Social Skills for Bullying Prevention: Supported by research! All 50 states now have bullying legislation in place directing school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies. Funding for anti-bullying coordinators and other staff to implement these policies has become prohibitive. With each district and state having differing approaches to the bullying problem, there aren't consistent solutions that are successful.
Sadly, research is now showing that these largely reactive policies are not working. Granted the bullying issues must be dealt with as they occur, but that is not getting to the root of the problem. Additional research has shown that we have a bullying epidemic because we have a rudeness epidemic. Rudeness or incivility can lead to bullying, which in turn can lead to violence. The challenge is to break that cycle at the beginning, by addressing the incivility, which is the easiest part to address.
Bullying is now starting at age 3. Other research has shown that social skills, or social competence training, at young ages, are the missing link in bullying prevention. Studies have shown that children who begin school with social skills training are better able to get along with others, resulting in less bullying, and they perform better throughout their school years. The solution lies in proactive social skills or social competence training as young as possible.
Kids today are bombarded in school, their neighborhoods, and the media with the message that mean, rude, and disrespectful behaviors are cool, and that bullying is cool. As educators, parents, and the media, we have a responsibility to teach our children that kind, caring, and respectful behaviors are cool and that bullying is the ultimate in uncool. With award-winning music, fun characters and activities, kids are engaged as they learn that they can be both kind and cool. We have seen changed behavior as they embrace the positive messages of Cool Kind Kid.