In honor of Bullying Prevention Month, we would like to share a few strategies on how anyone and everyone can prevent bullying. Whether you’re a parent, educator or student, there are many ways you can help. Only together can we prevent bullying to build a better world.
How you can help stop bullying as a Parent:
- Look for the signs! Your child may not always speak up about being bullied. Look for indicators such as bruises or marks on their body, not wanting to attend school, decreased appetite, frequent stomachaches, or nightmares.
- Use open-ended questions when asking your child if they are being bullied or are bullying others.
- Teach young children about the difference between tattling and reporting bullying.
- Teach your child assertiveness skills and coping strategies to use in case of bullying situations.
- Create a bully-free and non-aggressive environment at home. Remember, children learn through observation!
How you can help stop bullying as a Student:
- Calmly speak up and tell the bully to stop. If you are uncomfortable speaking up, walk away and find an adult you trust.
- Be kind to those who are being bullied. Try to include them in activities that you are participating in. This lets them know they aren’t alone and it also may stop bullies who don’t want to fight against a crowd.
- Talk to a teacher or counselor about getting involved at school. They may be able to help you start a program to stop bullying. Start the conversation with your friends and peers and be a role model for others.
- Bullying is never okay and it is never the victim’s fault. If you are being bullied, don’t keep it a secret from fear that it will get worse – tell a teacher, a coach, your parents, or even a friend.
- Use the buddy system. If you are frequently bullied in one specific place, take a friend along for support. Also be the buddy – if you see someone frequently bullied somewhere, walk alongside them when you can.
How you can help stop bullying as an Educator:
- When you see something, say something. Intervene as soon as you think there may be questionable behavior occurring between students. Don’t assume it’s just teasing or that they’re just being kids.
- Hold bystanders accountable. Bystanders typically provide encouragement. Explain that bullying is never okay and will not be tolerated. Teach all students that they have a responsibility to stop bullying when they see or hear it.
- Listen to all students involved before labeling any of them as the bully. Sometimes bullying behavior is in reaction to being bullied. It may be a cry for help.
- Don’t expect students to solve the issues of bullying by themselves. Start the conversation with your students and give them tools to use before, during, and after an incident.
- Have the class role play a bullying situation. Teach them what to say to a bully as well as what to do as a bystander.
For more helpful resources on bullying: