Question, Question, Question

  • Posted: July 16, 2009 and this post was last modified April 3, 2011.

Sometimes all you need to do is ask. Find out more about your kids, friends, family, and co-workers. Then you can know what is going, know how to help them, and know when bullying is affecting them more than they should. There are some questions that you can use to help get a conversation rolling:

General Questions

  • What does “bullying” mean to you?
  • Do you ever feel lonely at school or left out of activities? Let’s talk about what happens and what you feel.
  • What is lunch time like at your school?
  • Who do you sit with, what do you do, and what do you talk about?
  • What’s it like to ride the school bus? Tell me about it.
  • Do kids ever call you mean names, or tease you?
  • Talk more about how you feel and what you do when this happens.
  • Have you ever been scared to go to school because you were afraid of being bullied?
  • What ways have you tried to change it?
  • Have kids ever bullied you by hitting or pushing you, or other things like that?
  • Let’s talk about what you do when this happens.

Ask these questions if there is an indication that a child may have been bullied…

  • Who usually does the bullying? (Boys/girls?) (Older kids or kids in your grade or class?)
  • Why do you think they bully?
  • Did you talk with an adult at school or a friend about being bullied? Did it help? If not, what would have helped?
  • Talk about how you felt when you were being bullied. Take your time.
  • Now that we’re talking about bullying, what can I do to help?

Ask these questions if someone has witnessed bullying…

  • What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
  • Describe what the bullies are like.
  • Do you ever see kids at your school being bullied by other kids?
  • How does it make you feel?
  • Have you ever tried to help someone who was being bullied? What happened?
  • What would you do if it happens again?
  • Have you ever called another person names?
  • Do you think that was bullying? Talk more about that.
  • Do you or your friends ever leave other kids out of activities?
  • Talk more about this possible bullying behavior.

Ask these questions to discuss bullying prevention programs…

  • What do you think needs to happen at school to stop bullying?
  • Would you be willing to tell someone if you had been bullied? Why? Why not?
  • Is your school doing special things to try and prevent bullying?
  • If so, tell me about the school’s rules and programs against bullying.
  • Would you feel like a “tattletale” if you told that someone was bullying you or a friend? Why?
  • Let’s talk about what your friends could do to help stop the bullying.
  • What things do you think parents could/should do to help stop bullying?
  • What are some good qualities about yourself?
  • Let’s talk about why it’s so important to feel good about yourself.
  • How would all this help to prevent bullying?

Source: SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center

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