The new school year is an opportunity for parents and teachers to put fresh emphasis on bullying prevention by supporting the development of healthy social groups and friendships.
Here are some daily tips for getting the school year off to a good start. These “press the reset button” ground rules also work well at the start of a new semester or outside school hours – for after-school teams or group activities. They work at home, too – anytime you want to clear the air and start fresh.
We’ll post a new tip each day, adding to our bullying prevention “toolkit”. Check back daily!
20 Tips For Bully-Free Schools – Tip #1
Encourage Children To Have Friends From Diverse Social Groups.
Adults must help level the social playing field for our kids. We need to remove some of the barriers that prevent our kids from making and maintaining casual, accepting friendships.
Kids should have easy friendships with children from several different social groups. Kids should be free to eat lunch with kids from different groups during the course of the week. The harder it is to make friends and the more rigid the social groups (eg, you can only belong to one group at a time), the more desperately kids will fight to get into a group and the more they’ll bully other kids they perceive as lower in social standing to strengthen their own social status.
While we will always have some friends we like more, and some we like less, there should be an easy social flow between groups.