What is bullying?

Bullying is behavior that is intentionally hurtful and involves an imbalance of power. It is done by both girls and boys and is usually repeated over time. Often, when kids see bullying happening in their school or neighborhood, they want to help but might not know how.

How can I teach my child to be more than a bystander?

Don’t give bullying an audience.

If one of the child’s friends or peers begins to mistreat someone, they shouldn’t encourage the behavior by giving it an audience. Instead of laughing or supporting it, they can let the student know that such behavior isn’t okay.

Set a good example.

If a child knows to treat others with respect, then other students will follow their example. To help even more, children can actively participate in bullying prevention activities and projects.


Help them get away.

Witnesses can protect someone from harm by walking away with them, changing the subject, or inviting them to play something different.


Tell a trusted adult.

It is helpful for children to identify trusted adults in their lives. Adults who are willing to speak privately to children and address reports professionally make schools safer places.


Be supportive.

Children can help those who have been mistreated by simply being nice to them. Being friendly, even for just a few seconds, can go a long way toward letting them know that they are not alone. 


Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, United States Department of Health & Human Services

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