First lady wants to stop cyberbullying, help children

Posted at 6:42 AM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 06:42:29-04

(RNN) – Parents and other adults can help stop bullying, if only they would set an example by being kind to others, according to a survey of 9- to 11-year-olds.

More than two-thirds of children say they have been bullied at least once or twice, according to the “Stop Bullying Before It Starts” survey, which was commissioned by Cartoon Network.

The national survey of more than 1,000 elementary school-aged children was intended to reveal how these kids experience bullying, what they do about it and what they think could put a stop to it.

Three out of four of those surveyed say caring about others is very important to them, and more than 60 percent say they’ve tried to help someone who was being bullied.

But not all children feel able to help.

More than half of kids who’ve seen someone getting picked on say they don’t help because they don’t know what to do or say in that situation, and 46 percent say they’re afraid they’ll make the situation worse.

In knowing how to deal with bullies, kids say it would help if adults would get involved.

Almost 80 percent of children want ideas about what they should do if they see someone getting picked on, and the same percentage say it would help if parents took more time to talk with their kids.

But most of the blame, according to the kids surveyed, lies with the adults in government.

While more than 90 percent of the kids say both the adults in their family and at their school set a good example for treating others with kindness, only 46 percent think those in the government do.

If the people in charge of the country would set a better example, 70 percent of those surveyed say kids would also be kinder to one another.

In addition, two-thirds of the children think it would help if kids could spend more time with those who are different from them.

But the survey reveals the No. 1 thing that 9- to 11-year-olds say would help kids be kinder is “if every kid had someone who really cared and listened.”

“One sentiment that comes through in this survey is that children need and want caring adults in their lives,” the report’s author writes. “And contrary to what we may assume, they want their parents to spend more time talking with them about the important stuff.”

For parents looking to make a difference amid rampant reports of bullying, the survey concludes it’s important to “provide practical advice and examples on a regular basis” as well as think about how they can model kind behavior in both making decisions and setting values.

"Now more than ever we need to step up and support kids learning how to be kind, caring and empathetic, so we can stop bullying before it starts," said Christina Miller, the president of Cartoon Network.

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