Stopping bullying

Let this be the year that kindness wins over the meanness, that kind kids RULE!


How can we stop bullying?  Not by posters.....please take down the posters.... not by calling everything bullying including mean action, annoying behaviors, or misunderstandings.  Not by only telling kids to go to an adult if someone says something mean to them.  What are kids need are skills to handle unfriendly situations.  What are adults need is to know how to teach kids the skills and when they should intervene so it never becomes a bullying situation.



How can we make that happen?

Training for all those involved: parents, teachers, staff and kids on:

*how to stand up for yourself,

*skills needed to shut down situations,

*consistent language,

*how to handle sticky situations,

*what to say when friends and classmates are unfriendly

*how to manage conflict and be a problem solver

*knowing the difference between tattling and reporting

*knowing when to get help 

*adults knowing when to intervene


If our kids manage the "Kid problems" and come for help for the bigger problems then we can prevent most bullying situations.  Call 248-757-0912 or email to schedule a training for your staff, parents and kids.  


Or purchase the Bully-Proof Through Empowerment Guide Book for adults and Activity Book for kids at



Friendly Classmates
An ally is someone who is welcoming and supportive to a classmate. The classmate may or may not consider the ally a friend, but does think of the ally as approachable and open to communication. It’s important for classmates to be able to identify and develop allies because:


Allies help to reduce the risk of becoming a target of mean classmate behavior. Unfriendly classmates want to get away with meanness, but at the same time they themselves don’t want to risk being socially rejected or becoming the target of mean behavior. In order to minimize these risks, unfriendly classmates look for socially isolated targets who have few friends, or who hang out with only a couple of friends by choice. Socially isolated classmates are less likely to stand up to mean behavior on their own, or to have allies who defend them, so they become easy targets for mean behavior. As the saying goes, there is safety in numbers.


Children who feel connected are more resilient to mean behavior. Allies provide classmates with the opportunity for open communication and emotional support. When classmates feel accepted by peers, they become more assertive and resilient when they encounter mean behavior. Classmates without allies feel unconnected, and instead can become emotionally vulnerable and hyper-aware of unfriendly comments and situations. Imagine how you would feel everyday walking into your place of employment and having no one to go to lunch with, or have conversations with or to be in a place where you felt listened to or welcome. What if your workplace was one where gossip and cliques thrived? Many adults do work in environments in which everyone is out for themselves, cliques thrive, where gossip is rampant, where conflict is not handled, and bullying happens. Many adults are unhappy in these environments but endure it because they have to work, do not know how to stand up for themselves or have accepted that this is the way some people treat others.


Friends vs. Allies
Sometimes adults tell children everyone can be friends, but that is not true. Encouraging this belief can actually do more harm than good. Some classmates don’t feel close to each other, and that’s OK. Some classmates don’t like each other, and that’s OK. The reality is that not all classmates will be “friends,” but all classmates can choose to be “friendly.” They can choose to be allies. Friendly classmates and allies show each other respect and treat each other kindly.


Being “friendly” is a learned skill

When it comes to academics and sports, most people agree skills need to be taught and practiced over and over. A child may have a talent for math, but she still needs to learn the process to solve a quadratic equation. A child might be a “natural” at tennis, but he’ll be an even better player if his coach shows him advanced serving techniques.
Adults often think that children instinctively know how to be a friend or ally, but children need to learn social skills. Social skills are unspoken rules of things to “do” and “not do” that help encourage healthy relationships with others. There are over 100 social skills. A few examples are: listening to others, following rules, asking for help, making eye contact, taking turns and more. So, just like how to solve math problems or play tennis, kids need to be taught what it means to be an ally or to be “friendly”, and then practice those skills again and again.

A Word on School Culture
The culture of a group is made up of beliefs, customs, arts, and ways of thinking, behaving and existing. Every school has their own culture or “climate.” The school culture can be lax on discipline or strict. Kids might form cliques, or refrain because they know that behavior is unacceptable. When it comes to unfriendly student behavior, silence from educators and parents could be interpreted as acceptance of these behaviors, and thus, an unfriendly culture can grow. When educators and parents encourage friendly behaviors and refuse to tolerate unfriendly behaviors, they create an inclusive, community-like culture in the classroom and school. The culture of the school will trounce any posters that say “Stop bullying,” or any written policies.




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