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Build Friendships, End Bullying

Amber Brandt  |  July 25, 2022

Making friends can be difficult no matter your age, but developing meaningful friendships adds richness, support, and fun to life. A good friend is something to be celebrated.

July 30th is a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the power of friendship. Research shows that friendship and trust contribute to personal stability and can weave a safety net of support – for individuals and even across countries.

The International Day of Friendship was established in 2011 on the idea that friendship between countries, cultures, and individuals can inspire peace and build bridges. To mark the day, the UN encourages governments and international organizations to hold events and activities that support understanding and reconciliation. Here are 10 great ways to celebrate the day with your kids.

On the flip side, there are many challenges and barriers to friendship – like bullying. It’s important to teach your children about the qualities that make a good friend and discuss how hurtful it can be to feel rejected or ridiculed. Together we can build a culture of welcome and kindness.

Here’s how to take action against bullying:

  1. Learn to spot it. Bullies usually target other children because they’re taking out frustrations from their own lives.
  2. Know the targets. Boys are more likely to experience physical bullying while girls are more likely to get emotional or sexual harassment. Targets are often kids who are perceived as different or less popular.
  3. Stop it. Teach your child how to stand up for themselves and walk away if a situation is dangerous. Listen to and support children who speak up about their own lives, or on behalf of someone else. Communicate the negative consequences or policies in place for dealing with bullying behavior. Stay in communication with teachers and other staff regarding what you’re hearing.
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