Jim West Makes Impact With Anti-Bullying Stance
By Michael John Sullivan
How does a man become a leading bullying expert in a nation overwhelmed with such an important issue? Perhaps it’s the home grown experience.
Jim West once said in a previous interview he was the type of child he is trying to help today. “I’m not sure you can say I was a bully,” he said with some hesitation. “But I picked on other kids, because there was domestic violence going on at home with my father.”
The SockKids organization met with West in his Orlando offices last week to discuss the many issues facing parents and children today, including the growing harsh problem of bullying.
“Unfortunately, it’s taken off to a higher level with cyberbullying,” West said. “Bullying cases have tripled due to the internet, social media, and cyberbullying.”
West has spent the last 16 years in reaching out to parents and children with an assortment of issues. The SockKids focused on the issue of bullying since our book will be released this week. “We try to take a proactive, positive approach to the children being bullied,” West said.
West’s organization, Total Life Counseling, has camps during the summer in which he and a number of counselors work with children. “We run it for about about three weeks, twenty kids a week, a total of sixty for the summer. We try to encourage those being bullied to respond in a unique way.
“For example: One kid said to another basketball player, ‘your three-point shooting sucks.’ I told him to respond this way. ‘Yes, my three-point shooting sucks. You are a great three-point shooter. I wish I could shoot it like you.'”
What was the reaction?
“Well, the kid bullying the other was at first puzzled. But the next day the player who saw the person he was bullying, offered to help him with his three-point shot. They’ve become friends.”
West says he has had enormous success with this approach. “We eliminate about 30 percent of the problems during the first couple of days,” he said. “Friendships were made when you didn’t think were possible.”
West has many brochures for sale in helping parents and children at his website. “Positive reinforcement is big,” he said. “I have the kids start the day with telling each other a positive thought about one another. By the end of the week, more friendships are made, more discoveries are made about the kids with each other. They become conditioned to think in a way that they never had an experience with.”
The camps are a wonderful time for children to learn social skills. And West spends much time with more than bullying issues. “We deal with children with all sorts of issues,” West said.
You can find more information at the links below. West believes every child deserves a chance to interact socially and can be helped. He’s been featured on Fox, ABC News, CBS for his expertise on many different issues involving children and adults.
You can find more on West and Total Life Counseling here.
To Find Out More On What Total Life Counseling Offers For Camps and Information, you can find it here.
Are you interested in Jim West’s camps? You can find information on the camps here.