Addressing the Issue of Bullying

Is your protege having trouble with bullies at school?

Here is a portion of a research article about bullying that talks specifically about how to help those who have been victims of bullying. A few interesting notes (those I put in bold below) stuck out to me pertaining to what you as a mentor might be able to target during your times with your protege.

You can find the rest of the article here: Bullying in Middle Schools: Prevention and Intervention

Bullying in Middle Schools: Prevention and Intervention  “School personnel and other adults must clearly communicate to victims of bullying that they are not at fault and do not deserve the bullying they experience. Victims can often benefit from interventions designed to increase their self-esteem (Kaiser & Rasminsky, 2003; Roberts & Coursol, 1996; Rigby, 2002). Interventions in this area can help students identify personal strengths and accomplishments, thereby instilling feelings of pride and confidence. By building self-esteem, victims are better able to shield themselves from future bullying.

“Furthermore, researchers have found that victims of bullying who developed assertiveness skills experienced reductions in bullying (Hazler, 1996; Kaiser & Rasminsky, 2003; Macklem, 2003; Rigby, 2002; Roberts & Coursol, 1996). When victims respond assertively, bullies will be more likely to stop bullying or find another, less assertive victim. Victims can practice assertiveness skills through role-play activities to develop confidence in their abilities to respond assertively to a variety of situations. Victims can also benefit from these types of role-play activities because they provide opportunities for generating a variety of reactions or responses for potential future encounters with bullies (Hazler, 1996; Sullivan, 2000).

“Improving social skills can decrease a victim’s chances of being bullied (Clarke & Kiselica, 1997; Kaiser & Rasminsky, 2003; Macklem, 2003; Rigby, 2002; Roberts & Coursol, 1996). Effective social skills training can help students develop relationships with peers, which may decrease the likelihood of them being targeted in the future. Kaiser and Rasminsky (2003) recommend that social skills interventions include activities that address friendship skills, such as how to approach a group of people and how to develop empathy.

“In addition to teaching students skills in an attempt to help them be less easily targeted for bullying, school personnel must provide support to victims of bullying. Teachers and other school personnel should strive to prevent bullying, but in the event bullying does occur, they must prepare victims with coping skills (Hazler, 1996; Kaiser & Rasminsky, 2003; Rigby, 2001). School personnel might also want to consider implementing support groups for bullying victims (Clarke & Kiselica, 1997; Lane, 2005; Macklem, 2003; Roberts & Coursol, 1996). Groups can provide victims with opportunities to develop many of the skills addressed above while, at the same time, communicating to these students that others in the school are there to help them.”

Here’s some additional resources that I came across online with specific activity ideas:

Ten Activities to Improve Students’ Self-Concepts: This is an article that has some activities intended for improving self-esteem and confidence, which you could adapt according to the needs and interests of your protege.

Teaching Good Citizenship’s Five Themes: Information which centers on different activities for teaching honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility, and courage. The activities are listed by age groups, but many of them could overlap to other ages as well.

Is there anything else that you have found helpful for addressing the issue of bullying?

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