Is your kid dealing with a bully? This TikToker’s “bear method” is a genius way of getting them to stop their bad behavior
Dealing with bullies is one of the most challenging things that kids go through. They’re mean. They’re scary. They’re relentless. So how do you respond to them in a way that won’t escalate their behavior? Communications expert and professor Jaime Hamilton has the answer: It’s called the “bear tactic.” In a TikTok video, she explains how to do it, and it’s honestly one of our favorite responses yet.
In the video, Hamilton responds to a question from a follower: “What should a 9th grade boy do when several people call out his name in a mocking way?”
Enter the “bear tactic,” which gets its name because it’s the same thing you should do if you encounter a black bear in the wild.
“I want you to do this,” she says. “Have him put his arms out wide. Make himself big. Look right at them and say, ‘Do you feel better? I hope so.’ And then slow clap, turn around, and walk away.”
She adds, “Chances are, they’ll never do it again.”
And we can totally see why: It would throw the bullies for such a loop. They would have no idea how to respond—the same way that black bears don’t know how to respond when they see you puffing up and challenging them instead of running away.
Hamilton has explained in previous videos that “bullies have power when we say they have power” and “the second we challenge the bully, we say that they are powerful.”
Parenting Tips Parenting Parenting Advice Parents and Kids Parents of TikTok Parents be like teacher TikTok teacher hacks Teachers Back to School bullying awareness bullying advice bullying awareness TikTok fyp #bullyingawareness #parent #teachersoftiktok #corememories♬ original sound – Professor Hamilton
That’s why she also recommends using a neutral message to combat bullies; when they say something rude and provocative, simply respond with “Nope!” or “Pass!”
“I want you to look them straight in the eye and say, ‘Nope!’ Hold your eye contact for two seconds and then move on with your life,” she says. “If they come back at you with, ‘Yes, you are,’ then just ignore it. Do it every day until it stops.”
She also recommends role-playing this interaction with your child, so they can build up their confidence before doing it with an actual bully.