Look around in any neighborhood or playground setting, there is bound to be at least one bully in the group. A person that stands out as the leader of the group, that takes charge and thinks he is top dog. When you have a group like this, it tends to lead to bullying, one person who is ridiculed and picked on. The harm done could be mental, emotional or even physical. It can be a challenge to find a way to teach children that bullying is wrong. Studies show that bullying happens to 15 to 25 percent of our youth in today’s world. Learn about Anti Bullying Games!
Many groups and organizations, along with the government have begun anti-bullying programs. These campaigns are waging a war against bullying. They are finding a way to get all youth interacting with respect and tolerance for differences in each other. There are many developments brought to our attention to help us put an end to bullying also. Some of these ways include anti bullying games. The games help our youth learn respect, courtesy and teach them how to get along with everyone, no matter the race, gender, physical stature or disability. Games can be a very effective method for teaching the various reasons against bullying. It also can show how the child who is the one being bullied feels as it is happening. The games can teach children how to not be a victim of bullying, and also enable the child who does the bullying to see how it would make the receiver feel as he is being bullied.
Anti bullying games are intended to entertain as well as teach. There are many online sites that will feature a question and answer game that allows the children to outrace the bully when they give the correct answer to a question. There are also streaming videos that can be watched, these tell real stories about the victims and how they managed to overcome the bully, and succeed in not being the victim any longer. Learning how to handle cyber-bullies is also handled in these games. This teaches the youth how to deal with being bullied online, what they should do and who they should talk to. One game, based on the standard “Simon Says” childhood game, ends with the teacher or guardian asking each child to tell something that they learned about another child, revealing that they are not as different as they thought they were. In this case, a victim may learn that their bully likes the same ice cream as they do, or vice versa. Basically this is teaching that they have some of the same likes and tastes, same preferences as one another. This version of “Simon Says” and others like it, teach tolerance, respect and courtesy toward each other. It is not a game that would allow the bully to choose a team that includes just his or her friends, leaving the stereotypical victim type on a team with each other.
There are games that will allow the child or student to act out different emotions. This could be related to charades. The actor in this game cannot speak. Only actions and facial expressions are allowed, and the remaining group must guess the emotion. While wearing an old suit or coat, the actor is encouraged to act out all types of emotions and feelings during a time of conflict with a bully. Once the emotion is guessed correctly, a conversation about this emotion is had by all. The youth then take turns discussing a time that they were made to feel this emotion that had been acted out. Another website; “Ask a Cop” tells children to group together as in a swarm, whenever they see a bullying situation happening. This teaches the children to stick together and help each other.
The words we use when talking about bullying can put a negative connotation on the situation. Using the term bully, might come across as allowing the person to think that he can never change, or that a victim will always be a victim. So adults around children need to choose the words they use carefully. Rather than saying bully, explain it as the child who acted as a bully would. The victim would then be, the child who was bullied. This takes away the negative connotation for both. When some of this negative terminology is taken out of the equation, some of the negative behavior leaves also.
Another method of teaching anti-bullying is to turn bullies into buddies. This involves teaching the child who is bullied, to not allow the child who is bullying to upset them. The idea is to treat the other like a friend, not an enemy. The point is made that by focusing on the child doing the bullying, it gives them more attention; the exact opposite of what we want to happen. That will not stop the actions of bullying. What we want instead is to teach the person receiving the bullying to not be a victim. When bullying is reported, it draws attention to the negative behaviors, which in turn creates more animosity between the children. In this case, paying role reversal games can help aid in the teaching that the bullying behavior is hurtful to others. Some studies show that teaching children empathy and limiting how much violence they have in their lives, through TV or video games is what helps eliminate a majority of the bullying behavior. With too much of the violent games or television shows, some children believe they must emulate what they see in their daily lives, leading to this negative behavior. Introducing these same children to video games and less violent shows will allow them to see that the world is not focused on how mean one can be, in order to be successful or be the leader of the pack.
Some of the phenomenal lessons and activities to help the group learn the lesson of anti-bullying and how to prevent or stand up against a peer who acts like a bully include:
1.)Kids bullying Kids- This is an anonymous survey for the group to participate in. They can then have a discussion about the survey results. The results contain experiences about bullying where the whole group will participate in what could have been done.
2.)Coloring a Peaceful World-Students have a discussion about conflict resolution and create posters pertaining to the ways discussed.
3.)The Average Kid-The children will complete a questionnaire about the physical and personal characteristics about all students in the group, and evaluate the responses. This helps them to discover how much they have in common with each other. It helps them realize that they are not different from others.
4.)Planet X allows students to create a ‘Bill of Rights’ for their new colony that they create. This gives a lesson about resolving conflicts and coming to agreements about what is fair for all.
5.)Understanding Needs and Feelings gives the opportunity to a story about bullying and then write an ending about how to settle the conflict depicted in the story.
6.)The Talking Stick gives students the opportunity to practice listening and communicating about conflict resolution.
7.)The Bullying Reality Quiz gives students an informative quiz about bullying and what they would do in each situation. After a discussion, students are given the opportunity to create their own quiz for another group of students. This provides an opportunity to brainstorm ideas about preventing school violence and bullying.
Psychologists have created these interactive activities to teach students both sides of the bullying action. They are given opportunities to discuss what they would do in each situation by portraying both sides. This enables them to have an understanding of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of bullying. Other ideas include having a day where kids are paired up with opposites and make it ‘Pen Pal Day’ where the student writes a letter to each other about their lives, and asking the other about their life and activities they do. The two students will get to know each other through these letters, without knowing who the letter they write goes to. This would continue for a period of time until the facilitator surveys the students to find out if they want to ‘meet’ their pen pal. This activity can bring students together and create lifelong friendships.
All kids like games, which is why utilizing anti bullying games into their lives will at the very least give each participant an opportunity to experience both sides of the bullying issue. It allows all participants the chance to talk about their feelings, their ideas to prevent and also end bullying in the surroundings. Games open a door in which our youth can walk through and learn new ways of coping, of conflict resolution and ways to stop bullying when they witness it. They will learn ways to talk to each other and assist others to prevent becoming a victim of bullying. Instituting anti bullying games will not only teach, but entertain as well.