Cognitive Story Audio:
Feeling Hurt Because of Bullies
This is a cognitive story for children. The purpose is to help children learn how to handle different situations.
A cognitive story teaches children how to think rationally about problems that commonly occur in childhood.
These stories are often good at bedtime because the end of the story focuses on relaxing and drifting off to sleep.
This audio is a conversation between a wise old parrot and a child. The parrot advises the child when the child is feeling
hurt because of being bullied. Many children feel bad about themselves when bullied. This story is to prevent those longer
term consequences of bullying by helping the child understand that
he or she is not wrong or bad, that it is the bully who was wrong. The story the audio is based on is also listed below so that it can be read to a child.
As told by Carol Watkins, professional storyteller
. Written by Dr. Monica Frank.
Transcript: Feeling Hurt Because of Bullies
You are crying into your pillow because some bullies were mean to you today. You think about your friend the parrot and wish you could talk. As you think about the parrot you try to take slow breaths and calm yourself. But it is so hard to relax and go to sleep when you feel so hurt. You know that talking to your friend will help you to feel better.
You try to relax and push the thoughts about the bullies out of your mind. But it is too hard to relax when you feel so hurt. You want the thoughts and the hurt to go away.
Soon, you hear a “squawk.” Opening your eyes you see your friend the parrot on the windowsill with its wings spread as if it just landed. You notice the deep blue, the bright yellows, greens, and reds of its feathers as it shakes its wings and folds them back. The parrot cocks its head and looks at you with one eye. It lifts one foot and then the other as if it is doing a little dance on the windowsill. You want to laugh but you remember how much you are hurting.
The parrot squawks “You look like you really need a friend today.”
You nod your head up and down barely able to talk because you will start crying.
The parrot asks you to join it for a walk in your special place. Your special place is a winding trail through a park with lavender grass and silver leafed trees. As you walk the parrot soars up into the trees and you noticed the bright colors of its feathers against the silver leaves. You hear the birds chirping in the trees and occasionally see a flash of color as a bird flies from one tree to another. You notice wispy clouds of all blues, and greens, and purples floating across the pink sky with tinges of red and orange. The sunlight filters through the clouds and sparkles on the silver leaves of the trees almost like drops of water. At spots along the path are benches surrounded with colorful flowers and butterflies flitting from one to another.
“What's wrong?” your friend asks.
You start to cry and you tell the parrot about the bullies and how they hurt you. You sit down on a nearby bench. The parrot flutters down next to you and spreads its wing around your shoulders.
The parrot says, “I know it hurts. But if someone bullies you, it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you.”
“But they called me names and made fun of me. Maybe they're right. No one tried to stop them. Maybe I am stupid,” you say.
“No, that's not true,” comforts the parrot. “People who make fun of others, do it because it makes them feel better about themselves.”
“I don't understand,” you say.
“I know,” responds the parrot. “It's not a good way to be, but if someone feels bad about themselves, acting like they are better than someone else makes them feel better.”
“That doesn't make sense,” you protest. “If they were nice to others, instead, they would have more friends. Wouldn't that make them feel better about themselves?”
“I know it doesn't make sense,” says the parrot. “But some children who have been hurt by others haven't learned how to be nice. They might be a bully because that is what they learned.”
“You mean somebody bullied them?” you ask.
“Sometimes that is what happened. Other times they might have a problem that causes them to misbehave,” says the parrot. “Bullies haven't learned compassion.”
You question “What is compassion?”
The parrot answers, “You know what it is like to feel hurt when somebody bullies you. If a friend of yours is bullied, you know what they feel and you feel bad for them. That is compassion. It is the ability to know what someone else feels and to feel for them. Compassion helps us to be kind to others. People who have compassion are more likely to develop good friends in their life.”
“So bullies don't have good friends?” you ask.
“No, they have friends just like themselves. You've heard the saying, 'Birds of a feather flock together'? That's not really about us birds,” the parrot chuckles at its little joke. “It means that nice people will have nice friends and bullies will have mean friends. It means bullies will be more likely to be hurt by their friends. And it means that you will have good friends in your life because you have compassion.”
“I feel kind of sad for the bully,” you say as your tears are drying up. “If they have a problem or have been hurt, then shouldn't I be nice to them?”
“You can be nice to them but that doesn't mean it is okay for them to be mean to you,” says the parrot.
“What can I do when I am bullied?” you ask.
“You can tell an adult,” the parrot advises.
“That doesn't always help especially when there isn't an adult around,” you respond. “What can I do when it is happening?”
The parrot explains to you, “When someone bullies you it is best to get away as soon as possible. Don't try to explain or argue with them no matter how mad you are. That will just give them an excuse to be even meaner. Try to find a safe place and other people. As soon as you can, tell an adult who can help you. I know you might feel mad or even sad for the bully, but the first thing you need to do is protect yourself by getting away from the situation.”
“Then what should I do?” you ask.
“Then you make sure you don't feel bad about yourself,” answers the parrot. “Remember what we talked about today. There is nothing wrong with you. The bully is wrong because the bully doesn't know compassion. That is sad, but you haven't done anything wrong.”
“Okay,” you say. “That helps me feel better.”
You start walking back down the path with the parrot flying next to your shoulder. All around you the sunlight is sparkling and butterflies are fluttering from flower to flower. You think about how you don't need to feel bad about yourself when somebody else hurts you. You snuggle back into your bed feeling drowsy and close your eyes.
Your mind is a little quieter now because you know that there is nothing wrong with you. You feel a little sad for the bully but you know the most important thing is to protect yourself when someone is mean to you. You know you can relax a little now and fall asleep. You focus on taking a slow breath and noticing the muscles in your chest move with each breath. Those muscles begin to relax with each breath you take. You notice the air coming into your body as you take a slow breath and you notice the air leaving your body. You feel your muscles relaxing more and more.
You snuggle deeper in your cozy bed. As you continue to breathe slowly your body relaxes. You feel yourself beginning to become drowsy. It feels so good to snuggle in your bed! You feel yourself drifting, drifting, drowsy, and relaxing. You feel as if you are drifting off to sleep, so drowsy, feels so good.
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