Bullying is a serious matter. It should never be brushed off as something that children have to “tough out”. Bullying can affect a child’s sense of self-worth and future relationships and cause mental distress and depression. In severe cases, bullying has contributed to injuries, attempted suicides and death.
Here are 10 things you can do to keep safe!
1Use a buddy.
Buddy up with a friend at recess, in the playground, or on the bus — wherever the bully is. Offer to do the same for a friend.
2Avoid the bully.
Use a different bathroom if a bully is nearby and don’t go somewhere when nobody is around. Make sure you have someone with you if you can’t avoid the bully.
3Ignore the bully.
Practice ways to ignore hurtful remarks. By ignoring the bully, you’re showing that you don’t care. The bully will likely get bored with trying to bother you.
4Hold the anger.
It’s natural to get upset, to feel scared or cry, but that’s what bullies thrive on. It makes them feel more powerful. Practice to avoid showing emotion if you can.
5Act brave, and walk away.
Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop. Show them that you can be strong and walk away from a bad situation.
6Don’t keep it a secret.
Talk to someone you trust, such as a parent, guidance counselor, teacher, uncle, aunt or elder sibling. It will help you feel a little less alone … and you will get help.
7Be an ally.
Don’t keep quiet if you see bullying take place. Stand up for the victim; and tell a trusted adult – teachers, principals and parents can all help stop bullying.
8Don’t bully others.
We may sometimes say or do things to hurt people. Make it right and say sorry if this happens.
9Be the change!
Set up a squad to check the places where bullying takes place. Set up a support group for children who have been bullied; and help speak up on their behalf.