Choose Kindness: National Bullying Prevention Month

Bullying is a serious problem for all ages, from schoolkids to full time workers. That’s why National Bullying Prevention Month is dedicated to spreading awareness of this issue and the ways we can all work to end it.

Who is helping the cause?

PACER is one of the organizations that heads up each year’s awareness activities. Founded in 2006, their mission is “to lead social change to prevent childhood bullying, so that all youth are safe and supported in their schools, communities, and online.” Each year they share resources for communities to host their own local events to show support to victims of bullying and share strategies for people to confront it when they see it occurring. Another organization dedicated to ending bullying is Stomp Out Bullying. They have weekly activities throughout October that encourage kids and grownups to choose kindness every day. 

What do I do when I see bullying?

If you’ve ever been a witness to someone bullying another person, it can feel awkward and you might not be sure of what to do. Always offer support to the person who is being bullied. If you feel safe doing so, tell the bully that what they are doing is wrong. This can be especially powerful when you help a kid who is being bullied. Seeing an adult stand up for them restores their self-worth. Communicating to the bully that their behavior isn’t acceptable also reduces bullying over time. Speak with school administrators if you know of a child being bullied, even if they aren’t in your family. If physical harm or sexual abuse is occurring, call the police. 

Wear Orange for Unity Day, October 21

October 21 has been designated “Unity Day” by Pacer. They encourage families to wear orange to show solidarity with victims of bullying and bring awareness to the issues. Take this opportunity to talk with your kids about bullying, too. Ask them if they’ve seen bullying in school or in their neighborhood, and role-play what kind of responses they might have if they find themselves in a situation where someone is being bullied. Encourage them to write positive notes to classmates in order to boost their schoolmates’ self-esteem. 

There’s lots we can do to make bullying a thing of the past, but we all have to work together to make a difference!