Plenty of experts say the best way to stop being bullied is to stand up for yourself and to fight back, if necessary. But new research says that’s not always the best move. Because even if the bully stops bothering you, they’ll probably just find somebody else to pick on. That’s why a growing number of experts say the best way to stop bullying is to keep kids from becoming bullies in the first place.

Experts point out that for a lot of bullying victims, fighting back isn’t an option. For one thing, plenty of bullies taunt their victims remotely, via computer or smartphone. So there’s nobody to flatten on the playground. And most victims are so frightened, they’re literally incapable of defending themselves and won’t even tell anybody that they need help.

Also, kid-bullies often grow up to be adult-bullies. Even worse, kids who’ve repeatedly bullied others by age 8 have a 1 in 4 chance of having a criminal record by age 26.

Is there a hard definition for bullying? Researcher Dan Olweus says it always involves 3 factors: First, it’s a regular, ongoing problem. It’s not a two-way street.  In other words, the same person is always the victim of the bullying. And there’s a power imbalance like, a bigger kid against a smaller kid or several kids against one kid. 

What’s the fix? An increasing number of bullying experts say it’s essential to teach children not to bully in the first place. And they point to several successful school-based programs that teach empathy, conflict resolution, and respect for cultural and physical differences. If you’d like to go further, the programs are: Steps to Respect, A Classroom of Difference, and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
I’ll post links for you at Tesh.com.