Over the past 15 years or so, bullying has become an issue that more teachers, parents, and administrators are focusing their attention on. A lot of this added attention has to do with research that’s come out showing just how negative bullying can be for the people being bullied. Study after study has shown that when kids are bullied they’re more likely to develop depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, and those issues can persist into adulthood if they’re not dealt with properly. Rather than just something that kids do that’s okay and makes kids tougher, bullying has been shown to be an incredibly detrimental thing to the people being bullied. In some extreme cases, kids that are bullied will even try to harm themselves or other people. Thus, it’s an issue that school officials, parents, and students need to take seriously, and it’s something that should be rooted out of society as quickly as possible.
In response to this recognition of the dangers that bullying presents, numerous anti bullying programs for schools have sprung up all across the country. The approaches of these various programs can differ quite a bit, but they all have the same goal: To decrease the amount of bullying that goes on. Their approach is two-pronged. First, they try to show bullies how their actions are impacting those around them. They show what it’s like for kids who are being bullied, and then ask the bullies if that’s how they would like to be treated. They try to create a sense of empathy among the bullies so that they’ll stop bullying other kids because they finally realize how it’s making those kids feel.
The other aspect of school anti-bullying programs is giving kids who are being bullied the tools they need to stop it from happening. This might mean showing kids how they can stand up to bullies, or it might mean giving them the permission they need to seek help when they can’t do anything about it or when they feel powerless. Often, just getting kids who are being bullied to talk to their teachers and parents about what’s going on can be enough to keep it from happening.
As was alluded to earlier, there are lots of different approaches when it comes to stopping bullying, but the approach of Nonviolent Communication for the Next Generation has to be one of the best. They approach the situation by communicating and training every individual that’s involved in a child’s life. Rather than just working with the kids and trying to stop the bullying there, they work with teachers, parents, and siblings. They show these people what the signs are that someone is being bullied, and they show them how to intervene in an effective manner. Too often parents just want to fix everything on their own, but there has to an approach that’s actually going to work for the long term. To learn more about their approach and see if it’s right for your school, visit their website.