Four steps to take to stop bullying in our schools and communities before it starts.

No child should have to experience bullying at school or at home. In order to end these stories, we must both put a stop to bullying when it occurs and stop bullying before it even starts.

As parents, educators, and students, we can develop schools and communities in which everyone feels safe, every kid feels included, and no child to ever feel singled out by teasing or bullying. This requires a cultural shift–one in which entire communities must participate.

Playworks was rigorously studied by researchers at Stanford and Mathematica Policy Research, and schools with our program were proven to have less bullying than at schools without. Although Playworks is not an anti-bullying program per se, the culture at our partner schools stops bullying before it starts.

Here are four proactive approaches to prevent bullying that we see working on our playgrounds every day

  • Teach Empathy. Children who understand their own emotions are better able to control their reactions. Children who understand others’ emotions are better able to comfort their peers or avoid hurting others in the first place.
  • Encourage positive attitudes. By modeling and encouraging positivity, you can create a positive culture. Smile. Pass out high fives and fist bumps. Notice what others do well out loud, such as be saying great kick, James or I saw you tried your hardest, Allie.
  • Create an inclusive community. Challenge your community to work together as a team rather than compete to be the best. When creating teams, do so in a fair manner. Never call out or exclude individuals for their race, gender, ethnicity or ability.
  • Develop youth leaders. There are multiple reasons to develop leaders. First, youth who exhibit bullying behavior respond well to personal attention and accountability to make their environment better. Second, youth know best when, where and how bullying and teasing occur in their community. Children are your best tools and resources to creating a culture that does not accept bullying.

How do you prevent bullying?

 

More Resources


March 13, 2019

Behind the Scenes: Reinforcing SEL with Games ›

You probably know the saying “you are what you eat.” But did you know that you are also “how you play”? When it comes to social and emotional learning (SEL), practice matters. When kids play, they are practicing social and emotional habits that will stick.

Brain Break Game: Up Down Stop Go
Brain Break Game: Up Down Stop Go

January 28, 2019

10 Brain Breaks That Will Help Your Students Refocus ›

It’s that time of day. Your students are restless, perhaps due to the weather. You can see their eyes glazing over as you review decimals and fractions—for the third time this week. The room is stuffy, and everyone is tired. Students move to their tables and begin their group work, when suddenly, you hear loud…

November 17, 2018

Jump Rope Games To Help Everyone Jump In ›

Jump rope is one of the easiest ways to play alongside kids at recess or during break time. Grown-ups can introduce games that help kids develop basic jumping skills or use jump ropes in creative ways. Here are a few of our favorite jump rope games for different ages and learning goals. Games to reinforce…