5 Ways To Help Your Kids Fight Against Bullying
Bullying is a huge problem. Some are saying it’s worse than it has ever been before. Every kid from elementary school to high school, and even college, faces bullies, and they see people being bullied all the time. (Image Credit: Ulrike Mai/Pixabay)
Most kids do whatever they can to avoid it. That means turning a blind eye to bullying, and suffering through bully behavior alone.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t take care of the bullying behavior—it just encourages the bully to continue.
Instead, have a meaningful conversation about bullying with your students or children, and give them this advice to encourage them to fight against bullying.
Invite Peers to Join in Activities
Some bullying is obvious, like when a group of boys pushes another student in the hallways. Other kinds of bullying aren’t so obvious.
Something as simple as leaving someone out of a group activity can have a big impact on the person being left out. Kids can fight back by inviting others to join in their activities.
Some kids push back against this concept because they don’t want to be forced into being friends with someone they don’t like, even if they are being bullied. Assure them they can be kind and fight back against bullying behavior without having to become best friends with a person they spend time with occasionally.
Act like They Don’t Care When They Are Being Bullied
Bullies have their own problems. They often don’t feel like they’re getting the attention they need from important people in their lives, so they try and gain some power over their lives by affecting how others feel. If they try to bully someone, but that person doesn’t seem to care, the bully may move on.
It can be nearly impossible for a child not to care about being bullied. Instead, tell them to try and act like they don’t care.
It’s easier than you think. They don’t say a word, and they don’t react in any way. They simply go about their business, or calmly walk away. If they can smile while being bullied, that can have an even bigger impact. If the bully doesn’t get the reaction they want, they will often stop.
Intervene When They See Someone Being Bullied
Bystanders have a lot of power. Unfortunately, that power is usually untapped. If a child witnesses bullying behavior, there is a lot they can do to stop it.
A few ideas include:
- Stepping in and ask what’s going on.
- Tell the bully to stop.
- Ask the person who is being bullied if they want to leave with you.
If that sounds scary, kids can be sneakier about their intervention. For example, they can all the person being bullied over from afar, acting like they don’t even realize they’re being bullied.
Just make sure they only intervene if it’s safe. If the bullying is violent, they should look for a different way to stop it.
Get Their Friends Involved
Standing up against bullies, whether you’re the one being bullied or they’re witnessing someone else being bullied, is hard. It’s even hard for adults! It’s so hard because many people try to do it alone. They don’t have to!
Tell the kids in your life to get their friends involved. They can pull a few friends with them when they intervene in bullying behavior, and they can all call someone over to play with the group.
It also means encouraging your child to be with at least one friend as often as possible, if they are a target of bullying. It’s a lot harder to bully two or more people than a single person.
Tell an Adult
Unless the bullying behavior is violent, telling an adult isn’t always the first thing they should do. Unfortunately, getting adults involved can often make the bullying behavior worse.
There is a time to tell a teacher or a parent, however. When the other ideas on this list haven’t helped, or if they just want to talk about what’s happening without direct intervention, they should reach out to an adult they feel comfortable with.
In some cases, the bully may need to be removed or face disciplinary actions. In other cases, the child being bullied may need help from a therapist or a counselor.
Kids aren’t powerless against bullies. They have all the power! Whether they’re being bullied or they see someone else being bullied, there are things kids of all ages can do to help make it stop.