Parents and Teachers Can Prevent Bullying

April 15, 2010

With the recent media attention of bullying and it’s tragic effects, many parents and teachers are asking, what more can we do?   One simple and powerful thing adults can do is teach kids how to stand up to bullying.  Standing up against bullies doesn’t need to be done alone.   Equally important, parents and teachers need to start teaching this at a young age.

Recently, we had an example of this in our own home.  One of my kids is in elementary school and he was having problems with a friend who he claimed was being mean to him.  From what he described, it sounded like bullying.  One of the solutions we talked about was getting his friends to ignore the bully or to stand up against the bully with him.  Just the other day I overheard him telling his brother how his situation turned out.  He said he got his friends to tell this particular person his meanness wasn’t scaring anyone and wouldn’t work.  In this case, the bullying stopped.  It doesn’t always work out this way, but this is a powerful lesson we need to reiterate to our children from elementary school on.

Whether your child is the victim of the bullying or the witness or bystander, we need to talk to our kids abou thow to deal with bullies.  Let’s say, your daughter (or son) is the victim of bullying, whether its name calling or even being left out of a party or an event (situational bullying) help your child find a solution where others stand next to your daughter or son against the bully.  For example, pretend every girl was invited to a sleepover party except for one girl in the class.   If a group of girls goes to the hostess and says we won’t come to a party where someone is being excluded, most likely she’ll change her mind.

We need to do better at teaching our kids how to take a stand against bullies.  If you have a story to share about this, we’d love to hear it!

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