Ways to stop bullying when you're an onlooker
Help your child understand that they may have an opportunity to stop bullying or prevent it taking place – that their actions can make a difference. Challenging a bully won't be easy, so don't make light of it. Breaking out of the bystander role can be tough, requiring courage and high self-esteem.
Seeing bullying taking place is going to make your son or daughter feel uncomfortable and unsafe,” says Dr Nancy Etcoff, assistant clinical professor at Harvard University. “Ask them to consider: ‘Would a real friend make you feel like that?’”
There’s more than one way to stop bullying
Discuss the various ways that your child might be able to stop a bully. “Sometimes you can do it there and then – though that can take a lot of courage,” says Etcoff. “But it’s also possible to intervene after the event, by talking to the victim or bully directly, or even a parent or teacher about what you’ve witnessed.”
For a young person, the message that they can have an impact on and improve the situation is empowering. It may help them develop their own sense of confidence, as well as being an important life lesson.