Parents, teachers, and school officials can try all they want to reduce bullying in our schools, but what it really comes down to is kids doing the right thing and sticking up for each other when the time comes. October is National Bullying Prevention Month and now there is a new campaign focused on arming kids to stop bullying on their own.
The Washington Post reports about a new StopBllying.gov campaign called “Be More Than a Bystander” that is trying to change the way kids see bullying. Similar to anti-smoking and drunk driving campaigns in years past that dramatically changed the way kids dealt with these issues, it is the hope that the new bullying campaign will change the social norm.
Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive of the Ad Council, explains how the new campaign plays on the strength of our youth to take power away from bullies. Conlon says, “Kids have an incredible sense of right and wrong. If you can tap into their sense of injustice and tell them there are things that they can do, kids can get really excited about that.”
Most of the tips offered by the campaign are unlike most we’ve seen in the past, the new ideas here actually put our kids in the driver’s seat to stop bullying. One of the tips offered on the website is for kids to befriend the one who is being bullied and let them know they are not alone. Another useful tip for kids is to refuse to give the bully an audience. Often times kids will crowd around to watch a fight or someone being harassed and it is this kind of attention that bullies crave. Parents are also encouraged to sit down with their kids and discuss bullying before it even starts just to prepare them for the potential of dealing with this difficult situation.
What do you think of the new anti-bullying campaign that is putting more focus on how our kids can stop bullying?
How do you talk to your kids about bullying at home? Do you think they are well-armed to deal with a bully or stick up for a victim?