Anti Bullying poems are a great way to help your kids express their feelings about bullying. Poetry has an fantastic way of letting kids and teens get their feelings down on paper without the pressure of falling in line with a certain structure. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be real.
I’ll let you in on a secret- I am a dreadful poet! Seriously, when I took creative writing in college, I had to write a poem. I wrote about what a terrible poet I am. My teacher agreed that I should avoid ever attempting to write it professionally. Hey, we can’t all be good at everything, right?
When it comes to anti bullying poems, I am in awe of some of the writers out there. These kids, teens (yes, teens are kids, but try calling them that to their face and see what happens!) and even a few adults really know how to pour their heart out and actually have it make sense! Check out a few of my favorite anti bullying poems for inspiration, then read on to see how you can help your kids express themselves through poetry and creative writing.
Anti Bullying Poems: Finding Inspiration
The Little Girl’s Land by Emmeline Francis This anti bullying poem was written by a ten-year-old girl about the bullying she and her twin experienced. I love the whimsical opening, but it quickly turns distressing. The poem talks about a young girl who was bullied, who was so down on herself that even cruel society and those who should protect her turned their backs. It’s quite heartbreaking, especially given the age of the child who wrote it.
Dear Bully: A Collection of Poems about Bullying: If you’re looking for an entire book of anti bullying poems, this is a great choice. It features poems from bullied kids, bullies themselves, parents and more. At 54 pages, it’s not overwhelming when using it to teach kids about bullying in school.
To This Day by Shane Koyczan: Canadian spoken word poet Shane Koyczan created this amazing video about being bullied. At first, it doesn’t seem to be about bullying, but watch and you’ll see the message emerge.
Poems to Teach Kids About Bullying by Andrea Wilson: Andrea does a fantastic job of sharing a parent’s perspective on bullying. I love how each poem features discussion points as well as activities to use the poem as a teaching resource. I will warn you, though, she does use some strong language occasionally in the poems.
How to Encourage Your Child to Write Anti Bullying Poems
First, understand that not all of us are comfortable writing poetry. If your child doesn’t seem interested at all, don’t push. Instead, look for other creative outlets, like art or anti bullying music. Also, keep in mind that not all kids like hand writing. My son is 9 and already prefers to type over writing. He has challenges when it comes to writing by hand and gets incredibly frustrated. However, when he learned how to use Word, he started writing short stories!
- Once you’ve gotten your kids set up with the writing method that makes them comfortable, leave the room. Seriously, don’t hover! As a writer, I can’t tell you how stressed out I get when people hover over my shoulder as I pour my thoughts out. Give your child some space to be creative.
- Don’t peek! Unless you have reason to believe that reading your child’s anti bullying poems will somehow save her life, stay out. Poetry is deeply personal for many people, especially teens. You can ask occasionally if she’d like to share with you, but don’t push. Treat it like a diary.
- Don’t freak out! If your child does share a particularly dark piece with you, don’t immediately assume she needs counseling. While I didn’t write poetry, I wrote a particularly distressing (to my mom) story about a girl who killed herself because she thought a boy didn’t love her. My mom asked my creative writing teacher if she should be worried, and my teacher told her no, that writing gives an outlet for feelings that can otherwise become overwhelming. Obviously, if you see other signs of depression, take action.
These tips, along with a steady supply of paper (or electricity if your child prefers typing on a computer) will go a long way to helping encourage kids to write out their feelings about bullying.
Do you have any favorite anti bullying poems? Share them in the comments!