How Children
Can Discourage Bullying

Children can take steps to discourage bullying. A basic strategy is to hang out with friendly kids at school and to stay away from those who seem not to like them.

Bullying is also less likely to occur when children are in groups and are in areas supervised by adults. For example, children who wish to avoid being bullied can:

  • Play or take breaks near adults while at school.

  • Walk to school with older brothers and sisters or friends.

  • Sit near the bus driver.

These strategies are only effective 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 children 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 measures 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. One of the best choices for building a child's confidence and self–esteem is professional martial arts training. These programs are designed to help a child learn and develop special important, life saving self–defense skills while at the same time building their confidence and self–esteem.

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