Follow these guidelines for your organization or programs:
Avoid the following:
Responding to children and youth who are bullying:
It is important to remember that children and youth who are engaging in bullying need support as well. They may need to develop potential skills including:social skills, problem solving skills, self regulation, empathy, attitudes and moral understanding, positive leadership, communication skills etc. Incorporating this into the plan of action is essential.
Responding to children and youth who have been bullied:
Validate the child’s feelings and empathize
Role-play with the child to show them positive ways to handle bullying or conflict. Give them tips on how to take a stand in a nonaggressive way.
Give them a scenario and have them look you in the eye and tell you to stop firmly. If the child does not feel safe or this is a serious situation report it immediately.
Suggest enrolling the child in a skills course (FRIENDS for Life – Resiliency)
Model good relationships
Increase social interactions -pair them with a prosocial child
Look into mentoring programs that will help the child gain positive attention and foster new interests and skills.
Help the child. Adults must make it safe to report bullying
Check-in with the child to make sure the situation is getting better.
Develop safety plan – see safety planning section
Encourage the child to stay away for the person or the situation while the investigation takes place and a solution is reached.
Work with parents to access community-based supports Community Health and Resource Centres located across the city of Ottawa
Encourage the child to participate in activities in and out of school like sports, art, drama, etc.
Focus on the behaviour, not the child
Make sure positive feedback out-numbers negative 3-1
Help the child explore ways of dealing with conflict
Examine your own behaviour -model healthy relationships and communication in your classroom/group/program
Suggest enrolling the child in supervised activities (FRIENDS for Life, empathy training, sports, clubs etc.)
Monitor the child’s behaviour – give positive reinforcement for kind and caring behaviours
Build empathy by teaching them to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
Understand why the child is bullying, they may need additional support from mental health services
Use formative consequences- opportunities to teach more pro-social skills
Children can play powerful roles in preventing or stopping bullying. There are many things they can do to make a difference:
They can directly intervene
They can support the person being bullied
They can discourage the bullying by redirecting the situation
They can get support from peers
They can report it to a trusted adult
Help children understand the important role they play
Let them know that harassing, teasing, spreading rumours of any sort including social media networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. is never okay.
Help them understand the impact of this behaviour
To never stand by and watch or encourage the behaviour
If children feel safe, help them develop assertiveness skills to take a stand.
To support the person who is being bullied to ask for help, or report it.
To show them how they can help their friend get help or report the incident
If children do not feel safe, encourage them to report bullying to a trusted adult.
Help them identify adults they can trust
Adults have a responsibility to keep children safe.
Questions to Ask: