Bullying is a worldwide issue. More than ever it’s been on the forefront of a national conversation. Twenty years ago we didn’t have as many school shootings as we do now. Part of the problem is that our children are so addicted to technology, it has stopped them from connecting with others. When you are isolated in that way things can get out of control and lead to tragedy, as we’ve witnessed time and time again. Here is some anti bullying advise on how prevent our children from becoming bullies and from being bullied.
Anti Bullying Communication Tactics
Talk To Your Kids About What Bullying Is
We need to talk to our kids so they understand what bullying is. This way they know that behavior is not nice and not approved of. This will help keep them from becoming bullies. It will also help with early prevention. Being able to recognize bullying when it happens is important for preventing the ongoing behavior because kids will understand what is happening is not their fault and it is OK to get help.
A bully is defined as someone who seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce. Bullies tend to make themselves feel better by making others feel worse. They tend to like the feeling of power, control, and superiority they get from putting others down. Bullying is often directed at those who are different in some way, whether because of sexual orientation, gender identity, being new in town, being alone, dressing a certain way, etc. There is no reason that makes this aggressive behavior OK and a bullying incident should be reported to school administrators and/or a trusted adult.
Talk To Your Child About What To Do If Someone Bullies Them (or a friend)
Helping your child be able to recognize a bully is the first step. Helping your child know what to do if it happens to them or to a friend is the next step. If they can deescalate the situation and talk to an adult, it is the best bet. The Stop Bullying government website offers the following tips.
“Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard. If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.” -stopbullying.gov/
Not All Forms Of Bullying Look The Same
A recent example is the trial at Rutgers. When you watch the interviews with Dharun Ravi he was clearly very much in denial and couldn’t believe that he got convicted. To tape someone with a web cam was not a big deal to him. Maybe this verdict will wake him up that you have to take responsibility for what you say and tweet. Kids should know that is is never ok to take videos or photos of other people without their permission and to share them without permission. This type of activity is wrong and such actions can have a very bad bullying effect even when not originally intended as such.
Know What Your Kids Are Doing Online
Another important anti bullying tips is to monitor your child’s online interactions. There is such a wide world and the online internet can be full of predators if your child is unsuspecting. Make sure you know what apps they are using and have had a conversation about online safety and rules. The rise of social media seems to make many more comfortable saying vicious things they might not say in person. This digital abuse is even worse as the victim sees that many will turn a blind eye. Make sure they know they can come to you with any questions or concerns.
“Talk with your kids about cyberbullying and other online issues regularly. Know the sites your kids visit and their online activities. Ask where they’re going, what they’re doing, and who they’re doing it with. Tell your kids that as a responsible parent you may review their online communications if you think there is reason for concern. Installing parental control filtering software or monitoring programs are one option for monitoring your child’s online behavior, but do not rely solely on these tools.”-stopbullying.gov
Keep Communication Open
Our kids are becoming so desensitized, it’s hard to shield them from the violence and sex that they are exposed to in games, movies, television shows, on the radio, ads, conversations at school, etc. I think it’s our responsibility as a society to take care of our children. Maybe we can’t protect them from all the things they are exposed to from a very young age, but we can have conversations and keep teaching them to communicate. School-aged children need to know it is safe to come to you with questions and problems. This doesn’t mean that you don’t hold them accountable for their poor choices but it does mean you don’t explode and respond in such a way that they don’t feel safe seeking your advice.
Bonus Idea: Celebrity Designed Bullying Prevention T-Shirts
My daughter and I love these CustomInk bullying prevention t-shirts! A good stop bullying strategy is talk about accepting each other’s differences and being supportive of one another. A t-shirt can be a great way get messages across to and show your support. You never know what adversity a person is facing. Don’t add to it. Chose to be kind. CustomInk has partnered with a number of celebrity supporters to create a limited edition line of t-shirts that feature positive and motivational messaging that reinforce self-worth and promote acceptance.
Wearing bullying prevention t-shirts is a good way to show others that you don’t condone bullying. Be the change you want to see in the world and lead the way for others to make better choices too. Bullying is wrong and you can help remind others to be kind to each other instead or at least tolerant.
You can see and order awesome bullying prevention t-shirts designed by celebrities such as Elias Harger (Actor), Jackson Harris (Recording Artist), Jordan Smith (Singer), Kennedy Raye (Influencer), Lizzy Greene (Actress), Madeline Stuart (Fashion Model), Madison De La Garza (Actress), Michael Campion (Actor), and Milla “Star” Bizzotto (Athlete). Just visit customink.com/stopbullying to order yours. These bullying prevention t-shirts are a stylish and fun way to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
Anti Bullying Quotes
Here are some anti bullying quotes to inspire you and your kids.
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” -Michael J. Fox
“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” -Theodore Roosevelt
“What if the kid you bullied at school, grew up, and turned out to be the only surgeon who could save your life?” -Lynette Mather
“Never do a wrong thing to make a friend–or to keep one.” -Robert E. Lee
“Some people are in such utter darkness that they will burn you just to see a light. Try not to take it personally.” -Kamand Kojouri
“All the whispering, glaring, pointing and judging makes them no better than whoever or whatever it is they’re gossiping about.” -Tiffany King
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” -Harvey Fierstein
“You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring you down, oh no
You are beautiful in every single way” -Christina Aguilera
Whether it is social bullying, verbal bullying, or physical bullying, these negative behaviors are all unacceptable. Communication is the key to preventing children from bullying and being bullied. Together we can create a positive change. Do you have any anti bullying tips or stories to share?