Bullying is on the rise in schools – from elementary through college – at an alarming rate.

Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal or psychological ways. Kids who bully shove, make threats or shun others and spread rumors. Teach your children to speak up for the classmate they witness being bullied by following these steps.

#1. Emphasize that you know it takes courage but that they need to tell an adult about what they saw. If it happens at school, they need to explain the details to a teacher or counselor.

#2. Encourage friendship. The person being bullied is feeling left out and your children should make that person feel included. They should start by saying “hi” and inviting that child to sit at the lunch table together. Friendship helps the child being bullied because it is less likely that the bully will pick on the victim when the child is with friends.

#3. Tell your kids to talk to YOU about it, too, and keep the adult authority updated.

#4. Make sure your children understand that you support them in their efforts to NOT be a bystander in the war against bullying.

For more information on this topic, go to www.kidshealth.org

Content provided by Oakland University

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