There's this kid who gets bullied a lot by everyone. What should I do?
Hooray for the person who sent this question in to us! There are a lot more kids who witness bullying than there are victims of bullying. Often, people who see something happen are called bystanders. Wouldn't it be excellent if those bystanders would do something to help someone who's being bullied?
But how exactly do you find your courage and do it?
First, be sure to let an adult know what's going on. If it's happening at school, have a talk with a teacher or school counselor about it. If it happens at camp, the camp counselor is the one to talk to. Approach the adult and say you need to talk. Explain what's been going on the best you can. Give details. The adult can take steps to stop the bullying.
Plus, once they know about bullying, adults can do things to help the kid who's been bullied feel better and stronger. Adults can also help the kid who bullies learn to treat others with respect, friendship, and kindness.
After talking to an adult, here are some other things you can do. Be friendly to the kid who gets bullied. For example, say "hi" at the lockers or bus line, include that kid at your lunch table, or invite the kid to play at recess or to be in your group for a project. This helps for two reasons:
And when you see the bully acting mean, you can say, "Hey, knock it off, that's not cool," and invite the kid who's being picked on to walk away with you. You can just say, "C'mon, let's go." This can work even better if you get a couple of your friends to join you in standing up for the kid. Tell your friends ahead of time: "I'm going to stick up for that kid. Will you do it with me?"
Be sure to update the adult about what's going on until the problem is solved. This is also a very good thing to talk to parents about. Your parent will want to know about all this and can give you more advice and support. Plus, your mom or dad will be proud that you're the kind of kid who cares and who stands up for others and for what's right!
Bullying makes kids feel terrible — and not just the kid who's being bullied. Just seeing someone else be bullied makes others feel bad. That's because meanness affects everyone in the environment. It's like meanness pollution, so let's all fight it!
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: April 2011
|It's My Life | PBS Kids GO! A safe, fun site for kids covering many topics, from handling divorce and bullies to learning about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and smoking - plus lots more.|
|Stop Bullying This U.S. government website offers valuable resources for kids and adults on bullying awareness, prevention, and intervention.|
|BAM! Body and Mind This CDC website is designed for 9- to 13-year-olds and addresses health, nutrition, fitness, and stress. It also offers games for kids.|
|A World Without Bullying: Brigitte's Story Brigitte Berman survived bullying in middle school. Now she's a high school student who's helping kids stand up for kids who are teased.|
|School Counselors Add school counselors to the list of people you can turn to when you need help. They know how to listen and can help kids with life's challenges.|
|Your Online Identity This article is for you if you IM and like to create your own characters in virtual worlds. Find out about your online identity and how to protect it.|
|Dealing With Bullies No one likes a bully. Find out how to handle them in this article for kids.|
|How Cliques Make Kids Feel Left Out A clique is a group of kids who hang out together. It's kind of like a club. The trouble is, the leaders of a clique won't let everyone join. Find out how to handle cliques in this article for kids.|
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