How to Combat Bullying: It Begins at Home


 By Paula Solis Krock

Earlier this week I shared with you about the great Emily Post and The Post’s legacy of the Golden Rule; Be the person you want your child to be. (The Emily Post Institute, 2017)

I polled friends and colleagues and came up with the top three things we wanted our children to be:

Considerate to others, empathic and kind

To say “please” and “thank you”

To be thankful and show gratitude

I would like to propose these three things as our strategy for Anti-bullying. It begins right here at our front door, the kitchen table, in the bathtub, picking up toys.

We begin at home raising children who look beyond themselves, who can show empathy and kindness in the face of being uncool or weird. Here’s the trick: we do more than just say it, we coach them and then WE do it.

We coach them:

“Look beyond yourself“

“Is there someone sitting alone at lunch, ask to sit with them.”

“How would you feel if someone said that about you?”

“How can you help one of your classmates today?”

“How can you show gratitude to that person?”

What if we taught our children that it takes strength and courage to show kindness?

It takes guts to reach out to someone who may need a friend or to say thank you, “I like you” or stand up for a “different” kid? That is a true Super Hero.

What if we didn’t just say it, but we did it?

What if we let that Golden Rule get under our skins and irritate us until we actually BECAME the person we want our child to be? What if we spoke to our odd neighbors, what if we invited an elderly friend to lunch? What if we helped a co-worker who needed help or thanked the mail lady or mechanic the next time they served us? What on earth would happen if our children saw us living the three tenets of Anti-bullying: kindness, manners, gratitude? What then?


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  1. Yes. And, we tell E that he does not have to be friends with everyone. However, he does have to be kind. And, sometimes being kind means something beyond “to that person”, but talking to a responsible adult about bullying behavior.

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