Actions to Prevent Bullying

How Do We Prevent Bullying?

The challenge to prevent bullying or respond to and counter it can be a tough challenge.  But it’s worth every bit of attention and energy that you put toward it.  We need to prevent bullying because it causes significant hurt, much of which can be long-lasting.

Who Can Respond to Bullying?

There are six sets of players involved in bullying.  Each player has actions that they can take to prevent or stop bullying.  In most cases it is the combination of players acting that makes the difference.

  1. The target of the bullying
  2. Bystanders
  3. Upstanders
  4. Parents
  5. The organization in which the bullying happens
  6. Bullies

If You are the Target of Bullying

You are not responsible for the bullying and you should not have to deal with it on your own.  Ever.  However, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself and build your strength and it’s important to do them – partly because it can help you feel less like a victim.

If You are a Bystander

There are a number of natural reasons that people choose to be bystanders vs. being upstanders (a person who intervenes in support of someone being bullied).  These reasons have much more power when a bystander feels that they would be acting alone if they intervened on behalf of someone targeted by bullies.

Being an Upstander: Standing Up to Bullying

Becoming an upstander and standing up to bullies is about moving from inaction to action. Bystanders contribute to the problem. Upstanders stop the problem. Research shows that others speaking out or taking action stops bullying behavior over half the time within seconds.

Parents Guide to Bullying

Your teenager might try to hide the bullying from you and others.  Most teenagers aren’t going to come home and tell you that they’re being bullied.  They might feel ashamed and afraid or they might not want you to worry or make a big deal – or perhaps make it worse.   Often teenagers just want bullying to go away without drawing attention to it.

How to Deal with Bullying in Schools

Schools vary dramatically on how well they work with families in dealing a bullying experience.  Some schools are exceptional in collaborating effectively.  Some are simply defensive and shut off families.  Most are somewhere in-between.

If You are the Bully

There are a few key actions that you can take to get out of the trap of being a bully and back on your natural path.  You must be willing to take some risks, but you may find the upside great and the downside less than you imagined.  At the end of the day, you have to find the courage to take the risk and act.

Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, "I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.