How to Talk to Children About Bullying

Instructor: Tara Schofield
Bullying is becoming more prominent in both schools and society as a whole. As more attention is given to this problem, action plans aimed at communicating with children about bullying are constantly evolving. Use this lesson to create a plan for your students.

The Importance of Talking to Kids About Bullying

As bullying becomes more visible and people become more aware of its effects, it is important to start opening up lines of communication to talk to children about bullying. Encouraging conversation in the classroom can help children identify bullying among others and acknowledge whether any of their own behavior is considered bullying.

Helping Kids Understand What Bullying Is

It can be challenging to teach children the difference between playing/teasing and bullying. However, having open and direct conversations with your students can help them share their feelings while gaining a better understanding of appropriate behavior.

As you work with your students, prepare a lesson on what bullying is and how to identify it. This will serve as a great time to explain that whenever someone is incessantly teasing another student or being aggressive, mean, or threatening, he or she is bullying the person.

Furthermore, bullying is composed of two key behaviors. The first behavior is repetitive, hurtful teasing or taunting. If a child states she doesn't like the way another student is behaving toward her and that student continues treating her that way, that particular behavior is bullying. The second factor is demonstrating power over another student. If a child overwhelms others or leads them to be mean or hostile, he or she is bullying them, and that behavior should not be ignored.

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