Here at DREAM, we say NO to bullying. That’s why this month we want to take some time to reflect on ways to cope with bullying, how to engage with a child about the issue of bullying, and remind each other what really matters- LOVE! First, let’s take a minute to reflect on some of DREAM’s core values to discuss how these relate to anti-bullying…
All DREAMers- staff, kids, parents, mentors, and community members working together to foster an uplifting environment. We support one another and work to encourage a positive community for everyone.
As a community DREAM strives to not only honor and respect each others differences, but to celebrate them as well! Celebrating difference makes us stronger, and we are constantly working to create an environment that celebrates individuality.
As with inclusion, we want everyone to feel empowered to be themselves as well as safe and accepted doing so. Our mentors and staff are trained to handle disputes among children in ways that fosters safety through conflict resolution.
Through fostering a supportive, safe, and inclusive community, we hope that all involved will take those principles out into the world by practicing kindness, empathy, and respect in their everyday lives!
Bullying Myths Debunked:
“Boys will be boys.”
FACT: The implication here is that bullying is acceptable, and that it is normal for boys to be physically or verbally aggressive. However, research indicates aggression is a learned behavior, not a natural response.
“Bullying will make kids tougher.”
FACT: Bullying does not make someone tougher. Research has shown it often has the opposite effect and lowers a child’s sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Bullying often creates fear and increases anxiety for a child.
“Words will never hurt you.”
FACT: Even though words don’t leave bruises or broken bones, studies have shown they may leave deep emotional scars that can have lifelong implications. Children learn at a very early age that words can hurt other children.
How to be there for a child…
Talk to them! Encourage them to talk about any bullying they encounter. Kids who are being bullied often feel like no one cares, that they are alone, and that it may even be their fault. Tell them that they are not alone, and that it is not their fault! Let them know that they should not be afraid to tell an adult what’s going on so that others can step in and help out. Help them feel prepared to step in if they witness bullying with these helpful tips…
Hey Kids: YOU can make a difference!
If you see bullying, sometimes all it takes is…
…ask the bully to stop it.
Bullies do not always realize what they are doing is hurting someone else.
…don’t join in.
Joining in or laughing along with a bully lets the bully know their behavior is OK- and it’s not!
…help the target get away from the situation.
Be a friend, play with them, walk them to class, and tell them you’re here for them!
Mentee words of wisdom:
Q: How do you stand up to a bully?
A: “I would literally stand up from my chair, and say ‘what are you doing?!’ Then I would make friends with them. Because I am friends with everybody, and I protect all my friends.” -Alyna, Mentee, age 13
Mentor thoughts on the anti-bully DREAM:
Q: How does DREAM deal with bullying?
A: “We sit them down and talk through problems, and separate all the cousins. For some reason cousins always get in fights, I don’t know why.” – Naz, Mentor, Senior
Stay tuned for upcoming posts, and please feel free to leave a comment below with your take on anti-bullying and any other thoughts.
A huge THANK YOU to our community partners, sponsors, and supporters for allowing us to DREAM BIG!