What Can We Do About Bullying?

October may be the month designated for Bullying Prevention Awareness, but in today’s world, we need to be aware, alert, and active against bullying every single day of every single month of every single year. Why? Because bullying is a serious issue that can lead to everything from lowered school performance to self-harm. Here at Girl Scouts, we always prefer to focus on the positive, but we can’t solve problems without looking them square in the eye. And this problem in particular, is a very troubling one—especially for girls.

The CDC’s 2015 High School Youth Risk Behavior Study found that nearly one in four girls, compared to roughly one in six boys, were bullied on school property. Add to that the fact that slightly more than one in five girls, as opposed to fewer than one in ten boys, were cyber-bullied that same year. Any amount of bullying is of course unacceptable, but it’s clear that our girls are struggling with this in even greater numbers than boys.

Parents and caregivers naturally place their children’s safety and well-being at the top of their priorities, but when it comes to bullying, it’s easy to feel at a loss for exactly what can be done. Beyond simply encouraging kindness and inclusion, we’ve done a deep dive on the nuances of bullying, how to help your girl navigate it, signs to look for to figure out whether or not it’s happening to your child, and even how to help her form healthy, supportive friendships.

By banding together and learning all we can, we truly can make the school lunchroom, the soccer field, and even social media a safer place for our kids. Check out some of our favorite anti-bullying advice from Girl Scouts’ Developmental Psychologist, Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald: