Look, Stop, Prevent
Identifying the signs that bullying is taking place is the first
step to stopping it. To break the cycle of violence, though, you
must put a stop to current behaviors and attitudes — both in kids
and in adults — and prevent future incidents by creating a
Once you’ve identified bullying behavior, Coloroso and Druck offer
these “Do’s and Don’ts” for stopping the cycle.
Kids LOVE these Sunday School resources!
• Don’t minimize or disregard instances of bullying — whether
it’s reported by a child or observed by an adult.
• Don’t resolve the situation yourself. Doing so only reassures
the bully that his or her target is weak.
• Don’t tell the target to avoid the bully. This doesn’t solve the
issue — it’s only a superficial fix to a deeper problem.
• Don’t allow the bullied child to become a bully in response to
his or her feelings of vulnerability.
• Don’t confront the bully or the bully’s parents alone. “Bullying
is a learned behavior, and you’ll most likely find yourself being
demeaned by the bully or the parents if you confront them on your
own,” says Coloroso. Get backup.
• Do pay attention to targeted kids. If you hear kids refer to
another child as a “loner,” there’s a good chance this child is
being targeted. Hone your listening skills. Be alert for telltale
• Do teach kids to stand up for themselves and others. Teach them
to speak up — either during the incident or by reporting it –
when bullying occurs.
• Do teach kids it’s okay — and that it’s the right thing to do
– when they report bullying to a trusted adult.
• Do teach bystanders and targets that reporting bullying is not
• Don’t let any situation reach the “boiling point.” Talk to a
trusted adult long before exploding in response to bullying.
• Don’t do or say things to antagonize a bully.
• Don’t taunt, make fun of, or isolate others.
• Don’t be disrespectful, cruel, or aggressive toward another
• Do learn to recognize and manage your anger.
• Do think before you speak, especially in situations of anger or
• Do “live and let live,” says Druck. “Be direct and forthright,
but be kind.”
• Do be respectful, even when you disagree or dislike
• Do apologize when you do or say something you shouldn’t. Ask for
forgiveness. Be willing to forgive, too.
• Do communicate respectfully when there’s a problem. “Make time
to clear the air,” says Druck.