Activities to do with your student for both response and prevention:
Target responses - How to Deal with Bullying:
- Tell your parents or other trusted adults. They can help stop the bullying.
- If you are bullied at school, tell your teacher, school counselor, or principal. Telling is not tattling.
- Don’t fight back. Don’t try to bully those who bully you.
- Try not to show anger or fear. Students who bully like to see that they can upset you.
- Calmly tell the student to stop…or say nothing and then walk away.
- Use humor, if this is easy for you to do. (For example, if a student makes fun of your clothing, laugh and say, “Yeah, I think this shirt is kind of funny-looking, too.”)
- Try to avoid situations in which bullying is likely to happen. You might want to avoid areas of the school where there are not many students or teachers around.
- Make sure you aren’t alone in the bathroom or locker room.
- Sit near the front of the bus.
- Don’t bring expensive things or lots of money to school.
- Sit with a group of friends at lunch.
- Take a different route through hallways or walk with friends or a teacher to your classes
Bystander or By-strander?
Bystanders are the third group of players in this tragedy. They are the supporting cast who aid and abet the bully, through acts of omission and commission. They stand idly by or look away, or they can actively encourage the bully or join in and become one of a bunch of bullies. Injustice over-looked or ignored becomes a contagion that infects even those who thought they could turn away.
Standing Up and Speaking Out
Bullying is challenged when the majority stands up against the cruel acts of the minority. Establishing new norms, enforcing playground rules, and increasing supervision are policy decisions that can help reduce the incidents of bullying. Since much of the bullying goes on "under the radar of adults," a potent force is kids themselves showing bullies that they will not be looked up to, nor will their cruel behavior be condoned or tolerated. Kids need not be bystanders. They can become active witnesses, standing up for their peers, speaking out against injustices, and taking responsibility for what happened among themselves.
Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are quickly becoming tools for bullying and making threats. Children need to be reminded that the words they write and the images they post have consequences offline. OnGuardOnline.gov provides several tips for parents to use to help kids use social networking sites safely:
Help your kids understand what information should be private.
Explain that kids should post only information that you – and they – are comfortable with others seeing.
Use privacy settings to restrict who can access and post on your child's Web site.
Remind your kids that once they post information online, they can't take it back.
Talk to your kids about avoiding suggestive talk online.
Tell your kids to trust their gut if they have suspicions. If they ever feel uncomfortable or threatened by anything online, encourage them to tell you.