We’re gearing up to start our yearly tour of schools around the country. One common issue that schools regularly ask us to address is bullying, and we routinely give teachers, parents, and children powerful tips to stop bullying.
From a Native perspective, this saddens us deeply. Traditionally, our culture is based on a foundation of cooperation and respect. When confronted by bullies, or when acting like bullies, we always encouraged our children to find their power within and use it to make the world a better place, not to act from a place of fear or aggression.
5 Powerful Tips to Share with your Children to Stop Bullying
Teach your children:
1. Bullying is not OK. Bullying is not genetic, in other words you are not born with it in your DNA. Bullying is not relative to race, culture, or gender, and is a behavior usually taught by someone you love or trust. Bullying is not a right of passage, and is not tolerable under any circumstances.
2. Stop. Walk away. Do not participate if a friend or group of friends are bullying another student. When you’re feeling angry and mean, think about what you’re doing and stop. Take a deep breath, and count to three.
3. Be a friend. Offer yourself as a friend to a student who is being bullied with a smile or kind word. Everybody is special and unique. Find out what makes the student being bullied special.
4. Be brave. If you are very brave, and feel safe, you can tell the bully to stop. You have that right.
5. Ask for help. Go to a trusted adult if you see another student being bullied.
Teach your children that they are powerful beings, and to use their power to respond to bullying in a positive way.
Gakina-awiiya (We Are All Related),
Chief Robert and Terri Lynn TallTree
“Teach us love, compassion and honor…that we may heal the Earth, and heal each other.” - Ojibwe prayer