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Activity: Helping Your Girl Take a Stand Against Bullying

By Pamela Young on 10/12/2014 | General

What do you know about bullying? What does your daughter know about it? At Girls on the Run practices, girls learn about three types of bullying: physical, verbal and social/emotional. They discuss the effects of these types of bullying and what to do if they see or experience it. They even role-play healthy responses to employ (See also “Pointers from the Program: How Girls Learn to Stand Up for Themselves”).

So what can you do with your daughter or the girls in your world to help them recognize and respond to bullying? Here are some talking points and a fun activity to do together for National Bullying Prevention Month this October.

Help Her Understand the Hallmarks of Bullying

  • Bullying is a pattern of behavior, which means it happens on purpose and more than once. It’s different from accidently hurting someone’s feelings.
  • Bullying comes in many forms. It can be physical (hitting or pinching), verbal (teasing or name calling) or social/emotional (spreading rumors or leaving people out). No matter how it’s done—in person, through texting, on social media or behind someone’s back—it’s still bullying.
  • Anyone can bully. Even a friend. But since bullying is a pattern of behavior, someone who bullies can also learn to choose other actions. Always steer clear of defining a child as either a bully or a victim.
  • A good test for bullying is for your girl to ask herself how she’s feeling about what she’s doing or seeing. If she or someone else feels targeted or threatened by what is happening, it’s bullying.
  • There are things your girl can do to help prevent bullying. Two of the best things are (1) telling an adult right away when she sees bullying behavior and (2) raising awareness about bullying. Girls on the Run’s national partner Secret Mean Stinks has a girl-centered site full of fun challenges, tips and tools to help girls learn ways to prevent bullying.

Take a Stand Together

Here is one fun activity that you and your girl can do together or that she can do with her circle of friends (or both!). All it takes is some blue nail polish!

Raise awareness by pinky swearing to take a stand against bullying and then painting your pinky nails blue to seal the deal. Whenever someone asks why you’ve got blue pinky nails, you can explain that you are taking a stand against bullying! If you want to really make your pledge noticeable, you can post pictures of your pinky swear with the hashtag #bluepinky. Secret Mean Stinks also has blue pinky and anti-bullying messages to post on social media.

Together you and your girl can add your voices to the effort to stop bullying.

Pamela Young


Pamela Young has more than 20 years of experience in the communications and publishing field. She has directed the editorial of a leading technology magazine, led the publishing activities of several nonprofits and currently manages the communications efforts of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte. She was the editor of Remarkable at its inception and remains a staunch fan of GOTR and of empowering girls to find and shine their limitless potential!

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