Let’s change the world with simple acts of kindness.
I find myself questioning WHY bullying continues in our schools today. The problem is if bullying is allowed to continue as children the BULLY will grow up to be an adult who will often be less successful in their work and family lives and possibly get into trouble with the law if the destructive “bully behavior” continues.
Children who bully may have more than one of the following characteristics:
- Are aggressive and easily frustrated
- Have less parental involvement
- Have complicated issues at home
- Think badly of others
- Have difficulty following rules
Is it possible that a child does not know what is considered “bully behavior”?
We need to teach our children what “bully behavior” looks like. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes three types.
- Physical Bullying – hitting, kicking, pushing, choking and punching
- Verbal Bullying – threatening, taunting, teasing and hate speech
- Social Bullying – excludes kids from activities or starting rumors about them
As parents, teachers and community, one of the most important jobs is to raise children to be confident and compassionate adults that help to keep family, friends and community healthy and safe.
We need to raise our children to stop bully behavior.
- Teach our children what bully behavior is and make it clear that IT IS NEVER OK TO BULLY.
- Teach our children to treat others with RESPECT. Even if we disagree. Kids need us as parents and community leaders to act as role models. They need us to help them develop constructive ways to disagree and get what they want without resorting to bully behavior.
- Teach kids there are consequences to bully behavior. We need to use discipline to support the rules of our homes, schools or communities. Breaking the rules can lead to loss of privileges. We need to use open communication to explain why a behavior is wrong and what can be done to regain that privilege. It takes tough love. It is NOT easy. It IS important.
- Teach our children to grow up understanding the importance of getting along with others. Help them grow up with a strong sense of compassion and caring for others. Help them develop close friendships and learn to cooperate with others. Encourage them to join play dates or group activities like chess club, girl scouts, boy scouts or team sports, etc.
- Encourage our children to have the strength and confidence to stand up to a bully and help a child that is being bullied. Never stand by and let it happen.
*Tell a trusted adult.
*Have a friend help you go over and remove a child from a bully situation.
*Just be a friend to the victim of a bully. Being friendly to a victim can go a long way toward letting that child feel less alone.
Our children can change the world with simple acts of kindness. We can model this behavior for them and make a difference. Let’s start today.
Resource: American Academy of Pediatrics: Connected Kids: Safe, Strong, Secure