Natalie: Hi, I’m Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. The Inspiration Show is coming to you from the Mind Movies headquarters. So you see the background is a little bit different behind me because I’m here in the headquarters right here in San Diego. Now, today on the show we’re talking about an amazing app that’s coming out with my friend from Melbourne, which is really helping children who are being bullied. There’s going to be a worldwide release of that very soon. So to tell us more about it, please welcome my special guest Ron Prasad from Melbourne. How are you Ron?
Ron: Hi Nat, how are you going?
N: I am going fabulously well. So why don’t we start first of all a little bit with your background because you have done some work with children in the past and then what was your motivation behind you know, creating this app?
R: Yeah, my background, I used to be a financial adviser, when I finished university. And the global financial crisis hit and that’s when I decided to make a career change. And I became a life coach, a personal development author and a motivational speaker. As part of my work, I started doing work with aboriginal youth, aboriginal young people. A couple of years down the crack from doing that, my best friend approached me and said, there’s a big void in the market right now for supporting people who are getting bullied. Now, my best friend and I, we were both bullied at high school, so we thought we’ll do something. And we came up with an initiative called, beat bullying with confidence, where we surveyed hundreds of school kids, released a report on bullying in Australia and worldwide and we started distributing those reports to teachers, psychologists, counselors, principals and we wanted to do something that’s going to have a global impact. Hence, we created an app called beat bullying with confidence.
N: Awesome. So with the app what makes it, how does it help with the bullying situation?
R: Sure. The app has got many, many different features. Ranging from what to do when you’re being bullied, how to support people who are being bullied and also, the app is very, very useful for teachers and parents because it contains resources and from the feedback that we have been receiving about the app, what people like the most about the app is that it is interactive. You’ve got a digital diary there, so you could record your voice. You can make notes on the app, go backwards and forwards and see the progress that you’ve been making while you’re using the app.
N: So, it’s a little bit about focusing on all the good things and the progress that you’ve been making, rather than focusing on the bullying because the more you focus on that, the more that it expands.
R: Exactly, Nat, and the (2:50) one is this, a bookmarked development background into the app and we’re not just talking about if you’re being bullied go and seek support, we are, our goal is to make people believe in themselves more than they’re belief in what the bully is saying. The app contains a lot of personal development exercises like our little gratitude exercise, what are you grateful for today, how many people in your life make a difference, what do you like about yourself. That app has got a very, very big personal development angle to it.
N: Okay. So tell me a little bit about this report that you were able to compile. What was some of the findings that you found after interviewing all those children?
R: The biggest finding or the most shocking statistic that the report showed was that every single student we interviewed knew at least one person sometimes themselves who has been bullied. So the bullying culture still exists in schools all around the world and some of the things that kids told us, which I can’t go into much detail but it’s so shocking that these things are still happening and to some extent our belief that people are not doing enough to step out bullying.
N: Right, and so, okay let’s do say that we know someone or kids do know someone in their life that is being bullied, what do you recommend are some actions that they can take?
R: The number one thing that we suggest is people realize that they are not alone in this. If you are being bullied, one thing we want you to realize is people are out there who are willing to help you and support you. According to our survey, that the kids out there who are being bullied and yet they don’t want to reach out. A couple of things might happen, they fear retribution from the bully, so if they go and report the bully might come back and make the situation worse. And they also fear that reporting bullying or getting help is a sign of weakness. People might say, aren’t you tough enough to handle this? And we tell kids all the time, we go to schools all around Melbourne and we talk and we say asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak, asking for help means you remain strong.
N: Yeah, absolutely. I know that in this strained culture even the women are tough, you know.
R: I know, Nat. That’s the thing, she’ll be alright mate. Everyone’s going to say she’s going to be alright, mate, don’t report bullying. My best friend who was bullied at high school along with me, he comes from a family background where men are seen to be tough, so he never went and reported the bullying to his dad because the dad would have said, toughen up, mate, toughen up. You know, you’re a man, handle it. Handle it like a man. So we suggest to people, if you’re getting bullied, please seek help. Report the bullying because that’s the only way you’re going to get help from other people and you will stop the behavior of the bully.
N: Yeah, and you think like you know, especially in the parents’ case, it’s really difficult to know what to do in this situation as well, so you is there something in the app to prepare parents too?
R: Yes, Nat. The app can be used by anyone. But when talking about parents one of the kids we surveyed was a 13-year old boy from (5:58) Wales and he said that schools should be hosting bullying information nights for parents at least twice a year. Because in some cases the kids think my mom or dad is the best person I can talk to, yet sometimes parents are not equipped with the right mindset, with the right directions do kid points to when the kids come home and say, I’m being bullied. So that’s something we suggested all parents do, learn about bullying. What sort of help is out there and what you can do to help your kids instead of just saying, she’ll be alright, mate or toughen up and handle it or go and report to the teacher, this is not my problem. Parents should be more equipped to handle bullying when the kid comes home and says, I need help.
N: Right, okay. So let’s expand a little bit more of what kind of help they can get. I know you said that for most kids they are not the only ones that are being bullied on their own, is there a way for them to connect with other kids within the app?
R: Yes. Not through the app but we’ve got websites that we suggest to kids who can go to other websites and telephone numbers as well, also for example kids helpline or if kids are really, really in need of help, we suggest they go and talk to a social welfare coordinator or go to a youth center because sometimes Nat, kids don’t feel comfortable asking for help in the schools and we understand that all of the same. If people want to connect with other victims of bullyings, go somewhere that you’ll find other people who’ve gone through what you’re going through and they’ll be able to give you more empathy, they’ll be able to show you more support or go to a youth center, a social welfare center, call the kids hotline and say I want to talk to somebody who’s been where I am right now.
N: Yeah, exactly. And the thing is at least with a phone number they could (7:51) at home, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in person. They have a level of anonymity it that’s what they want.
N: But they have someone who is actually qualified on the other side of the line to be able to give some awesome advise.
R: Exactly, exactly. That’s the whole point Nat because sometimes people who are qualified, like you said, they might say or they might do, they might know something that the parent or the teacher might not do or know or you know, suggest. So in that case if seeking out help from a qualified person we strongly suggest doing that because that person might help them, you know, in a way that might not be expected.
N: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So if their child is getting bullied themselves, how can they use the app to help them get through that?
R: There’s lots of personality development work in that app. So reaching within to find inner strength, knowing what’s good about yourself, using the journal, the gratitude journal, talking to yourself. And you know what Nat, sometimes people need to hear their own voice. This is what we believe so. If you start talking to yourself and we’ve got a little mirror exercise in the app where we ask you to look in the mirror and say, thank you, I love you, I support you. That’s it every morning and night, you start saying that and that’s where self-validation comes from and kids start doing those exercises and not only to overcome bullying but to build confidence in them because the kids are the future leaders. So we want to give them a mindset. We want to give them some sort of inner work which will help them not just within bullying, beyond bullying in life in general.
N: Yeah. And I know, obviously, you are really well qualified to put this together but you, we were talking before you got on the call, you actually sourced out a bunch of other professional body. So tell us a little more about the process of getting this out off ground?
R: Sure, sure. Before the app got released already, we went and interviewed child psychologists, professor at the university, teachers, we wanted to get as much professional input as we could into the app. So people have given us their idea, their knowledge, their wisdom from many different angles and we’ve put it all together and made it into a very simplified version where kids from age 6 can pick up the app and say, okay, I’m looking at this now, this makes sense to me. We’ve kept the app very, very simple on purpose because we want anyone to pick up the app and go, okay this makes sense, I can do this.
N: Yeah, that’s a great point. So children of any age?
R: Yes, pretty much Nat, as long as they know how to operate a phone or a tablet and these days people as young as 2 can do it (laughs). So any age can pick their app and use it for their own good.
N: And is it available on Iphone and android as well?
R: Yes, both Google play and the app store, both.
N: And this is available not just in Australia of course, it’s available all around the world, right?
R: Exactly. That was our cold point, Nat, because my friend and I, with beat bullying with confidence we’re going into schools, youth centers and giving talks but there’s only two of us, physically it’s not possible to reach every single child who needs help. This is where the idea that the app came, we wanted to create something which we can, you know, make available to anyone anywhere in the world. You can buy this app, use it and beat bullying with confidence.
N: Cool. I’m just, I’m so grateful for the work that you do because it seems to have become an epidemic and I watched the documentary long ago called bully, and I have to say, I cried through the whole thing and what was actually frustrating is that the lack of information for the teachers, the lack of information for like the school counselors, parents have no idea how to handle the situation and these poor kids are just suffering in silence but then you know, you’ve also got the story of the bully as well like in the environment that they grew up in for them to be acting out like this. It was just, you know, having someone like yourself being proactive in doing something very important and positive and in a direction like this I think is really needed. So you know, I’m really, really happy that you’re doing this work. So, what is the easiest way for people to be able to get the app?
R: The app is being released on the 23rd of July. So just go down to your app store or google play store and do a search for beat bullying with confidence and the app will (12:26) at $.99 US. We kept it at a very low cost because we want to make it accessible to anyone and yes, please, if you find the app useful make a comment at the bottom, give us your feedback. If you want us to improve the app in any single way, let us know, we’ll do our best to tailor the app to the market.
N: Great! So if people do have feedback, what’s the best way for them to contact you?
R: They can send us an email [email protected]
or they can make comments on the actual google play or apple app store.
N: Wonderful, wonderful. Ron, thank you so much for joining me today and thank you again for the work that you’re doing here, which is very much needed. I hope you don’t get too cold down there in Melbourne, it’s winter right now (laughs).
R: (laughs) Thank you, Nat. Thank you so much for having me. All the very best and it’s always an honor and a pleasure to be in the Inspiration Show. Thank you so much.
N: Wonderful, wonderful. Now guys, I encourage you to spread the word and get this video out and share it with as many people as you can. You can do that by using the Facebook and Twitter share buttons on this page. It’s a very important message to get out there, so, I really encourage you to do that. Also if you haven’t downloaded the Inspiration Show app, make sure that you do that. It’s free and it means you can watch the shows on the go now, you don’t have to be in front of your computer. And make sure that you leave your box, your email on the box on the page because I would love to send you the manifesting with the masters video e-course. It’s actually valued at $87 and I would love to send it to you for free. So until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We’ll see you soon.