Bullying is becoming a rampant problem in our society that is starting to receive nationwide attention. There are a variety of skills that you may teach and review with your child to help them become prepared for how to deal with this difficult situation. There are 3 roles that are involved in bullying situations: the bully, the victim, and the bystander. Barbara Coloroso has written a great book to help parents and educators describing these same roles, entitled: The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander.
Below are some easy tips that you may review with your children to help them if they ever find themselves in any of these 3 roles.
"So, No, and Go!"
1. Say, "So," to a put down or teasing while showing no reaction. Bullies are intending to hurt or harm feelings. Refusing to give them the satisfaction of a reaction takes away their power. The bully may try a few more times before finally moving away and giving up. If you can consistently show no reaction, the bully will look for a new victim to torment.
2. Say, "No! That's not okay. Stop!" It's important to let a bully know that it is not okay for them to mistreat you. Bullies often look for victims they don't think will stand up for themselves. Be assertive when you are speaking to the bully: use eye contact, put your shoulders back, and speak with a firm voice.
3. Go! If you see a bully coming, go the opposite direction. Avoid areas where the bully tends to be. Leave the situation and find help: join a group, (power in numbers), or look for an adult.
1. Stand Up - Help the victim stand up to the bully and then walk away.
2. Tell - Tell a grown up or adult that you trust. Ask them to "discover" the bullying so that you or the victim will not be blamed.
3. Others - Ask others to join you and the victim in your stand against bullying. Remember that there is power in numbers. Say, "NO," to all forms of bullying.
4. Play elsewhere. Do not be around bullying behavior. Do not join in, laugh, or stand and watch from the sidelines. Get away!
1. Remove yourself from a situation or person if you become angry. Leaving a situation and cooling down may prevent you from saying or doing something to hurt someone else.
2. Understand your feelings. Why are you wanting to hurt, insult, or tease that particular person? What else could you do to deal with those feelings? (Deep breaths, write in a journal, punch a pillow, etc.)
3. No! Remember that your parents, school, and classmates will not tolerate bullying of any kind. Seek help from the counselor, your parents, or a trusted adult to help with the situation.