Bullying conversation starters are a great way to talk to your kids about bullying. Having a conversation about what bullying is how to stay safe in school can be a game changer for your kids! To be clear, this post is not tips on becoming a bully as someone thought, but tips to help avoid becoming a bully as well as conversations to have to protect our peers. I have a free printable set of these questions for you at the bottom of the post but I also wanted to go through each question and give you some suggestions about talking to your child about that question and the answers.
Printable Anti-Bullying Conversation Cards
Disclaimer – Keep this age-appropriate. Your children may be ahead of or behind the guidance listed in this post. Use the cards that fit, and ignore those that don’t.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
According to Stopbullying.gov, “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.”
I have to say, I love the explanation of a power imbalance. When one child makes another feel small and unsafe, they are bullying them.
What makes you worth kindness?
The goal of this question is to talk about kindness and the fact that kindness is not earned. Helping children to understand that their peers are worth kindness and respect without doing anything to earn it is highly valuable. It is one of the biggest ways to prevent bullying.
Who deserves kindness?
This goes with the previous question. It can help to break down that anyone in school deserves kindness. If someone is being hurtful the kindest thing you can do is set boundaries and not engage with them.
What do we do with difficult people?
Having a conversation about how we handle difficult people is so important. Sometimes people are terrible to be around. The best move is to set boundaries to avoid future conflict.
Who do you tell if you’ve been bullied?
Children don’t always know which adult is the safe adult to go to. In fact, they can easily get overwhelmed or embarrassed. Spend some time discussing who to talk to.
What does it mean to be a friend?
Have an honest conversation about what being a friend means. As kids get older the definition of friend will change and grow. Spend some time discussing what makes a good friend and what doesn’t.
Are there people who don’t deserve kindness?
When talking about kindness it’s important to understand that people don’t lose their right to kindness. This might mean setting boundaries but the goal is ultimately to point out that we don’t resort to being unkind because someone does something unkind.
Is it ok to call someone names as a joke?
Kids will add the term “it was just a joke” to unkind words as protection. They try so hard to laugh it off and move on. It’s important to understand the difference between fun and hurtful words.
Are there people you don’t like being around at school?
If you are worried your child might be getting bullied, ask this question. Sometimes kids feel bad around people because they’re unkind. Knowing that someone is hard to be around can help you know if they might be bullying your child.
How do we replace unkind words with encouraging ones?
Teaching children not to be unkind is not always enough. It can help to teach them to find ways to be encouragers and be kind as well. Help them remember that their kindness can change someone’s day for the better.
What do you think consent means?
This conversation will vary depending on the age of your child. At the core, no means no. At the core, no one touches you if you don’t want to be touched.
When is a joke not funny?
This is meant to prompt conversation about the fact that joking at another person’s expense is not funny. Jokes aren’t funny if someone walks away hurt.
Has someone at school ever hurt your feelings?
This is a good conversation starter for two reasons. The first is that it helps you to address bullying with your children as far as whether they’ve been bullied. The second has to do with being able to show compassion and help them understand how bullying might make people feel.
When should you tell a teacher?
It can help children to know when it is best to involve a teacher or an adult. They may not always know when it is acceptable to bring an adult into the conversation. Help them to see the right time to get a teacher involved.
What makes you feel safe?
When looking at the topic of bullying, it can help to talk through what makes your child feel safe in school. It can help to follow up with a question about whether they make other people in school feel safe as well.
How do you know if you fit in?
The topic of fitting in is the forefront of school life for many kids. Help them to understand bullying by helping them to understand the meaning of fitting in. It can also help to discuss whether fitting in is really the goal and what choices we make to try and fit in.
What are five amazing things about you?
Taking time to focus on positives can help with their identity and avoid bullying. Spend time focusing on the positives about your child. Help them to identify those things in them they can celebrate.
Who is your safe adult at school?
Help your child to identify the adults they find safe at school. Spending time identifying this can help them if they ever encounter a rough situation.
Name three things people feel when they get bullied
Help children to understand that bullying can impact others. Spending time talking about the feelings it causes can be a big help.
What do you think bullying is?
Help kids to identify bullying and what it means. Spending time doing this will help you to protect your child from bullying and be able to speak clearly with you about their experiences.
What is the difference between bullying and disagreeing?
Take some time to talk through the difference. Sometimes we disagree with people and that is not bullying. Help them to see the difference between the two experiences.
How can you help if a friend is being bullied?
Kids naturally want to help. Help them to understand how to help if a friend is being bullied. Make it clear that it is not their job to solve social issues. It’s important to involve adults who are better able to handle these situations.
What do you do if you hurt someone’s feelings?
Hurting other people can happen even with the best of intentions. Help your children to make it right with the person they have hurt. It can also help them to understand that sorry doesn’t make things right. It’s important to understand that they did still hurt someone and that takes time to heal from.
What words have hurt you?
Identifying words that have hurt them can help children know which words to avoid.
Who do you feel unsafe around?
Identifying unsafe people is an important thing for children need to understand. Take some time to discuss who they feel unsafe around and why.