Q:

What are some tips for dealing with youth who bully at school?

A:

Quick Answer

To deal with youth who bully at school, understand the truth about bullying, reframe the issue of bullying, and seek support from those who do not bully others. Adults can also play a critical role in identifying, preventing and ending bullying by forming stress-free, safe environments at home and school to reduce the tension and anxiety that result in bullying behaviors.

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Full Answer

Since bullies want to exert control over others, walk away, calmly and confidently express a lack of interest in what the bully has to say, or ignore the bully if targeted. Demonstrate that the bully has no control by avoiding a physical or emotional response. If it is impossible to move away, the first priority should be to seek protection. Often, bullying becomes more aggressive with every unreported instance, so report each incidence of bullying to an adult.

If targeted, adjust your perspective so that you can gain more control. To do so, realize that the bully is likely a dissatisfied, irritated person who wants other people to feel as poorly as she does. Acknowledge that in the long run, this instance of bullying is apt to be insignificant so that you can center attention on other, more pressing concerns. Rather than trying to control the bully, which is nearly impossible, use humor to thwart her efforts. By recognizing the ridiculousness of the situation, you are apt to dissuade the bully from focusing on you.

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