Quick tips to help kids defend against bullies
- Quick tip 1Get away from the bully.Get away from the bully.
Physical distance can prevent bullying. Encourage kids to get away from any situation they don’t feel comfortable in. Work with a teacher or other trusted adult to help create a schedule where kids don’t see or interact with the bully.
- Quick tip 2Report the bullying.Report the bullying.
Encourage kids to report bullying to an adult they trust and who can help resolve the situation. Every state has an anti-bullying law that requires schools to report and investigate bullying.
- Quick tip 3Move with the pack.Move with the pack.
It’s easier for bullies to pick on a lone kid. Partner with teachers, coaches, or other trusted adults to make sure kids have a buddy around to help stand up against bullying.
- Quick tip 4Be a shoulder to lean on.Be a shoulder to lean on.
Protecting a child emotionally is just as important as protecting physically. When a child opens up about bullying, be supportive and listen. Being present can go a long way in validating kids’ feelings after a bully hurts them.
Kids who learn and think differently are often the target of bullying. Families and teachers can’t always be there in person to stop it. But there are things you can do to help kids defend themselves. And state laws make schools take action when kids are bullied.
The first step is to make sure kids know what bullying is. Bullying is serious, hurtful behavior that happens more than once. It’s done on purpose by someone with power.
Kids might have trouble knowing that someone is a bully. Bullies can be charismatic or have friends who encourage their mean behavior. Use the word bullying when you see it happening, so kids have the words to name it.
Make sure kids know they won’t get in trouble for sharing bullying experiences with you. If they open up, validate their feelings. Say “Bullying is not OK” and “You don’t deserve this.”
Let kids know there are steps you can take to put a stop to it. Partner with teachers, coaches, or other trusted adults to help protect kids from bullying.