Magazine article Work & Family Life

10 Things Kids Can Do If They're Confronted by a Bully

Magazine article Work & Family Life

10 Things Kids Can Do If They're Confronted by a Bully

Article excerpt

Does your child know what to do if he or she is confronted by a bully or by any angry, potentially violent individual? The best strategy, of course, is to avoid such people. But that's not always possible.

There's no single anti-bully tactic that will work in every situation. Children need to be prepared with a variety of tactics so, if one doesn't work, they can try another. Here are 10 strategies kids can use to safely get out of danger, defend themselves and, at the same time, maintain their pride.

I Stay calm and alert. If you are dealing with a very angry person, do nothing to escalate the situation. Take a deep breath and consider your options. You might say, "I don't want any trouble." The goal is to get out of there, even if it means not acting on what you are burning to say or do.

2 Just walk away. Fighting with somebody who is trying to pick a fight is not worth it, especially if the bully is dangerous. Don't be suckered into a fight over nothing. Walk away with your shoulders straight and your head held high. You had nothing to prove and nothing was lost.

3 Take it somewhere else. Angry students may feel they have to follow through on a threat when their friends are watching. Instead, try saying: "Can we go somewhere to talk about this privately?" If the other person agrees, move the conversation to a safe, public location.

4 Take a nonviolent stand. Stating your intention not to fight may be the safest thing you can do. This is smart, not cowardly. Remember that self-respect comes from the inside. Things to say that work include: "I'll talk it out with you, but I'm not | going to fight you," "I don't want any trouble," "Let's both chill out and settle this thing peacefully" or "I have nothing against you and nothing to prove. Let's just forget about it."

5 Report it to authorities you con trust. Children and their parents often don't report bullying or violence because they're afraid of revenge. In the movies, karate classes turn skinny kids into martial arts machines that beat up the bullies and gain their lifelong respect. But in real life, when a bully is confronted, he often doesn't go away. He's at school every day, being a bully until someone reports him. Before filing a bullying complaint, discuss with the school or police how they will be able to protect your child from retribution. …

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