Bullying is a big problem kids have to deal with. One of the best ways to decrease bullying is to empower bystanders to do the right thing when they see bullying happen. But a lot of kids don’t know what the right thing to do in that moment is. Sometimes they want to help, but because they don’t know what to do, they look on helplessly. Kids need concrete strategies so that when they see bullying happening, they know what steps they need to take in order to do the right thing.
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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT…
Bystanders – the people witnessing the bullying, not the bully or the victim
- Sometimes they look on helplessly, which actually reinforces the bully’s behavior because no one tells him to stop and the victim thinks everyone is on the bully’s side.
[bctt tweet=”“Kids need concrete strategies that they have thought about and planned on doing ahead of time and even practiced a few times perhaps with you so that when they see bullying happening, they know what steps they need to take in order to do the right thing.”” username=”@SisuFireborn”]
Michele Borba, author of so many books, most recently UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World, has created a Bully “BUSTER” Bystander Strategy to help empower bystanders.
B: Befriend the Victim
- Once one person befriends the victim, more people are likely to befriend the victim.
- Call over some more of your friends to help.
- Befriend the victim outside of the time when they are being bullied too.
U: Use a Distraction
- As Borba says, “a bully wants an audience, so reduce it with a distraction.”
- For example:
- Ask: “What is everyone doing here?”
- Interrupt: “I can’t find my phone. Has anyone seen it or can anyone help me look?”
- State: “Hey guys! I think a teacher is coming!”
S – Speak Out and Stand Up!
- Encourage your child by talking about how scary it is and how impressive and brave a person is who can do this.
- Name what’s happening by saying, “That’s bullying!”
- Label it saying “That’s mean!”
- State your disapproval by saying, “This isn’t cool!”
T – Tell or Text for Help
- Find potential adult allies at school that your child can go to for help who won’t tell others that it was your child who reported on the bullying. That way your child is safe from retaliation.
E – Exit Alone or With Others
- “Let’s leave.” Or “Come on. I don’t want to be a part of this.”
- Try to get others to leave too, but if they don’t, you should leave so that your presence does not bolster the bullying
R – Give a Reason and a Remedy
- “This is mean!” (a reason) and then “Go get help!” (a remedy)
PIN FOR LATER
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode. How do you teach your children to advocate for themselves and stand up to bullies?
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