Whether you are a neighborhood, a school, a church, or anything else, bullying should not be tolerated. However, kids tend to bully, and unless you take action against it, it can escalate out of control and become a real problem. The following are five ways to stop bullying from occurring.
1. No tolerance policy. Initiating a no tolerance policy can really help reduce bullying. A school that creates a no tolerance bullying policy would expel a student that bullies. No tolerance means the first strike and you are out. This will help motivate kids to think twice before they bully, as the consequences can be quite severe, and are often fairly unpleasant.
2. Educate kids. Never blame the victim. One of the best ways to stop bullying is to educate kids about it. Help them understand why it occurs, and never blame the victim for the problem. Make sure they understand and are educated about more productive ways to resolve problems, and to deal with differences of opinion, self-esteem issues, etc. The more kids know, the less they are likely to bully.
3. Improve confidence. Bullying often stems from insecurities in the bully. In order to deal with their inadequacies, they typically bully other children to feel stronger, in control, and better about themselves. A great way to help put a stop to bullying is to simply help children feel good about themselves on their own, so that they do not need to seek other outlets for their frustrations, fears, and insecurities.
4. Intervention. When bullying occurs, it is important that students, parents, teachers, administration, and the like intervene and discipline the action. If it is left unchallenged, and unaddressed, it will lead to further bullying. Sometimes kids bully for attention, so by intervening, you can solve the problem of bullying by giving them positive attention, and letting them know that you are not going to stand for it. When it is ignored, it is able to grow and worsen.
5. Monitor. Bullies are often opportunists. They do not pick on the strongest kid in the pack, nor do they bully in really public places, etc. Generally bullies look for opportunity. This means that one effective way to stop bullying is to place monitors around who can spot bullying, and help give bullies incentive not to practice. In other words, less bullying is going to occur at recess, for example, if there are playground monitors keeping their eyes open for bullying. Bullies are not going to want to risk getting in trouble, and so where there are monitors, the occurrences of bullying greatly decrease.
If bullying is a problem in your school, community, etc. it is wise to take action. Sitting back and doing nothing leads to nothing changing. So, step in, and implement some of the above strategies, as they can help bullying come to a stop, even if it goes slowly at first.