Besides having fun, kids are trying to figure out how to make their way through the social environment and feel accepted. It is our role to help create a change in the social environment that makes it "uncool" to use violence and ultimately to be a bully.
Enhance bullying prevention programs in schools and community organizations:
- Create environments free from violence and hostility in which kids feel safe and can trust adults.
- Establish clear rules that state bullying is not acceptable and reinforce them consistently. This could be in the form of an anti-violence policy or simply agreed upon rules for the group.
- Teach respect for others as a core value.
- Use examples that encourage the acceptance of diversity.
- Engage kids in bullying prevention activities and encourage them to take leadership in committees and projects.
- Encourage kids to become peer educators and/or use older students to provide mentorship and act as role models.
- Provide diverse activities that will help kids develop their talents and give a creative outlet.
- Keep kids and adults motivated to prevent bullying through an anti-bullying pledge.
- Reach out to parents and other community agencies to be involved in teaching kids healthy communication skills.
- Check out Stop Bullying Now for resources directed to both kids and adults. For kids: games and webisodes. For adults: tool kits, activity guides, talking points, PSAs, posters, and brochures.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a report "The Bully-Sexual Violence Pathway in Early Adolescence" that highlights the early findings from a three-year study aimed to examine the overlap between bullying and sexual violence victimization and perpetration in five middle schools in a Midwest state.