POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 117 Did you know...? * Bullying happens once every seven minutes on the playground and once every 25 minutes in class. * Bullying episodes are approximately one minute long but the emotional scars can last a lifetime. * By age 24, 60 per cent of identified boy bullies have a criminal record. Victims of bullying are often rejected by their peers and are at risk for depression and dropping out of school. Some see suicide as their only escape. Bullying is a sad, tragic reality that affects virtually every Canadian child as a victim, bully or bystander. And as much as we would like to be there for our children, the reality is that most bullying episodes occur when adults aren't around. It's therefore essential that we empower children with tools to address bullying on their own. Canadian research says that peers or bully bystanders are key to addressing the issue of bullying, because they are present in 85 per cent of the bullying episodes on the playground and in the classroom, whereas adults are seldom present. The unfortunate thing is that although 80 to 90 per cent of students indicate that watching bullying makes them uncomfortable, the majority of the time, bully bystanders reinforce bullying by passively watching (54 per cent) or actively modelling bullying behaviours (21 per cent). At the same time, we know that they can be instrumental in stopping bullying because when peers do intervene on behalf of the victim, bullying stops within ten seconds 57 per cent of the time. The trick is to teach children how to intervene appropriately so they don't put themselves or anyone else in danger, while trying to make a difference. CCA's anti-bullying commercial, "Walk Away" aims to empower bully bystanders or the "silent majority" that might stand and watch bullying with practical tools and information to safely help stop bullying. Take a look at As well, the following pages list tips for children on how to help stop bullying, and tips for parents, caregivers and coaches on helping children deal with bullying, either as victims, bullies or bystanders. We hope you find them useful. HELPING CHILDREN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN BULLYING Tips for Parents, Caregivers and Coaches from CCA: * Explain Their Role Explain to children how crucial they are to stopping bullying. Bullying requires an audience, and without an audience, the bully has no power. Remind children the next time they see bullying to walk away. * Encourage Safe Measures Tell children to keep their own safety in mind when dealing with bullying, and to leave any potentially dangerous bullying scene to find a grown-up to help. * Help Define Bullying Remind children that bullying is not just about hitting or pushing and that emotional bullying, such as calling names or leaving other kids out is equally as harmful and wrong. * Advocate for Potential Victims In order to assist potential victims, encourage children to get to know withdrawn children who find it difficult to make friends, and to get their friends to do the same. * Help Spread the Word Challenge children to talk to other children about the fact that bullying isn’t cool. It won’t be long before the word catches on. * Encourage Communication Ask children to tell you or another trusted adult when they see bullying of any kind. Assure them you’re there to listen and help and that you won’t get upset. * Praise Communication Congratulate them when they do talk to you about bullying. Encourage them to tell their friends to talk to the adults they trust about bullying too. * Value Differences Work with children to develop a code of mutual respect. Remind them that everyone deserves to be treated with kindness, regardless of race, size, skin colour, hobbies, religion, clothing, beliefs, anything at all. * Change Takes Time Remind children that ending bullying won’t happen overnight. Try relaying bullying episodes from your childhood so they understand that change takes time. * Help Is There Remember whether you're the parent of a bystander, victim, or bully, someone is there to listen if you have parenting concerns. Call Parent Help Line at 1-888-603-9100. continued... EVERYDAY CHALLENGES: CHILDREN AND BULLYING