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How to deal with bullies – The Letter Challenge

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.

Dove Letter Challenge

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.

Dear Me,

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.

  • 1

    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

  • 2

    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

  • 3

    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

  • 4

    Help your child tackle cyberbullies, too

    Keep an eye on your child’s internet activity, especially their social networks

The Letter Challenge

Next steps

  • Share this page with your daughter or son – encourage them to watch the video and then take the Letter Challenge. It will help them feel more confident about responding to bullies and knowing what to do if it happens again
  • Talk to your child about the activity. How did they feel at the start? Was it upsetting to think about the answers? How do they feel now that they’ve completed it?
  • Encourage your child to share the activity with friends
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