October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and that kicks off today with World Day of Bullying Prevention. This month is all about encouraging empathy, inclusivity, and compassion toward others. Here are a few ways you can support the effort to prevent bullying:
- Wear blue. The awareness color for bullying prevention is blue, so show your support by wearing blue today (and all month long!). Today is Blue Shirt Day, and you can also find ribbons, wristbands, and more apparel specifically made for Bullying Awareness to wear all month long. Share pictures of your anti-bullying blue with the hashtag #BlueUp!
- Look for warning signs. Signs that a child is being bullied—physically, emotionally, or otherwise—include difficulty sleeping, avoidance of certain social situations, lost or damaged belongings, changes in work ethic or grades, and more. Signs that a child is bullying others include increased aggression, competition for popularity, the need for school to take disciplinary action, and more. Keep your eyes out for both.
- Talk to your children or students. Bullying, in its varied forms, is a seemingly inevitable part of growing up. Equip students with the tools to best handle bullying if it happens to them—and the tools to express their difficult emotions in more constructive ways if it seems that they might be bullying others.
- Support conversation with reading materials. Start with World Book’s Anti-Bullying Basics series, which confronts bullying from every perspective: that of those being bullied, those doing the bullying, and the adults hoping to intervene. Each volume focuses on a different form of bullying, answers common questions about bullying, and offers practical advice for students both dealing with bullies and feeling compelled to bully.