10 Books To Stop Bullying And Teach Your Kids To Be Upstanders
Bullying is one of my biggest fears for my kids. I am terrified that they will become the target of someone’s negative and hurtful behavior, but I am not too naïve to think one of my own kids couldn’t become the offender as well.
I try to teach my kids to be kind, and to be upstanders for friends who are being picked on. We can tell kids a million different ways that there is a zero-tolerance policy for bullying at home and school, but unless they feel empowered to make good choices and understand empathy, that message is lost. The reasons a kid bullies vary: some kids are seeking attention, some are being bullied themselves, and some have low self-esteem. It’s never okay to hurt someone with words or actions, but understanding why a person is aggressive can help reduce bullying behavior.
Here are 10 books to read in the classroom or at bedtime to combat bullying.
1. Llama Llama and the Bully Goat, Anna Dewdney
School becomes a problem for Llama Llama when he has to contend with Gilroy Goat. Gilroy is a bully and seems to enjoy laughing at Llama Llama. He calls him names and kicks sand on him. But Llama Llama remembers to talk to someone so he tells his teacher what is going on. Dewdney shows us what can happen when we speak up and when we give someone a second chance. Llama Llama and the Bully Goat is great for preschoolers navigating their first social experiences away from home. (Pre-K)
2. The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade, Justin Roberts
It’s hard to be noticed when you’re small, but Sally McCabe doesn’t let size stop her from making a huge difference. She’s fed up with seeing her classmates bully each other and decides to speak up. The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade shows kids that it doesn’t matter how small or quiet you may be, you can make big changes. (Pre-K-Kindergarten)
3. Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery, David Gordon
Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery is about resilience and the power of friendship. When a bully and his buddies continue to knock down the cute animals’ sand castles, the cuties finally bring out the heavy duty equipment to make the coolest amusement park ever. The bullies can’t destroy this and they want in. Will the bullies learn that their actions have consequences? And will the cute animals accept an apology? (Pre-K-Grade 3)
Scary Mommy. “10 Books To Stop Bullying And Teach Your Kids To Be Upstanders.” Leventry, Amber, 23 April 2020. <https://www.scarymommy.com/anti-bullying-books-kids/>.