In today’s world, kindness can sometimes seem like a rare commodity. With seemingly unlimited access to the Internet and social media (read as: access to thousands of people you don’t even know), there’s an open door for other’s unfiltered backlash and criticism. But is this issue really considered a problem by the younger generation? According to a recent survey commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), that answer is yes.
This survey found that across the US, Generation Z believes bullying to be the biggest issue facing their community. This survey asked 1,002 Americans ages 6–17 to prioritize the top five issues facing their community from a list of 20. An additional 241 individuals were surveyed specifically in Texas within the same age range. Across the board, bullying was the issue 31% of youth said they wanted to solve the most with hunger coming in second at 28%.
Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, BSA released these five tips they believe will help empower kids to step up and end bullying. Consider sharing these with your family.
- “Promote more time unplugged and outdoors.” BSA stresses the importance of parents promoting face-to-face interactions. “Outdoor activities allow children to work together, solve problems and bond in a way that typically can’t be achieved through a screen,” BSA says. “They also give children a break from the cyber-world, where bullying is often prevalent.”
- “Encourage kindness.” It’s doesn’t take extra effort to be kind. “Serve as a role model by making kindness a foundation in your family,” BSA says.
- “Educate and equip.” BSA encourages parents to educate their kiddos about why bullying is never acceptable. They also stress that parents should encourage and equip their kids to recognize when bullying is present and to report the situation in a safe manner.
- “Use the buddy system.” BSA says that this approach can be used in terms of practicality and safety—not just in regard to bullying but in everyday life as well. “A pair or group of kids is less likely to get bullied, and buddies can be supportive by being an upstander,” BSA says.
- “Explore differences.” Find ways to get involved in activities with families from other backgrounds. As a family, when you introduce your kids to different perspectives, they learn there’s more than just what’s inside their little bubble. “[T]hat knowledge can help break down some of the barriers that contribute to bullying, such as fear and misunderstanding,” BSA says.
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