How parents can build empathy and prevent bullying

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(StatePoint) Sixty-two percent of 9- to 11-year-olds say they have been bullied at least “once or twice,” according to a recent national survey.

The survey, commissioned by the Cartoon Network and designed by VJR Consulting in consultation with the Making Caring Common project at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, found that most young American children have experienced bullying and look to adults to set an example about how to treat others.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time to focus on creating more inclusion in your school and community by re-enforcing kindness and empathy.

•The values kids are taught do matter. Those who consider “caring about others” to be “very” important are far more likely to do kind things for other kids, and far less likely to bully.

•Over half of kids who have seen someone being picked on or left out say one reason they don’t help is they don’t know what to do or say. But there are resources to help kids learn how to handle these tough situations. For example, Cartoon Network animated children’s stories from their survey into new PSAs, including one featuring Beastboy from “Teen Titans GO!” in a similar situation saying “That’s Not OK.”

Additional PSAs from Cartoon Network and Committee for Children can be found at cartoonnetwork.com/stop-bullying/video.html.

•Cartoon Network and 826 National partnered on the Inclusion Storytelling Project to encourage kids to share their stories. Digital resources for educators and parents offer tips to help kids speak up against bullying and develop greater caring and empathy skills. Learn more at 826digital.com.

•Communicate to learn what is going on in your child’s life. Most 9- to 11-year-olds said it would help kids their age be kinder to one another if every kid had someone who really cared about and listened to them.

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