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What can you do about bullying? (And make it fun?)

In last week's post, we looked at how overwhelming the problem of bullying can feel and that it can seem like an issue we can't impact as individuals. In reality, bullying is about how we treat each other and how we react when others treat us badly. As parents and family members of children and teenagers, there are things we can do to prevent bullying behaviors and to make the young people in our lives more resilient in the face of words and actions that cause them pain.

The Jed Foundation, MTV and actress Brittany Snow created the Love is Louder movement to inspire and empower all of us to take actions to support anyone feeling mistreated, alone or hopeless. Just this week, The Jed Foundation and Harlequin TEEN released the results of a survey of over 1,500 females ages 16 to 21. The research revealed some interesting insights about the positive and negative influence parents have on the issue of bullying:

  • Teens identified bullying as a more pressing issue than teen pregnancy, drinking or drugs, and 78% said bullying is more widespread than adults think.
  • 62% said they talk to their parents about the issues that are important to them.
  • However, only 50% have had conversations with their parents about bullying. The majority of those who had those conversations reported feeling better and more prepared to deal with bullying afterward.
  • 20% have seen their parents bullied by another adult and 10% have seen their parent bully someone else.
  • More than half of self-proclaimed bullies have witnessed at least one of their parents involved in bullying and 52% of those believe bullies are imitating their parents.

This study reaffirms that parents set a powerful example through their words and actions, and can be a needed source of support when their children are dealing with bullying. So, since it's National Bullying Prevention Month, we at House Party and The Jed Foundation wanted to give you some easy and entertaining (you read that right!) ways to bring other parents together to discuss and plan how we, as parents, can all use our actions to prevent bullying. In turn, these conversations, parent-to-parent and child-to-parent, will make our schools and community more supportive and inclusive.

Download your Love is Louder than Bullying Parent's Guide now. One of the suggested activities in the guide is taking Love is Louder pictures like the ones in the video above - Make sure to share your own pictures just like those with us by posting the photos on our Facebook page.

You can stay up-to-date with the Love is Louder and House Party partnership here on the blog, and on

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']#[/author_image] [author_info]Courtney Knowles is the Director of Love is Louder. He splits his time between New Orleans and New York City. When not traveling for work, he tries to keep up with his two nine-month-old puppies and control his obsession with throwing theme parties. Party Tip: Have a theme, never run out of ice or cups, and beware of glitter (it seems like a good idea until it's still there five years later).[/author_info] [/author]

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