Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words will never hurt me.
Oh, if only that were true! When we asked our partners and coaches what issue they are most struggling to address with their kids, many named bullying as a top priority. You can have kids sign a million pledges that they won’t bully. But do they even recognize bullying behaviors? And what are they supposed to do instead?
Throughout Healthy Choices, Healthy Children (HCHC), you will see that we focus on behaviors. Everyone can choose to act in a positive (or negative) manner in each situation. As coaches (and mentors, teachers, or parents), we can teach kids respectful and inclusive behavior. If we practice respect for ourselves and for others, we leave no room for bullying behaviors. But we can take this a step further.
Rachel Scott was an extraordinary (and also ordinary) young woman who truly rose above. She reached out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school. Her family carries on her legacy today through Rachel’s Challenge, transforming the culture in schools across the country. They even came and did a teambuilding workshop with our entire staff.
Rachel’s Challenge does amazing work, so we were thrilled when they agreed to help us create the HCHC: Rise Above Bullying Edition and let us include Rachel’s powerful story! And we are excited to announce that the HCHC: Rise Above Bullying Edition is now available in the HCHC section of the Materials page!*
Starting with the original lesson on respect in the HCHC Coaches Manual, this booklet will guide you in discussing respect, bullying behaviors, bystander behavior, and choosing to be a positive leader with your kids over 4 sessions. Also available are handouts to use in the activities and a resource from Rachel’s Challenge that gives kids some strategies for how to handle situations that might turn into bullying.
What strategies have you used to prevent or reduce bullying behaviors (or alternately, to promote respect and inclusion)? Please share your tips in the comments section!
*If you have just stumbled across this, all you need to do to access all our materials is to create your free account and then watch the Classroom Introduction video!