As kids are returning to the school environment this year, they might again be exposed to bullying that often takes place in schools. The good news about bullying is that teachers and school staff members can successfully address bullying if they use a three-pronged intervention approach.
The first prong must involve creating a culture of compassion within the school, where the student body learns to see bullying for what it is: An immature response to internal hurts and insecurities. This focuses on creating a social climate where bullying is viewed as very “uncool,” and bystanders stand up for kids who are being hurt.
The second prong empowers all students with practical behavioral and emotional skills for becoming unattractive targets of bullying. Students learn how to view and react to bullying in ways that empower resiliency. Teachers and counselors can use some of the tips that we gave in the previous two blogs, such as guiding students to experiment with different ways to react when they are being bullied. For example, one school counselor suggested that a student try the following response:
“Some kids decide to experiment with tricking the bully into thinking that the nasty things the bully says are not upsetting. How might that work for you? Are you willing to experiment with it?”
The final prong involves addressing students who bully. These interventions involve pragmatic strategies for increasing supervision, limiting the bully from situations or areas where they mistreat others, etc. These interventions also involve attempting to help the bully by understanding and addressing the underlying social and emotional factors that might be contributing to their behaviors.
Teachers who use Love and Logic in their classrooms can address bullying by using this three-pronged approach to create a compassionate environment—one where bullying is recognized for what it is and appropriate, effective steps are taken to address it.
On a recent special Instagram show, Dr. Daniel Amen and I shared some tips that can help ease the stress of this new school year for teachers and their students. If you missed this show, you can watch the replay here.
Thanks for reading!