If you ask any size group of preteens if they have experienced or witnessed bullying, the vast majority of them would answer, “Yes!” In fact, research suggests that 97% of middle school students have personally experienced a form of bullying. These students suffer visible and invisible effects from these experiences. Whether it is cyber-bullying, physical bullying, or verbal/emotional bullying, those that work with preteens need to be helping them deal with this tough topic. On any given day, over 160,000 kids will stay home from school because of fear and anxiety caused by bullying. It’s heartbreaking to think of the damages.
October is Bully Prevention Awareness Month
Today is Blue Shirt Day
Students across the nation will be wearing blue shirts and blue wristbands in support of a movement to end bullying in their schools. Principals and teachers have worked hard to increase awareness of bullying and to prevent its occurrence in their schools. Those who work with preteens in the church should also be addressing this subject. Preteens need to experience the truth of God’s Word and what it says about our relationships with others.
Here are some great resources for talking with preteens about bullying:
- Bullies2Buddies.com—great informational site for dealing with bullying
- Preteen Bullying—Its Many Faces—Nick does a great job of defining the forms of bullying that are common among preteens
- Solutions to Preteen Bullying—great tool for ministry leaders to properly address bullying
- Bullying—Taking Down Goliath—Preteenministry.net has great resources for teaching and discipling preteens. If you’re a ministry leader, check out this four-week series on bullying.