Bullying Conversation Guide
No one wants bullying to be a part of the school experience, but it happens. Help parents navigate this difficult situation with the Bullying Conversation Guide.
Bullying is defined by unwanted or repetitive behavior that is intended to cause physical or emotional harm. Bullying may be physical (hitting, punching), verbal (teasing or name-calling) or relational (social exclusion or cyberbullying). Bullying occurs in every community, and in every school setting—religious or secular, public or private.
Bullying is hurtful and can have serious and sometime long-term mental health consequences, which can be unique to each individual.
If your child is being bullied, or if you even suspect bullying, let them know that they are not alone and that they are not at fault. If they are the bully, it’s important to dig a little deeper and take some action. And even if bullying is not on the radar, talk to kids about what to do if they ever experience it or witness it in any way.
**These conversations aren’t always easy to have. Make sure to involve professional counselors, as needed, as well as your ministry leader.**
WHAT TO SAY
- “Have you ever felt threatened by someone or teased to the point where you thought it might be bullying?”
- “Tell me what happened.”
- “How did this person make you feel?”
- If not, “What would you do if you were ever bullied?”
- “What would you do if you saw someone else being teased or bullied?”
- “It’s important to tell someone if you ever feel bullied or threatened by anyone.”
- “Who is someone you would tell at your school?”
- “The quicker you tell someone, the quicker things will change.”
- “Have you ever seen people make fun of others or say mean things online?”
- “Has anyone made mean comments to you?” If so, “What did you do?”
- “Have you ever said mean things online that you didn’t know might be bullying?”
- “Let’s take some steps to protect yourself online.”
- “Thank you for telling me. This is a safe place.”
- “This isn’t your fault.”
- “Who else feels like a safe person to tell?”
- “Bullies count on the fact that you won’t tell anyone.”
“Here are some things you can say to someone who is teasing you . . .”
- » “I didn’t appreciate that.”
- » “I’m not sure if that was meant to be a joke, but I didn’t find it very funny.”
- » “Stop.” (Stand tall and say it in a strong, confident voice.)
- “If you ever feel unsafe, go find an adult right away.”
- “There is nothing to be ashamed of.”
- “Who are some people you enjoy being around who make you feel good about yourself?”
- “I care about you and I need to tell someone who can help us so we can stop this from happening again.”