Kids see bullying every day – in the cafeteria, on the playground, and at camp. They want to help, but don’t know how. With the following tips, you can help teach them how to be more than a bystander.
Be Their Friend. Children can help someone who’s been bullied by being nice to them – sit with them at lunch time, lend them a pencil, invite them to play basketball during recess. Being friendly can go a long way toward letting them know that they’re not alone.
You can also:
- Tell your child to listen to the person being bullied, let them talk about the event.
- Have your child call the person being bullied at home to provide support, encourage them and give advice.
- Encourage your child to go up to the person who was bullied later and let them know that what happened wasn’t cool, and that they’re there for them.
- Encourage your child to help the person being bullied by talking to a trusted adult.
Help Them Get Away. There are a few simple, safe ways children can help the person being bullied get away from the situation.
- Create a distraction. If no one is rewarding the child who is bullying by paying attention, the behavior may stop. Bystanders can help to focus the attention on something else.
- A bystander can offer a way for the person being bullied to leave the scene by saying something like, “Mr. Smith needs to see you right now,” or “Come on, we need you for our game.”
Remind children to intervene only if it feels safe to do so, and never use violence in order to help the person get away
Don’t Give Bullying an Audience. If one of your child’s friends begins to bully someone, tell your child to let the bully know that their behavior isn’t entertaining by walking away and encouraging others to do the same.
Children can help by keeping their distance from the situation. If they ignore it, it may stop. If the bullying doesn’t stop, the bystander should tell a trusted adult.
Tell a Trusted Adult. An adult can help stop bullying by intervening while it’s in progress, stopping it from occurring or simply giving the person being bullied a shoulder to lean on.
Try talking to as many adults as possible if there’s a problem– teachers, custodians, nurses, parents. If they don’t feel comfortable telling them in person, let them know that it is okay to write a note.
For more information visit www.stopbullying.gov .