How to deal with bullies – The Letter Challenge
If your child has experienced bullying, we hope these anti-bullying activities will help them. Use this activity, and action checklist to give your child the confidence they need to put bullying behind them.
Ways to deal with bullying
Rumor-spreading, gossiping, excluding others, teasing about looks or weight—sometimes young people feel pressured to just ignore this kind of behavior or brush it off as a “joke”. But words can hurt, and sometimes it’s important to speak out. With the Letter Challenge, we aim to empower your daughter or son to be strong and stand up to bullies.
Using sentence-starters as a prompt, this activity encourages young people to see the bigger picture about bullying. Your child may not realize it, but often a bully can be rather insecure. It might be because they can’t control things in their own life that they feel the need to pick on others. But of course, that’s no excuse.
The Letter Challenge: write a letter about being bullied
Sometimes it’s hard to stand up for ourselves when we’re teased or bullied. Talk about examples of bullying with your daughter or son, and then think about how you’d deal with these experiences by writing a letter to yourselves. You can do the activity together, or encourage your child to do it on their own and share it with you afterward.
How to take the Letter Challenge
1. Think about how you’d feel if you were being bullied and how you would want to respond to a bully.
2. Get a piece of paper and write a letter to yourself, or download the “Letter Challenge” PDF. Use the format we’ve laid out and fill in the gaps at the end of each sentence. If you find it hard to think of the words, you could draw how you feel or what you plan to do, like a comic strip.
There have been times when someone has said mean things about the way I look. I don’t like when this happens because... (Write your thoughts here.)
Bullying someone about the way they look is hurtful and unhelpful because... (Write your thoughts here.)
In the future, I plan to stand up to bullying about looks by... (Write down strategies you plan to use.)
Sign here:...(Write your name.)
3. Share your letters with each other and talk about how your child might stand up for themselves if they’re bullied.
4. Help them practice what they might say to a bully in a firm, confident voice, and discuss what they could do if they see someone being bullied. Think about the best ways to stand up to the behavior.
Use the opportunity to talk
When you try the Letter Challenge, discuss what your child might say to bullies. Hopefully they’ll never experience bullying, but if they do, they’ll be better prepared
Take a prompt from TV
If you see a bullying incident on a TV show (or in a movie or book), use it as a conversation-starter. Chat with your child about how they might stand up to bullies should they ever find themselves in that situation
Don't let bullying be a taboo subject
Encourage your child to talk about any incidents they’re concerned about, and discuss experiences you or another family member had at that age
Help your child tackle cyberbullies, too
Keep an eye on your child’s internet activity, especially their social networks
The Letter Challenge
The Letter Challenge activity sheet
Use The Letter Challenge activity to give your daughter or son the confidence they need to put bullying behind them.Login or Register to download
- The Letter Challenge (1.4 MB)
- Bullying can have lasting consequences, so support your child by sharing The Letter Challenge: Dealing With Bullies to help them stand up to bullies and feel good about themselves
- Help your child understand that the things a bully picks on are usually things that they are jealous of or lacking themselves
- Encourage your son or daughter to discuss their feelings with friends so they don’t feel so isolated
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