Once you have established that there is a bullying issue in your home, school or community you must determine what to do to help fix the problem. Stopping the problem before it begins is always the first thing we are seeking to do and these Bullying Prevention Activities are great courses of action to help ensure your children and future generations don’t have to suffer the consequences of bullying. Some activities are best in groups, others faced one on one. Establish a level of trust with your children so you can determine what is best for them, but always offer options for groups and organizations so nobody feels cornered or forced to participate in a specific activity if they don’t feel comfortable with it.
Bullying Prevention Activities
- LISTEN AND DON’T PRE-JUDGE ACTIONS: Often times a situation can be misunderstood, or specifically a child can be misunderstood. While bullying is an issue that needs to be nipped in the bud, don’t force the problem more by jumping to conclusions when you see an action that is inappropriate. Quietly deal with the problem with each party involved and determine the full story before dolling out punishment (if needed). It is best to keep the participants separate and calmly listen to both sides of the story to determine who is being up front, honest, or defensive.
- CREATE A CHAIN OF PREVENTION & REPORTING: Establish a method of reporting bullying that is clear and easy for anyone to understand and implement. Make sure those involved as well as witnesses on the outside are responsible for reporting an event or issue to authority. This can be within your family, neighborhood, school or church. Apply the above rule to listen and investigate before judgement to any report that is given.
- EDUCATE CHILDREN AND PARENTS ABOUT EMOTIONAL HEALTH: As a parent you can easily address your own children on their individual levels and help them to understand how bullying can hurt other people. You can also develop a relationship of trust and not judgement that will allow them to share with you if needed. In organizations you can bring in local professionals to speak out about the emotional trauma that can be apart of bullying. Remember to acknowledge that not only is the victim struggling emotionally, but the typical bully also has underlying emotional instability or trauma causing them to lash out. Seek to view individuals as a whole person and not just as their crime or trauma.
- DON’T OVERLOOK INCIDENTS: Every incident is worth your time, consideration and help to resolve. What seems to be a minor form of bullying is still indeed bullying. Don’t overlook incidents of any kind. Handle each situation individually and as soon as possible to prevent further escalation between a bully and victim. This is one of the most important bullying prevention activities.
- ESTABLISH SAFETY IN SOCIAL MEDIA AHEAD OF TIME: If your child is younger than the suggested age for accounts at a specific social media service, that suggestion is there for a reason. Don’t allow social media accounts until your children are of the maturity to know what is healthy, safe and okay for them to say and view. Set up parental controls and monitor their online activity, or establish a public internet usage rule. Don’t hesitate to report abusive or harassing behavior online. Screen shots are proof needed for authorities if it does escalate. Blocking and deleting friends and followers is also a form of protection on case by case basis. In some instances social media may need to be avoided for lengthy periods of time to prevent further emotional setbacks.
- ENFORCE CONSEQUENCES AND PUNISHMENTS: Whether in your home or school system, policies and bullying laws are in place for protection. Don’t hesitate to enforce a consequence or punishment. All instances of bullying are worthy of punishment in some form. Don’t let bullies get away with their crime. Stick to the rules and follow through.
- DON’T WAIT TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP: One of the most important things you can do if you are a parent of a victim or the bully themselves, is to seek outside professional help. While we as parents want to make everything better for our children, not all bullying prevention activities are going to accomplish what we feel they need. There is a time and place when professional assistance from the outside is the safest and best approach to take. It’s important to know when to see a counselor and use that resource.
Whether you are currently dealing with a bullying issue within your home or seeking a way to prevent future bullying, these bullying prevention activities are a great place to start. Most importantly in any relationship with your child or other children, forming a level of trust that allows them to freely seek out your listening ear or shoulder to cry on is of utmost importance. You may not always be able to prevent bullying, but you can provide comfort and help in recovery.
Be sure to check out our Stop Bullying tips for information on bullying prevention activities, consequences of bullying and more.
Do you have any ideas for bullying prevention activities?