Monday, January 30, 2012

Bullying Lesson Plans for Teachers

Kids Bullying Kids
Students anonymously complete a survey about their experiences with bullying, evaluate the results, and discuss solutions to the problem.
Coloring a Peaceful World
Students discuss conflict resolution techniques and color posters about those techniques.
The Average Kid
Students determine the traits they have in common with other students in the class and create a visual profile of the "average" boy and girl in the class.
Planet X
Students work together to create a Bill of Rights for a colony they are founding on a distant planet.
The Anger Suit
Children explore the nature of angry feelings.
Simon Says "Who Are You?"
Students play a variation of Simon Says that highlights their similarities and differences.
Understanding Needs and Feelings
Students learn about needs and feelings, then write an ending to a story showing how a child deals with his or her needs and feelings.
The Talking Stick
Students use a "talking stick" to practice listening and communicating.
Bullying Reality Quiz
Students take an online quiz about school violence and create their own quiz on bullying.

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"WE GOT YOUR BACK" - #StopBullying ThemeSong • VlogAid

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tricks and Tips to Fight Cyber Bullying

Are you being cyber bullied? Do you want to put a stop to it? Becoming a victim of a cyber bully is no fun as it often involves embarrassment, harassment and threats. It can also lead to fear and feeling outcast. If you want to stop a cyber bully, consider the following tips:
Don’t fight bullying with bullying
When you fight a cyber bully by bullying back, you are perpetuating it, rather than stopping the problem. One of the most common mistakes that a person who’s a victim of harassment will make is getting mean and retaliating. The victim feels justified in retaliating because the person bullied them in some way. Never try to stop someone from cyber bullying you by bullying them back. Instead, do what you can to keep them from being able to bully you. Never allow anyone to take or get a hold of any photos, videos or information about you that could be potentially embarrassing. Make sure that your social networking sites, blogs and chats need to be private; be selective about who you give access to, who you add as friends and the like. Don’t bully back. Fight cyber bulling with information and make it difficult for someone to bully you. 

Try to understand what type of cyber bully they are
There are a number of different cyber bullies out there. Some bully in response to being bullied. Some bully with their friends as a form of entertainment. Some bully because they have the technological skill to do so and are often bullied in the traditional sense, so it is a form of revenge for them. Some bully ignorantly, as they do not realize that the things they are doing and saying are causing harm or discomfort to others. When you understand what kind of bully they are, you have a better chance of stopping them. For example, if they are doing it unintentionally, making them aware of how it is affecting you can help them stop. If they are doing it out of vengeance, not responding to them may cause the bullying to escalate. Knowing what they want from the bullying can help you get them to stop the abuse.
Respond, but don’t react
Most cyber bullying happens in order to elicit a reaction from you. For example, a group of girls may get together and alter a photo of someone, then post it all over the web. They do it for entertainment, because they laugh at what people say, and how it makes the person in the photo feel. Therefore, instead of reacting, simply email the site administrator and request that the offending photo be removed. Threaten to sue, or call the police and file harassment charges; however, if you threaten it, be prepared to follow through if need be. If you react to bullying, the bullying will continue. Find ways to stop it without giving them the reaction they want.

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Cyberbullying - Megan Meier's Story

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School Bullying

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Bullying Tips from Bully Expert Jim West, MA, How to Roll With It

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bus Bullying Tips from The Stand Up Against Bullying Guy

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Are you a bystander to bullying?

What is a bystander?

A bystander is someone who happens to be there when something is happening.
This topic is about being a bystander when someone is being bullied.
Every day the news is full of stories about people being bullied by someone who is more powerful than they are.
  • Maybe the person being bullied looks different.
  • Maybe they have a different religion.
  • Maybe they are trying to move to a safer place.
  • Maybe they haven't got a job.
  • Maybe they are trying to make a life for themselves and their families.
  • Maybe they have a disability.
  • Maybe some more powerful people are bullying them just because they can!
Well, we may not be able to do much for all the people around the world who are being bullied, but we can make a start by looking closely at what happens in our own lives.

What is bullying?

"He didn't really mean to."
"He was only joking."
"Well, she was the first to say it."
"I was only sticking up for my friend."
"Well, she doesn't try to join in."
"She thinks she's so good!"
"It was only a bit of fun."

Have you heard people say things like this when they have been explaining why they stood by while someone was being bullied or hurt?
Maybe you have said those kinds of things yourself?
Everyone has the power to influence the lives of others in some way.
Bullying is when someone uses their power to hurt or upset someone else.
bystander to bullying

Who gets bullied?

Anyone can be the victim of bullying at any time. It can be simply a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.fighting

Our topics on Dealing with bulliesBullying - being unkind to others, and Teasing others and how to stopwill give you more information about bullying.
"Don't tease someone just because they're different. We are all different." – Connor

Being a bystander to bullying

When bullying is happening and you are there, then you have four choices.
1. Stand and watch
If something is happening, it is normal for people to go and see what is going on.
If someone is being hurt by one or more people, it is normal to feel:
*curious – why, what is this about?
*excited – other people's emotions can be 'catching'.
*afraid – what if that person being hurt was me?
Standing and watching someone get hurt puts you on the same side as the bully. If you are not helping the victim, then you are giving your support to the bully. Do you want to do that?
"Sometimes it's hard to do anything because the bully could pick on you. You have to get other people to support you" – Kylie
2. Support the bully
Everyone likes to feel powerful at times, but supporting a bully is not the way to go.
There are other reasons why someone might takes sides with a bully.
*Maybe you don't like the person who is the victim.
*Maybe the bully is a friend.
*Maybe you are afraid that if you don't support the bully, you could be the next victim.
Helping a bully to hurt someone is misusing your power. How would you feel if you were the victim?
"I joined in because I was scared. I felt bad after that. K----was hurt and I had helped" –David
3. Get away from there
It is normal to think:
*I don't want to get involved.
*I don't want to be hurt.
*They probably deserved it anyway.
*Keeping out of trouble is best.
getting away from bullyingGetting away from bullying will keep you safe. Once again, it is the bully who wins. By going away you are in effect telling the bully that what he is doing is OK with you – that you don't care if the victim is being hurt.
Is that what you believe? What if next time the victim is you?
"I pretended that I didn't know what was going on. I walked away" – D---.
4. Be an active bystander
If someone is being hurt, it is normal to want to help that person. But look at the situation carefully before you act.
It's important to keep yourself safe.
*You may try to stop it happening by saying something and getting others to say something.
*You may go to help the victim.
*You may try pulling the bully or bullies away, but only if it is safe for you to do so.
*You may try getting help – for example, asking others to help or getting a teacher or other authority figure to come and stop the bullying.
*You may offer to act as a mediator – someone who listens to both sides and tries to help resolve the conflict.
Here are some things you might try.
  • Say in a loud voice to everyone, "Come on guys, we're not watching this bullying", and walk away, taking others with you.
  • Tell the person being bullied that you don't like it and ask, "Would you like me to tell someone or go with you to tell someone?"
    would you like me to tell the teacher?
  • Get the victim out of there if it feels safe to do so. Say things like, "Oh, there you are, someone is looking for you", or "We're waiting for you to play with us."
  • Use humour. Say things to the bully like, "Hey couldn't you find anyone smaller to pick on?" or say to the person being bullied, "Watch out, you could hurt him!", then laugh and encourage others to join in.
  • Use fear – "Hey I'd watch out mate. Someone's dobbed you in."
  • Use your brains and send someone to get help, or go yourself.
  • Put up your hand in the stop sign, just like you were taught when you were a little kid, and use a strong voice to shout, "Stop that!"
  • Threaten, "We're dobbing on you for bullying."
  • Get your friends to come and help stop the bullying.
  • Say "Come on guys/girls, this is not a good way to sort things out. Would you like me to act as a mediator and help you?" (Our topic on Mediation – helping people sort things out, may give you some ideas. Many schools run a Peer Mediation Program and you can be trained to become a mediator in your school).
Shout, "Look out, Ms (or Mr) (put the name of your meanest teacher) is on duty!" People will run away and be good! (Kids tip)
It is really important to be kind to the victim (the person who was bullied) at other times and to act as a witness to what happened. This sends the message that bullying is not seen as OK by you, your friends and your school.
"Me and my friends went and told the teacher."

Non-physical bullying

Hurting people's feelings can be just as bad, if not worse than being beaten up, especially if it goes on every day.
If you know someone who is being bullied in this way, then you have 3 choices.
  1. Say and do nothing about it. In this case the bullying will continue.
  2. Let the bully know that it is not OK and you will report it if the bullying continues.
  3. Report the bullying to the teacher, through the anti-bullying process in your school, or put bullying on the agenda for class meeting. If the bullying is happening outside school, then report it to a trusted adult.
    helping someone with a disability
If someone was teasing me, I'd say, "Your sarcastic insinuation is too highly obnoxious to be appreciated by my superior intellect!" – Jessica

I didn't do anything

If someone is being bullied and you know about it, then saying "I didn't do anything" can make you feel better… or can it?
Ask yourself these questions – what if someone was:
*hurt and "I didn't do anything?"
*so upset that he wagged school to get away from being bullied and "I didn't do anything?"
*so desperate that he tried to harm himself, and "I didn't do anything?"

help stop bullyingYou may not have joined in the bullying yourself, but by not doing anything to help the victim, you let the bully think that what was happening was OK.
Will it happen again? Yes.
Could it happen to you? Yes.
"You need to say, 'I don't like that' if someone is saying or doing something you don't like, then tell someone. If you don't tell, then bullying won't stop" –James
"I had a rumour spread about me saying that I didn't wash my hair. I felt so embarrassed and wore a lot of perfume to prove that I do wash. I asked who started it and found that it was someone who I thought was my mate. I asked her about it and she said she was only joking. I didn't think it was funny and I told her. She hasn't done it since I told everyone who spread the rumour."
– E------
"We have a 'happy book' in our class. We can ask for the class to help us with problems. We have 5 school values. They are honesty, responsibility, collaboration, respect and equity.

Anyone can ask for the book. The bully, the person being bullied or a bystander.
  • We say what's wrong and who is involved.
  • The class listens to each person's account of what happened.
  • Everyone gives suggestions on how to fix things.
  • The class decides which school value has been broken.
  • The people involved have to work out what they could have done instead and how they will handle the situation next time.
friendsEverything is recorded in the book.

Those involved write it all down on a special sheet and get it signed by the teacher.

If this problem has happened before, they have to get it signed at home too".
– Andrew

Dr Kim says

Dr Kim"Don't get involved" is something we are always hearing. Not to get involved is easier than trying to help someone who is being bullied. But that doesn't help the person being bullied – it just helps the bully to get away with it.
If you see someone being bullied, get involved and try to help.
Everyone has feelings. How would you feel if you were being bullied? Wouldn't you like someone to help you?
Be an active bystander and help to stop bullying.
Use your power to let others know that bullying is not OK.
Our topic 'Stick up for yourself! Being assertive' may give you some ideas on how to do this.
How to help stop bullying
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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.

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Tips for the Bully Bystander

So what can a bystander do? Here’s some tips:
  1. Distract the bully—a bystander can talk or intervene, giving the victim a chance to escape
  2. Sit with a target at lunch or in class (especially after an incident)
  3. Stand next to the victim and walk away, together
  4. Call the victim at home and offer support
  5. Verbally say to the bully to “back off—this isn’t cool or funny” or other ways to convince the bully they are in the wrong.
  6. Let the child know that many of their peers also think bullying is wrong and want to stand up—they just may not know how
  7. Talk to your child and have them come up with ideas about what they could say or do to help a victim
  8. Have your child role-play specific situations and responses. Give them encouragement
  9. Listen to your child’s fears and concerns about the risks of standing up and encourage them to find their own solutions. See if they can get friends to support this with them as well
  10. Encourage your child to confidentially tell a trusted adult (ideally you and someone at school)
  11. Share with them the “Pink Shirt Gang Story” that can be found on this site. It should inspire them to find solutions with peers

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cyberbullying Tips

Don’t respond. If someone bullies you, remember that your reaction is usually exactly what the bully wants. It gives him or her power over you. Who wants to empower a bully?
Don’t retaliate. Getting back at the bully turns you into one and reinforces the bully’s behavior. Help avoid a whole cycle of aggression.
Save the evidence. The only good news about digital bullying is that the harassing messages can usually be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. You need to do this even if it’s minor stuff, in case things escalate.
Talk to a trusted adult. You deserve backup. It’s always good to involve a parent but – if you can’t – a school counselor usually knows how to help. Sometimes both are needed. If you’re really nervous about saying something, see if there’s a way to report the incident anonymously at school.
Block the bully. If the harassment’s coming in the form of instant messages, texts, or profile comments, do yourself a favor: Use preferences or privacy tools to block the person. If it’s in chat, leave the “room.”
Be civil. Even if you don’t like someone, it’s a good idea to be decent and not sink to the other person’s level. Also, research shows that gossiping about and trash talking others increases your risk of being bullied. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
Don’t be a bully. How would you feel if someone harassed you? You know the old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes; even a few seconds of thinking about how another person might feel can put a big damper on aggression. That’s needed in this world.
Be a friend, not a bystander. Watching or forwarding mean messages empowers bullies and hurts victims even more. If you can, tell bullies to stop or let them know harassment makes people look stupid and mean. It’s time to let bullies know their behavior is unacceptable – cruel abuse of fellow human beings. If you can’t stop the bully, at least try to help the victim and report the behavior.

* Cyber Bullying: A Prevention Curriculum for Grades 3-5 and Cyber Bullying: A Prevention Curriculum for Grades 6-12, by Susan Limber, Robin Kowalski, and Patricia Agatston

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Bullying: Words Can Kill

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AC360° Bullying Infographic

(Click to see full image)

AC360° Bullying Infographic

CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° recently partnered with UC Davis sociologists Robert Faris and Diane Felmlee to engage in a systematic social network analysis of school bullying and aggression. They surveyed students at the Wheatley School, which has about 800 students, about aggression at four time points over the Spring of 2011. The infographic outlines some of the key findings:

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dealing with Bullying and Cyber-bullying

Bullying affects many of us, kids and adults alike, and can leave anyone feeling hurt, angry, frightened, and even depressed or overwhelmed. Those who bully often experience their own psychological problems as well. Technology has made the problem of bullying even more widespread. Cyber-bullying can occur via email, texts, cell phones, and social media websites 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with potentially thousands of people involved.
Because bullying is so common, many people think it’s normal and should be tolerated. But it doesn’t have to be. By learning about why some kids bully and why others are bullied, you can help yourself or a loved one deal with bullying, and develop the resilience and self-confidence to succeed in life.

Why bullying and cyber-bullying hurts

Bullying is repeated aggressive behavior that can be physical, verbal, or relational. Boys frequently bully using physical threats and actions, while girls are more likely to engage in verbal or relationship bullying. The results are similar:
  • You are made to feel hurt, angry, afraid, helpless, hopeless, isolated, ashamed, and even guilty that the bullying is somehow your fault. You may even feel suicidal.
  • Your physical health is likely to suffer, and you are at a greater risk of developing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or adult onset PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
  • You’re more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school to avoid being bullied.
The most damaging aspect of bullying is its repetition. Bullies are often relentless, bullying over and over again for long periods of time. You may live in constant fear of where and when the bully will strike next, what they’ll do, and how far they’ll go. cyber-bullying has made this even worse because it can be witnessed by many more people and continue around the clock.
All Bullying Hurts
Physical Bullying
Physical bullying:
  • Hitting, kicking, or pushing someone...or even just threatening to do it
  • Stealing, hiding, or ruining someone's things
  • Making someone do things he or she doesn't want to do
Verbal Bullying
Verbal bullying:
  • Name-calling
  • Teasing, taunting
  • Insulting or otherwise verbally abusing someone
Relationship Bullying
Relationship bullying:
  • Refusing to talk to someone
  • Excluding someone from groups or activities
  • Spreading lies or rumors about someone
  • Making someone do things he or she doesn't want to do
Source: PBS Kids - It's My Life

How cyber-bullying harms

A bully can harass, threaten, or humiliate you by using computers, cell phones, and social networking sites to:
  • Send or forward hurtful or threatening emails or text messages.
  • Post photos and other personal information online without your consent.
  • Pretend to be someone else to trick or humiliate you.
  • Spread lies and rumors about you.
  • Create a group or social networking page to target or exclude you.
  • Dupe you into revealing personal information that can then be used to hurt you.
In many cases, cyber-bullying can be even more painful than face-to-face bullying. A lot of cyber-bullying can be done anonymously, so you may not be sure who is targeting you. This can make you feel even more threatened and can embolden bullies, as they believe online anonymity means they’re less likely to get caught. Since cyberbullies can’t see your reaction, they will often go much further in their harassment or ridicule than they would do face-to-face with you.

Why you’re being bullied or cyber-bullied

Why Kids Bully
Research shows that about 25 percent of kids experience bullying and even more of us are impacted by cyber-bullying, so you’re not alone. While there are many reasons why bullies may be targeting you, the main reasons are usually your physical appearance or social standing within your peer group.
Bullies tend to pick on people who are “different” or don’t fit in with the mainstream. 

If you are being bullied, remember:

  • Don’t blame yourself. It is not your fault. No matter what someone says or does, you should not be ashamed of who you are or what you feel.
  • Be proud of who you are. Despite what a bully says, there are many wonderful things about you. Keep those in mind instead of the messages you hear from bullies.
  • Get help. Talk to a parent, teacher, counselor, or other trusted adult. Seeing a counselor does not mean there is something wrong with you.
  • Learn to deal with stress. Finding ways to relieve stress can make you more resilient so you won’t feel overwhelmed by bullying. Exercise, meditation, positive self-talk, muscle relaxation and breathing exercises are all good ways to manage the stress from bullying.

Tips for dealing with bullying and cyber-bullying

There is no single solution to bullying and cyber-bullying. It may take some experimenting with a variety of different responses to find the strategy that works best for your situation. To defeat a bully, you need to retain your self-control and preserve your sense of self.

Tip #1: Respond as bullying is happening

  • Walk away. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions so don’t react with anger or retaliate with physical force. If you walk away, ignore them, or calmly and assertively tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say, you’re demonstrating that they don’t have control over you.
  • Protect yourself. If you can’t walk away and are being physically hurt, protect yourself so you can get away. Your safety is the first priority.
  • Report the bullying to a trusted adult. If you don’t report threats and assaults, a bully will often become more and more aggressive. In many cases adults can find ways to help with the problem without letting the bully know it was you who reported them.
  • Repeat as necessary. Like the bully, you may have to be relentless. Report each and every bullying incident until it stops. There is no reason for you to ever put up with bullying.

Tip #2: Handle a cyber-bully

  • Do not respond to cyber-bullying messages. The bully wants to feel in control of your emotions, so the best response is no response.
  • Document cyber-bullying. Save and print out emails, text messages, or screenshots.
  • Block the cyber-bully on your phone, IM list, websites, or social media pages. Report inappropriate messages to an Internet service provider or website moderator; report threats to the police.

Tip #3: Reframe the problem of bullying or cyber-bullying

By changing your attitude towards bullying you can help regain a sense of control.
  • Try to view bullying from a different perspective. The bully is an unhappy, frustrated person who wants to have control over your feelings so that you feel as badly as they do. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
  • Look at the big picture. Bullying can be extremely painful, but try asking yourself how important it will seem to you in the long run. Will it matter in a year? Is it worth getting so upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Focus on the positive. Reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. Make a list and refer to it whenever you feel down.
  • Find the humor. If you’re relaxed enough to recognize the absurdity of a bullying situation, and to comment on it with humor, you’ll likely no longer be an interesting target for a bully.
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control—including the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to bullies.

Tip #4: Avoid isolation

Having trusted people you can turn to for encouragement and support will boost your resilience when being bullied. Reach out to connect with family and real friends (those who don’t participate in bullying) or explore ways of making new friends. There are plenty of people who will love and appreciate you for who you are.
  • Find others who share your same values and interests. You may be able to make friends at a youth group, book club, or religious organization. Learn a new sport, join a team, or take up a new hobby such as chess, art, or music.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a parent, counselor, coach, religious leader, or trusted friend. Expressing what you’re going through can make a huge difference to the way you feel, even if it doesn’t change the situation.
  • Boost your confidence. Exercise is a great way to help you feel good about yourself, as well as reduce stress. Punch a mattress or take a kick boxing class to work off your anger.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t make a bullying incident worse by dwelling on it or replaying it over and over in your head. Instead, focus on positive experiences you’ve had.

Tips to help parents and teachers stop bullying and cyber-bullying

Teachers and parents of both the bullied and the bullies can play a crucial role in preventing, identifying, and stopping bullying. Creating safe, stress-free environments at home and at school can help prevent the tension and anxiety that can lead to bullying.

Tip #1: Understand the truth about bullying and cyber-bullying

Despite how widespread the problem has become, many parents and teachers still have some misconceptions about bullying and cyberbullying.
Myths about Bullying and Cyber-bullying
It’s only bullying if the child is physically hurt. Words can’t hurt.
Children have killed each other and committed suicide after being involved in verbal, relationship, or cyber-bullying. Words do hurt and they can have a devastating effect on the emotional wellbeing of a child or teen.
My child would never be a bully.
All kids make mistakes; it’s part of growing up. Parents who deny the possibility that their child is capable of being hurtful make it harder for bullies to get the help they need.
Bullies are simply bad people and should be expelled from school.
There are a lot of reasons why children bully. Some are bullied themselves, at home or elsewhere, others bully only when they feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Kids can be either bullies or victims, not both.
Kids can often change roles, going from victim to bully and back again. For example, a bully in fifth grade may be a victim when he moves to middle school, or a victim in the playground can take revenge and become the bully online.

Tip #2: Spot the warning signs that a child or teen is being bullied

If a child is being bullied it may not be obvious to a parent or teacher. Most bullying occurs away from adults, when kids are alone in hallways or on the way home from school, for example. Bullies tend to be adept at hiding their behavior from adults and bullying victims will often cover up evidence because of a sense of shame at being victimized. Kids are also reluctant to tell their parents about being cyberbullied out of fear they’ll lose their computer or cell phone privileges.
Warning Signs of Bullying

Tip #3: Take steps to stop bullying and cyber-bullying

  • Talk to kids about bullying and cyber-bullying. Just talking about the problem can be a huge stress reliever for someone who’s being bullied. Be supportive and listen to a child’s feelings without judgment, criticism, or blame.
  • Monitor technology use in younger children. Set up filters on your child’s computer and keep it in a busy area of your house so you can easily monitor its use. Learn the common acronyms kids use online and in text messages. Document threats and report them to the police.
  • Find help for a child who’s afraid. Make sure other teachers, coaches, and counselors know the child is being bullied. No child should have to handle bullying alone.
  • Help the child avoid isolation. Kids with friends are better equipped to handle bullying. Find ways to increase their social circle, via youth or religious groups or clubs, for example.

Tips to Prevent Cyber-bullying

To stay safe with technology, teach your kids to:
  • Refuse to pass along cyber-bullying messages.
  • Tell their friends to stop cyber-bullying.
  • Block communication with cyberbullies; delete messages without reading them
  • Never post or share their personal information online (including full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents’ names, credit card number, or Social Security number) or their friends’ personal information.
  • Never share their Internet passwords with anyone, except you.
  • Talk to you about their life online.
  • Not put anything online that they wouldn't want their classmates to see, even in email.
  • Not send messages when they’re angry.
  • Always be as polite online as they are in person.
Source: National Crime Prevention Council

If your child is a bully or cyber-bully

It can be difficult for any parent to learn that their child is bullying others. The sooner you address the problem, though, the better chance you have of avoiding the long-term effects this behavior can have on a child. People who bully others:
  • Have a higher risk of abusing alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults.
  • Are more likely to get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school.
  • Are twice as likely as their peers to have criminal convictions as adults and four times more likely to be multiple offenders.
  • Are more likely as adults to be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children.

Warning signs your child may be a bully

Your child:
  • Frequently becomes violent with others
  • Gets into physical or verbal fights with others
  • Gets sent to the principal’s office or detention a lot
  • Has extra money or new belongings that cannot be explained
  • Is quick to blame others
  • Will not accept responsibility for his or her actions
  • Has friends who bully others
  • Needs to win or be best at everything

Bullying is often a learned behavior

Bullies can learn aggressive behavior from their experiences at home. Research suggests that some kids and teens may become more aggressive by playing violent video games. While it’s a controversial subject, parents should monitor the amount of violent content their children are exposed to via TV, movies, or video games.
As a parent, you may be setting a bad example for your kids by spanking or otherwise striking them, verbally or physically abusing your spouse, or by displaying bullying behavior such as:
  • Abusing your child’s sports coach, umpires and referees, or members of the opposing team.
  • Swearing at other drivers on the road.
  • Humiliating a waitress, shop assistant, or cab driver who makes a mistake.
  • Talking negatively about other students, parents, or teachers so that your child thinks it’s acceptable to use verbal abuse to intimidate others.

Tips for parents dealing with a bullying child

  • Educate your child about bullying. Your child may have difficulty reading social signs or may not understand how hurtful their behavior can be. Foster empathy by encouraging your child to look at their actions from the victim’s perspective. Remind your child that bullying can have legal consequences.
  • Remember you are a model for your children. Kids learn from adults’ aggressive or mean-spirited behavior.
  • Manage stress. Teach your child positive ways to manage stress. Your child’s bullying may be an attempt at relieving stress. Or your own stress, anxiety, or worry may be creating an unstable home environment. Exercise is a great way for both kids and adults to let off steam and relieve stress.
  • Set limits with technology. Let your child know you’ll be monitoring his or her use of computers, email, and text messaging.
  • Establish consistent rules of behavior. Make sure your child understands your rules and the punishment for breaking them. Children may not think they need discipline, but a lack of boundaries sends a signal that the child is unworthy of the parents’ time, care, and attention.

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