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Bullying - How Children Can Discourage Bullying

Children can help avoid bullying if they:

  • Try to stay away from those who seem to not like them.
  • Play or take breaks near adults while at school.
  • Walk to school with older brothers and sisters or friends.
  • Sit near the bus driver.

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:

  • Can quickly respond to threats in a self-assured way. Help your child practice what to say if he or she is bullied.
  • Act confident and do not seem easily scared. Help your child learn to use strong body language, such as standing up straight, looking other children in the eye, and speaking firmly.

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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 25, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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