October is National Bullying Prevention month. My hope through this article is that you will find the tools needed to stop bullying in you and your children’s lives.
For as long as I can remember, kids have been bullying others. From name calling, to stealing lunch money, to pushing and hitting it’s been a sad “norm” of childhood. Thankfully there’s been a lot of focus on the ever increasing problem, and more resources are being created to help stop bullying.
I believe one of the best things we can do for our kids is teach them from the beginning of their life to treat others kindly. One of the first things we taught our kids after walking and talking, was “do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
Books and Movies
There are many resources, but I find at that early stage the best ways to teach the concept of kindness is through stories. One of my favorites is Batty Betty, a great book about loving yourself and standing up for others. The Mommy Bunch shared the book series Captain McFinn and Friends, another series that addresses bullying, but also how to help bullies change into friends.
For older kids, The Bully Project and A Girl Like Her are movies that would be worth watching. Watch these as a family, and then use it as a discussion for how your kids can protect themselves from being bullied, but also how they can avoid being a bully.
Tools to Stop Bullying
The big difference from bullying when I was a kid, to bullying in the 21st century, is technology. With social media, texting, and many other apps that connect kids from a very young age, cyber bullying has become the newest form of bullying. 5 Minutes for Mom has a great article and video to help you deal with Cyber Bullying.
If you have a kid currently being bullied you can find 5 great ways to help kids deal with bullies from Simply Stacie. While the Educators Spin On It suggests more school involvement when it comes to how to end bullying. My kids own school district has an anti-bullying video that parents must watch every year before they can volunteer in the school, along with an anti-bullying club that certain kids are invited to take part in to look for and befriend those who might be or become victims.
Over the past year I have become personally more aware of another new type of bulling, allergy bullying. While we have not experienced it, and I hope we never do, when my son was diagnosed with food allergies I began learning that kids will use that as a way to victimize. Grown Ups Magazine shares staggering stats as they go Inside Allergy bullying. While many of like to believe that bullying is a childhood problem, I’ve learned that lack of caring or understanding when it comes to allergies can cause adults to become just as big a bully as kids in this area.
If you’re looking for more help to understand how you can spot and then stop bullying, I would suggest taking the quiz over at That Bald Chick that helps parents learn strategies for preventing childhood bullying.
Stop Bullying in the Home
I believe we can all agree that good leaders are not bullies. This article from Lori on how to help your child grow into a leader shares tips that I find very useful for encouraging our kids to stand out as leaders of kindness.
In Bullying: A Fathers Point of View, one father shares his struggle for how to teach his kids to stand up for themselves against bullies, when school policies punish the victim along with the bully. It’s a good read, and thought provoking discussion.
Merry About Town takes a different approach and asks us to remember that bullies are people too, and not every act of aggression makes a child a bully. In defense of bullies she reminds us to be careful in our name calling, and try to teach our kids compassion for those kids who may be having a bad day, or struggle with behavioural issues.