Posted by: l2bb | March 29, 2010

Beating bullying with protective behaviour

Rigby (2008) talks discusses the use of the “hand diagram” in helping children protect themselves from bullying.  Here is my version of the hand diagram:

Protective Behaviours

Copyright Amanda Gray 2010 - it will be available as part of the new activity plan for Dave is Brave

This is a visual way of teaching children to stand up for themselves in the different phases of bullying (as discussed in the previous post).

Step 1: Ignore

In some cases children who are looking for someone to bully will move on if they don’t get any reaction.  This could be the case only if they are bullying to get a sense of power and pleasure out of the reaction of the child they are bullying.

Step 2: Walk away

This sends a message to the person who is bullying that you will not submit to the treatment they are dishing out.  Again, this can work if children are in the “trolling” phase of bullying, looking for “weak” or “defenseless” children.

But this doesn’t always work.

Step 3: Ask nicely

Being challenged in a calm way can be a wake up call for some children.  Again, this doesn’t always work so….

Step 4:  Say, “Stop!”

A child who is bullying to gain power or control over a situation may back down if they are firmly challenged.  This is different to a child losing their cool and fighting back – this could give the child who is bullying a sense of “success” or satisfaction.  If the child being bullied does not lose control, but firmly challenges the other child’s behaviour it can again stop the bullying in the “trolling phase“.

Step 5:  Ask for help

If the bullying has got beyond the trolling phase, the strategy most likely to succeed is asking for help.  It is important that you talk to your child about who they can go to in order to get help if they are anxious.  Do this even if your child has not been bullied.

For more:

In April we will be releasing a Booklet for parents on this topic.  The image above will be part of the booklet and can be printed by parents and teachers.

Find out more by visiting our website:


Rigby, K.  (2008).  Children and Bullying:  How Parents and Educators Can Reduce Bullying at School. Blackwell Publishing:Victoria.


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