A Bully-Free Childhood!

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. This is an important time to remind your children to not judge or act mean to anyone and to always appreciate differences. How do we prepare our children for a diverse world and teach them to celebrate differences? We can raise children to respect and value people regardless of the differences between us. Teaching acceptance may be easier than you think!


Model Acceptance and Tolerance – Be the first person or family to try to help someone who looks like they feel out of place. Encourage your child to have many different friends from different cultures and interests.

Walk the Walk- Create opportunities for your children to interact and make friends with people who are different than them. A powerful lesson is to ask them to imagine themselves in someone else’s shoes. Start with, ‘How would you feel if you were the new kid?’  Then ask, ‘How could others act to make you feel more comfortable?’ That second question is what helps the acceptance piece to stay in their hearts.

Respond to Curiosity – If your child is staring at someone because they are different, you can observe and respond to their curiosity. For example, if they stare at someone in a wheelchair, you can say, “He has a wheelchair to help him get around. You’re lucky to be able to walk, but I bet he can do pretty cool things in a wheelchair.” A lack of response may mean that it is unacceptable. A simple discussion develops sensitivity to the situation.

Reward Acts of Kindness – Teach your children to recognize small acts of kindness that value people. For example, they can help the new kid, include someone in a conversation, cheer someone up when they feel sad etc.

There are also some fantastic books that address bullying and acceptance. Here is a list of a few of our favorites:

Great Books!

Spaghetti in A Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy

The Juice Box Bully by Maria Dismondy

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anne Dewdney

Tease Monster: A book about teasing vs. bullying by Julia Cook

The Name Jar by Xangsook Choi

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R.J. Palacio

Another idea is to watch videos with your children on the subject and to engage in activities that lead to a discussion of appropriate behavior. Here are some of our favorites from Sesame Street. Enjoy!


And please check out our latest award-winning activity book Lil’ Champs Play it SMART – a great tool to foster respect, kindness, and a great manners!

We cannot always protect our children from rejection, exclusion, and feeling unaccepted by the world. But we can give our children the tools to feel loved and secure enough to celebrate and value differences. Teaching them to play the game of life with grace, confidence, character, integrity, and empathy- and hopefully a bully-free path forward!

Do you have any bully prevention tips?

Suzanne Wind About Suzanne Wind

Suzanne Wind is a wife, mom of three and author of the award-winning series, The SMART Playbook and Lil' Champs Play it SMART. Her passion is to empower parents to teach the next generation social skills that fit a modern world and are the key to their future successes. She writes about ideas and activities designed to help children gain confidence and character.
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