Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day

Anti-bullying day, or Pink Shirt Day, happens on the last Wednesday in February every year. Started in 2007, we wear pink to show solidarity against bullying and bring awareness to how much of a problem bullying can be.

Bullying can happen to anyone, anywhere, in all walks of life. It is, unfortunately, very common. There are different types of bullying that can occur at school, work or even at home. Whatever form the bullying takes, it can have a devastating effect on a person’s life.

What is bullying?

First, some definitions…
Bullying: Mean, cruel, hurtful behaviour. It involves using power in a negative way to hurt others. [1]
Cyberbullying: The use of electronic media to threaten, embarrass, intimidate, exclude or damage someone’s reputation. [2]
Discrimination: Treating people differently or badly based on certain characteristics or differences and includes racism. [3] 
Harassment: A kind of discrimination that goes against Canada’s Human Rights Laws and involves treating people differently because of: age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, family status, physical or mental disability. [4]

Bullying is not a normal part of growing up and it is important to educate children so that they not only will not participate in bullying but will also talk to you if it is happening to them or if they see someone else being subjected to bullying behaviour.

If your child is being bullied

• Listen to your child entirely before reacting
• Involve your child in finding solutions
• With your child’s help, create a team of support for you and your child (teachers, school counsellors, trusted family members, etc.)
• Help your child learn how to cope with stress and anxiety
• Build your child’s capacity to respond effectively to the bullying by:
• Abstaining from violence
• Not counter-bullying
• Help your child to build their self-esteem by:
• Engaging them in activities they enjoy
• Praising their good efforts and accomplishments
• Remind your child that you love them
• Know when the problem is getting too big for them, and seek appropriate intervention
• To get help: Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 or www.kidshelpphone.ca

If your child is engaging in bullying behaviour

• Stay calm and be firm—let your child know that bullying is not acceptable
• Find out what motivates your child to bully, and encourage an open and honest discussion
• Use non-violent and age-appropriate consequences; set rules
• Discuss how your child can take steps to repair the damage caused by the bullying behaviour
• With your child’s help, create a team of support for the both of you (teachers, school counsellors, trusted
family members, etc.)
• Be a positive role model in your child’s life by being aware of how you use your own power

If your child is witnessing bullying

• Explore the different options for your child to stand up against bullying
• Educate your child to intervene immediately to stop the bullying, but to get an adult to help with the
intervention if it’s unsafe to act without an adult present
• Approach the person being bullied to provide support
• Explain the difference between “tattling” on someone as opposed to reporting in order to stop someone
from getting hurt
• Encourage your child to come up with creative ways to intervene in a bullying situation, such as
changing the subject or starting a game
• Set a good example for your child by showing that you care about others

[1] https://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/violence-bullying-and-abuse-prevention/youth/bullying
[2] https://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/violence-bullying-and-abuse-prevention/youth/cyberbullying
[3,4] https://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/violence-bullying-and-abuse-prevention/youth/harassment

For more information and resources on bullying, please visit www.redcross.ca.

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