How To Deal With Bullies—Tips For Kids
First, realize you're not alone. Lots of kids are bullied.
Most importantly, understand it's not your fault. You are not responsible for a bully's behavior.
Just Walk Away
If you can, just walk away. Bullies are looking to get a reaction out of you, according to stompoutbullying.org, and they may quickly lose interest in you if you don't give the satisfaction of responding to them. You don't want their attention; don't give them your attention.
Other tips from Stomp Out Bullying—if you feel the situation is not physically dangerous include:
- Walking away when the bully approaches you. Pretend they're a stranger. "Both you and your body language will show you don't care."
- Think about something else—maybe a concert you want to go to.
- Count to 100 and keep on walking. Don't let a bully ever see how upset you are.
- Just yell "STOP!" and walk away. "Keep walking and don’t turn around no matter what they say."
- When a bully harasses you and calls you names, look them in the eyes, LAUGH and walk away. Don't say a word.
- To really throw off a bully, do this if they, for example make fun of what you're wearing: Look them in the eye and laugh hysterically, maybe say something like "thanks for the fashion advice" and keeping laughing as you walk away.
What NOT To Do
- Think it's your fault. Nobody deserves to be bullied!
- Bully a person back.
- Keep it to yourself and just hope the bullying will "go away." Make sure you report the bullying.
- Skip school or avoid school or afterschool activities because you're afraid of the bully.
- Don’t be afraid to tell. Telling is NOT tattling! It's the right thing to do!
- Hurt yourself. Nothing is that hopeless that it can’t be resolved. As painful as bullying is, NOTHING is ever that bad that you should hurt yourself in any way.
Visit stompoutbullying.org for more!
Respond—What Adults Can Do
From stopbullying.gov a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website:
Stop Bullying On The Spot
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.
- Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.
- Separate the kids involved.
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
- Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
- Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Avoid These Common Mistakes:
- Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without adult help.
- Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
- Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
- Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.
- Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
- Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
Get police help or medical attention immediately if:
- A weapon is involved.
- There are threats of serious physical injury.
- There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
- There is serious bodily harm.
- There is sexual abuse.
- Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property, or services.