Talking with Children

What you should tell BULLIES

Stop the bullying immediately.

Bullying behaviors will not be tolerated.

Bullying hurts your victim and you.

Bullying sets a bad example for other children.

Bullying may cause you to lose friends.

Every child deserves to be treated with respect.

There are other ways to solve conflicts.

Ask adults for help if you feel angry or upset, or don’t know how to stop bullying.

What you should tell VICTIMS

You are not responsible for a bully’s behavior.  It’s not your fault.

Don’t respond to bullies by giving in, getting upset, or fighting back—this will encourage them.  Instead, stay calm and be assertive. 

Sometimes the best response is no response—just walk away. 

Get help from a trusted adult.  Adults can help you figure out new ways to respond the next time a bully bothers you. 

Providing children who are bullied with specific options for responding and an action plan will help them feel less anxious and fearful, and more confident to take action to stop the bullying.

What you should tell BYSTANDERS

Your involvement makes a difference.  Don’t just stand by and watch quietly.

Stand up for the person being bullied.  If you feel safe, tell the bully to stop. Use phrases such as “Stop teasing!”  “Don’t fight!”  “Leave him alone!”  and “It’s not funny!”

Don’t join in.  Don’t laugh at the victim or participate in the teasing, harassing, or fighting. This encourages the bully to continue and can make the situation worse.

Help the victim walk away.  A victim may be too afraid to leave on his or her own, but will do so with the help of a friend.

Encourage other bystanders to help the victim.  Tell them not to join in the bullying.

Get help from a trusted adult.  Report the bullying.

Afterward, tell the victim you feel bad about what happened.  Encourage victims to talk to an adult, and offer to go with them.

Include the victim in activities.  Be a good friend.