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10 Seconds is All They Need

Did you know that 13 million students will be bullied in the US this year?

That means that 1 in 4 students will be bullied, and that 1 in 3 will be cyberbullied.  Those are not great statistics.

But there’s good news!

In over half of bullying situations, when someone intervenes, the bullying stops within 10 seconds! Just 10 seconds!

That means our kids have great power to make a difference.


The Monique Burr Foundation for Children, a fantastic organization dedicated to the safety of our children in a number of different ways, advocates making sure all our children—from kindergarten through 12th grade and beyond know 5 critical safety rules developed by the Foundation.

The good news is that they’re easy to teach your kids!:

Know What’s Up

This means helping our children (and ourselves) know how to recognize the difference between bullying, conflict, or someone just being mean whether on or offline.  To help parents and kids understand the difference, you can ask if the behavior “S.P.I.T.”s.

Spot Red Flags

Many of you have likely heard me talk about red flags and warning signs when it comes to predatory and abusive behavior, but there are also red flags when it comes to recognizing bullying behavior or someone that has been bullied.  These can include:

  • Someone being mean or using unkind words;

  • Someone using hurtful touches;

  • Someone playing tricks on a child;

  • Someone asking a child to keep a secret;

  • Someone being left out;

  • Someone who doesn’t have any friends;

  • Someone who is always walking or sitting alone;

  • Someone who is constantly made fun of by others;

  • Someone texting or posting on social media about someone else in a hurtful way;

  • And more!

Make a Move

This means getting away and staying away from unsafe people or situations, and helping others who may be the target of bullying online or offline get away and stay away.

Talk It Up

Time for our kiddos to pull out their strong or assertive voices!  This is where they confidently say something to stop the bullying.  Kids and teens alike need to understand that doing this is not yelling or being mean—rather, it’s standing up against bullying.  Many kids feel this is easier to do, if they have a friend or several friends help them stand up to confront the bullying behaviors.

Talking it up also means knowing when to involve a safe adult—someone who the child feels comfortable talking to and who will not break safety rules.

No Blame, No Shame

Our kids and teens need to hear that it is never their fault if they are bullied or abused online or in person.  Because they are never to blame, they should never feel ashamed to tell anyone.  It is never too late to tell!

Unfortunately, all our children are at risk of being bullied—and all our children are at risk of being a bully.  Like other safety issues, this is one that we need to talk with children about early and often.  When kids understand what bullying is, the damage it causes, and what to do about it, they are much less likely to engage in it and more likely to stand up for themselves or others when they see it.

After all, if they can just stand up for 10 seconds, they have a very good chance of putting the bullying to rest.

Want more tips for how to help your children STAND UP? Check out our downloadable guide!

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Christy Keating is a certified parent coach,  positive discipline educator, and motivational speaker. She is the founder and CEO of The Heartful Parent Collective, which includes Heartful Parent Coaching, Savvy Parents Safe Kids, and Heartful Parent Academy.

The mother of two amazing daughters, Christy strives to build a happier, healthier world - one child, one parent, and one family at a time.