Have you ever heard someone say something really mean about themselves? Odds are they're struggling with the bully within us all. You might hear them say things like...

I’m SUCH an idiot! I should have known.
I’m so stupid!
I can never do anything right.

It may come as an off-hand comment, but it is really symptomatic of a much deeper issue: a vicious inner critic. How much worse is it when we hear the children in our life being hard on themselves like this?

Children & The Bully Within

There’s never been a time where having a strong mental outlook has been so vital for children and teens. Now, more than ever, it's our responsibility to squash the bully within us all.

The stress from 2020 had been one for the books. Masks, changes in routine, missing friends and family, anxiety about the virus, changes in school, uncertainty for the future; these are just a few pressures that children wrestle with on a daily basis. 

We want our children to be better than just "okay". We want to set them up for success. That's why, in 2019, I released a new children’s book with Jack Canfield: The Big, Bad Bully. 

(I say children’s book, but really it’s perfect for kids in middle school and all the way up to adults — we need the reminder, too!)

The Big, Bad Bully is a bully story… with a twist.

The Big, Bad Bully

It follows a young girl who struggles with an inner critic throughout grade school. Every day the bully within points out her flaws. Finally she decides to stand up to her tormentor and discovers the truth: she's been bullying herself all along.

This is not a book about the bully that stalks you on social media. This book is about the bully within.

The best part about this book is the awareness it brings about self-talk. I love hearing the gasps when I read it to a group of kids. They just don’t see the twist coming. 

How The Big, Bad Bully Impacted Readers

Here's some feedback I got from a middle school reading: 

Even though I knew what was going to happen, the story gave me chills. I teach my students to value and appreciate themselves but I often forget that I need to take care of myself too. I love the story and am planning on using the message with my students. Grade 6 students are so hard on themselves and need to be reminded how awesome and unique they truly are! 

- Erin Taubeneck , Grade 6 Teacher


I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders … I feel like I'm not the only (one) who hears that voice and listens to it. It was unique and different. I loved everything about this book.

- Ashley, Grade 8

It’s easy to feel helpless when you see your children struggling. I want to remind you that you have the power to make a difference and help.

How To Help Children Overcome their Inner Critic

The Big, Bad Bully is specifically designed to help kids think about their thought life, to first become aware of the fact that they can control how they treat themselves. The book comes with an engaging and beautifully illustrated story and is packed with self-esteem building exercises. 

Yes, it may feel like our world has turned upside down during the pandemic, but we are not helpless. We can make a difference in our own mental health and in our children’s. We help our children overcome the bully within. 

Add The Big, Bad Bully to your library today, and continue the conversation.

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