IN THIS ARTICLE
How Children Can Discourage Bullying
Children can help avoid bullying if they:
Bullying is less likely to occur when children are in groups and are in areas supervised by adults. But these strategies only work when schools have firm policies in place against bullying. Staff must be trained and supported in consistently enforcing these policies.
Children who bully look for an easy target. Bullies are less likely to pick on those who:
Bullying is reinforced when it is ignored or quietly accepted. Encourage children to stand up for each other. Help your child think of ways to help someone who is being bullied. For example, you might suggest that a child say, "Why are you picking on him? If you think it makes you look good, you're wrong." Other simple ways include refusing to watch or participate in bullying. Sometimes distracting a bully, such as by starting a conversation, can prevent a confrontation.
Defending another person may sometimes be too much to ask. Help your child understand that, at the very least, he or she should tell an adult.
What Children Should Do if They Are Bullied
It's normal for children to be frightened or angry when other children bully them. But they can discourage attacks by showing confidence and not overreacting.
Children should not fight with a bullying child or make verbal or written insults. This could lead to more aggression and possibly serious injury. Have your child call out for help or find an adult or peer right away if he or she feels unsafe.
Face-to-face and cyberbullying
Children who are bullied online or in text messages should not reply. It is best for them to show the message to an adult and block any more messages from the sender. Remind them to only accept messages from people they know.
Give your child these tips to handle face-to-face bullying:
Children may worry about making other kids angry by telling on them. But exposing the abuse is the only way to stop the problem. A child can ask to remain anonymous when reporting an incident.
If your child gets left out
Bullying happens when children shut out or exclude others. These actions can be subtle. But they can be very hurtful to the child who is abused. This type of bullying is called emotional or social bullying, and it is very isolating. It's also hard to manage because the pain it causes is not physical and can be hard to explain to an adult.
Girls who bully tend to do so in social or emotional ways. And boys who bully tend to do so in both physical and emotional ways. Both boys and girls can be targets of emotional bullying. Gossiping and "backstabbing" are common techniques used by girls who bully in this way.
Although there is no easy or foolproof solution, it may help to try some of the following strategies.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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