As all Harry Potter fans know, Expecto Patronum is the spell that conjures a guardian out of happiness to ward off dementors (demons who suck the joy out of people). But what all Harry Potter fans may not know, is that the dementor situation has a striking parallel to bullying.
Bullying seems to do just what dementors are prone to: make you feel devoid of happiness. Both put people in horrible situations that make them feel defeated, horrible, and depressed. But both also have a common (but cheesy) downfall: love.
In order to prevent bullying and stop the “dementors”, here are some things you can do to be someone’s Patronus:
1. Keep Your Eyes Open- This is crucial; by knowing what goes on around you, you will not only be able to identify who needs help, but what things makes those people happy. This helps you know what to do to cheer someone up. For example, if you notice someone has cats all over their notebook and backpack, you know that talking to them about how cute Calico kittens are is a surefire way to perk them up.
2. Make a Goal- Everyday, set a goal to help better people's’ lives. You could try giving out a certain number of compliments everyday and/or making a commitment to help anyone who drops their stuff in the hallway. Asking people if they need a quick explanation in math class is also a great idea.
3. Give Thoughtful Warm and Fuzzies- Getting a well deserved compliment is one of my favorite feelings. These types of comments really dive deep into a person’s character and spreads the recipient with warmth. To make these commendations, consider these questions: Why you like to be around this person? What makes them different from other people? The more thought you put into it, the better the compliment!
4. Be a Buffer- This is probably the hardest one of all. Being a buffer means that when someone is actively being bullied, you step in to set it right. But just like the real Patronus from Harry Potter, this involves no violence! Here are some ways to get bully’s off someone’s back:
A. Throw off the bully (not literally). Think of something that you know is not true about them, and ask them about it. For example, asking “So you’re going over to Ted’s house on Saturday?” when you know they have a swim lesson will make them want to correct you and stop being mean. Make sure you don’t offend them with any questions though.
B. Get more people. Have some more of your friends come nearby to hear what’s happening. Chances are, the bully will be scared off by the large group.
C. Tell an adult. This is a safe way to show the bully that you are serious. Never be afraid to do this; adults are always there to help.
These are just some ways that you can stop bullying. Like Harry Potter, I know that you have the strength to stand up and help. What are you waiting for? Grab your wand and go!