she would say, well, Johnny’s mom’s parents in the way that she wants to parent. I parent in the way because of how I love you. I want to protect you from things that you don’t know about. So, Johnny’s mom makes her choice, but I’m making my choice because I love you.
So I’ve tried to do a better job with that. And then here’s one because my daughter is 19. Now I get a shot at markets. My son Austin is 22, and my daughters, 19, Madeline and Emma, 14, but with my daughter, she’s too much like me, too bullheaded, and it’s like, as a woman, I trained her whole life to not take any crap off anybody.
Don’t you ever let a boy or anybody ever disrespect you. I want you to stand up for yourself. Stand up for your beliefs, which is great. I want her empowered as a woman when she goes out there. But don’t use that against Dad. When dad couldn’t come on now, that was her thing when she got a phone is 15 Maybe. And she would have it, and I would want to look at it, and my Desi, my wife, would want to look at it, and she would get mad. And I said, Well, if you got nothing to hide, there’s nothing to get mad about it strong-willed.
And then here’s So listen to this, ladies and gentlemen, listen, this has worked. And it continues to work to this day. So I’m writing it. And it was, sweetie. How could you ever be mad at somebody who loves you as much as I do and cares about you as much as I do? I love you. I want to protect you want to help you and keep you safe. Now at first, you get mad, and then you come back. Okay, Dad, you’re right. So that works instead of me getting mad.
SHERYL: Yeah, that doesn’t work. But then, the love piece, I am doing this because I care.
RICH: And how can you be bad at somebody who loves you as much as I love you? And it would break through, and then she’d start crying? And didn’t you get mad at me that I broke her down?
So sometimes I’ll be a fighter my whole life, especially the martial arts, and then being a hockey player and growing up on a farm. It’s like, okay, the resilience, the empowerment, the bulletproof armor, which is all good. But we also got to make sure we got to the love piece.
SHERYL: Yeah, to balance it. I love it. So Building Warrior Confidence is where they can find you. How about Instagram? Tell him about your website.
RICH: So yeah, go to Warrior Confidence. https://www.instagram.com/grogansbullyproof/ and https://www.facebook.com/grogansbullyproof/ is Facebook and then https://www.youtube.com/grogansbullyproof%20 YouTube. And then Where your confidence is the podcast, so you can find it there.
And we’ve got 329 episodes on our podcast. And they all kinds of went all over their spectra with it. But the general message is building that confidence to believe in yourself and tell different stories there. Our website is https://grogansbullyproof.com/
SHERYL: Ah, I love it, rich thank you for what you’re doing. Our kids need it, and I can’t wait to tell my audience you know everything you’re doing. It’s so appreciated.
RICH: Awesome Sauce