Bullying prevention with Friendship

We can work on bullying prevention with friendship by understanding a few key points about all relationships.

How to make friends, be a friend and keep friends are important life skills in general. They are also key skills to help your child prevent, stop and then deal with bullying. 

Of course as Parents we have to understand friendship for ourselves in order to be able to help our children. Maybe you were a loner as a child or you were a Social butterfly...either way you may not know the actions  your kids need to take to to build good Friendships.

Friendship is generally about caring and sharing

It begins with liking yourself and believing you have something to share. It is about taking an interest in other people and being warm and courteous. Friends care about each other and share their time, ideas and feelings.

One of the biggest issues with bullying is the loneliness. Both the bullies and the targets  are all too often very lonely. We can look at bullying prevention with friendship  as a way to help our kids with life skills as well as a good solution for bullying. Building good friendships that support each other and show caring without being asked is the best cure for loneliness and bullying. 

Key points to understand bullying prevention with friendship.

PS. This understanding can help anyone in   relationships;)


1)  We have to realize we are only 50% of the relationship. We have no control over the other person.

For Bullies this means they can ask someone to play with them...put the invite out there, however, how the other person chooses to respond... whether they want to play or not play is completely up to them... The Bully cannot coerce, threaten, hit or take away something in order to get the other person to co- operate if they want to be friends. They must realize they can only control themselves.

For the Bullied child this means they cannot make someone be nice to them. Your child can choose to be respectful and act in integrity, however, if the other person responds dis-repectfully or by being hurtful. They need to understand there is nothing they can do to change the other person. They can only choose their response.

2) We can influence 100% of the relationship.

It is very true that you cannot control anyone else. However, it is also true we all influence each other in all our interactions. 

For the bully this means HOW they ask someone to play could influence whether or not the child being asked wants to accept. The bully cannot control the response but they can influence the decision.

  • Do they smile when they ask? 
  • Is it something the other child enjoys or is interested in? 
  • Is there tone menacing... like a threat with no words or is there tone light and friendly? 
  • Are they asking the other child to join and be a part of or just follow along?

For the Bullied child this means HOW they respond to the bullying will influence how the bully chooses to proceed. IF the bullied child chooses: 

  • to be assertive
  • use humour 
  • or surround themselves with friends

 It could minimize the bullying or stop it all together. Realizing they cannot control the bullies response if they try and the bully escalates they need to understand they can go to an adult to get help. One Caveat...Once the bullying has escalated past the first level it is much safer for the child to get an adult involved.

Friendship at home

One of the most important factors in the development of basic friendship skills is the way children are treated at home. Are we as parents:

  • being accepting or critical?   
  • Selfish or Giving?  
  • Relaxed or anxious? 
  • Tolerant or judgemental? 
  • What are we modelling for our children ? 

Perhaps some adjustment in our parenting is required to better support our child in creating friendships to assist in bullying prevention.

So friendship is about caring for someone and choosing to share your life with all the good and the bad.  You have each other to lean on and you understand you can only control 50% of the relationship but you can influence 100%.

Of course Friendship and inter-relationships are much more complex. There are a lot of theories out there about how to make and keep friends. As Busy parents I am sure you will agree easy to follow step by step guidance rather than complex theories and research is required.  

We need to help our kids and make it easy to follow so we can build up there defences against bullying. Bullying prevention with friendship can only be successful if we understand our part in the relationship as per above and we have tools to  Make New Friends and Ways to keep friends 

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