Thursday, May 5, 2011

7 Ways to Prevent Bullying and Mean Behavior

Even "nice" kids can resort to meanness in today's contentious culture. Here are seven steps to take if you're a teacher or parent. They'll help cut back on mean behavior and bring about more kindness.

  1. Make kindness the expected norm in your class or home.
  2. Model, teach, reinforce and expect kindness, compassion, respectful behavior. If you’re a teacher, weave in a lesson a week and follow up. If you’re a parent, have family meetings to reinforce and problem-solve.
  3. Never look the other way when bullying or cruelty occur. Confront them immediately.
  4. Hold offenders accountable: have them make amends; give a consequence; follow up.
  5. Teach kids to be upstanders for peers who are picked on.*
  6. Teach your kids how to resolve conflicts and manage anger. **
  7. Give lots of positive recognition for kind behaviors: acknowledge, describe, reward, expect.

*   For a free downloadable lesson on teaching kids to be upstanders, click here.
** For steps to resolving conflicts, click here.

You can stop mean behaviors before they get out of hand.

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