Responding to Bullying
Increasing Your Awareness
What Causes Bullying & What Can We Do?
Tools for Strong Families
Activities from “A Parent’s Guide to Understanding and Responding to Bullying”
(The Bully Busters Approach)
By: Arthur M. Horne, Jennifer L. Stoddard, and Christopher D. Bell
Increasing Your Awareness of Bullying
Take a few minutes and think of a bullying incident
from your youth:
• What happened?
• Who was involved?
• What role did you play in the situation?
• How did you and others react in the situation?
• How did you feel?
• How would you expect your child to react to the
What is Bullying?
P—Bullying is purposeful
I—Bullying is imbalanced
C—Bullying is continual
Aggressive Play or Bullying?
Equal in size, power, or
Give and take; winning
and losing possible;
Enjoys the experience
Doesn’t share or take
Larger, faster, stronger, or
Bully always wins
Demands the experience
Myths About Bullying
• Bullying is just “kids being kids”.
• It’s not really bullying if no one is physically hurt.
• Bullying happens only on the playground.
• Children will outgrow bullying—there are no lasting
• Some children are just born rough, and there is nothing
we can do about it.
• It’s best for parents, teachers, and other adults to just
stay out of it.
• Children who are the targets of bullying are bringing it
Myths About Bullying
• Weaker children benefit from bullying. It builds
character and gives them an opportunity to “stick up
• If bullying takes place at school, there’s not much I can
do to help my child change the situation.
• Only boys bully.
• Girls are targeted for bullying only by other girls.
• There’s not enough time to address the problem of
• Paying attention to complaints just encourages tattling.
What causes bullying and
what can we do?
The most common questions from both
parents and students…
What makes some
targets of bullying?
Risk and protective factors are
sometimes inherent but many are
developed within a child’s spheres
Spheres of influence:
which ones can you affect?
Some examples of risk factors:
• Being smaller or larger than other
• Hitting puberty earlier or later than
• Stress in the home
• Being confrontational with others
Some examples of protective factors:
• strong self-esteem
• sense of humor
• cares for younger siblings
• academic success
How important are these factors?
• Risk factors don’t cause the problem
• Protective factors don’t prevent the
• More risk factors = tendency to respond to
events in negative or aggressive ways.
Protective factors help guard against this
Start with your own sphere of
•Notate your thoughts about which aspects you
can and can’t influence
•Come up with some steps to take to help you
make changes in the areas you can affect
Tools for Strong Families
Guidelines for Healthy, Happy Families
1. Be Inclusive
2. Be Fun
3. Be Encouraging
4. Be Honest
5. Be Firm
6. Be NICE
7. Be a Source of Security
8. Be Respectful
9. Be a Positive Role Model
One of the most important things family
members can do is talk to one another.
Family meetings are regularly scheduled
meetings for the family to discuss guidelines,
behaviors and expectations, and make decisions
as a group. It provides an opportunity for all the
family to come together and identify concerns
Steps to Successful Family Meetings
Set up a time when all members of the family can be present
Choose someone to chair the meting
Use an agenda
Reflect on how the meeting went from each family member
THE BIG QUESTIONS
A way to successfully approach problems within
your family (problem solving model)
1. What is your goal?
2. What are you doing?
3. Is what you are doing helping you achieve
4. If not, what can you do differently?
Emotional Intelligence &
Emotional Intelligence: refers to the ability of a
person to monitor his or her feelings, as well as the
feelings of others, and use this information to guide
thinking and behavior
1. Perceiving and expressing emotion
2. Using emotion to facilitate thinking
3. Understanding emotions
4. Managing emotions
Raising Emotional Intelligence
Children and adolescents who demonstrate high levels of
emotional intelligence have lower levels of aggression and
fewer behavior problems
1. Become aware of your own and your child’s
2. Recognize your child’s emotion as an opportunity
for intimacy and teaching
3. Listen empathically and validate your child’s
4. Help your child find words to label the emotions
she or he is having (“I statements”)
Emotional Coaching Activity
Think of a situation in which
you identified an opportunity
for emotional coaching but feel
that it probably could have
Briefly describe to your table.
What was your emotional
reaction to the situation?
What was your child’s
What got in the way of using
• Based on the
assumption that most
behavior is learned
• Essential that we try our
hardest to demonstrate
the behaviors we want
our children to learn
• Can you remember a
time where you
modeled a behavior to
Maintaining a Positive Relationship with
• Balancing Support and Firmness; 1 of
the most difficult and universal
challenges of parenting
• Keeping the Door Open
• Making a Commitment
• Resolving Conflicts Peacefully
Understanding & Responding to Bullying
This is only the beginning…
Wednesday, September 29 at 6:30 pm
• Understanding & helping the bully
• Understanding & helping the targets
• Parents & schools
BE THERE!...or be bullied