Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) wants to take a stand against bullying with one easy gesture – smiling.

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More than one out of every five students reports being bullied. More than half of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes. With back to school season right around the corner, Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) wants to take a stand against bullying with one easy gesture – smiling.
Smiling is one of the best and most simple ways to prevent bullying. As your child prepares to head back to school, GEDC would like to share the following tips with you to ensure your child, and your readers’ children, know how to combat bullying:

1. Simply smile. A simple smile is all it takes to begin a friendship. Encourage your child to smile at their peers when they head back to school - especially those that are the target of bullies. This simple gesture can help someone in need. If your child is the one being bullied, help them understand that most bullies are just looking for a reaction. Encourage them to simply smile instead of getting worked up in an effort to get bullies to leave them alone.

2.Get crafty. For bullied students, heading back to school can cause great anxiety. Spend some time with your child before school begins and create a craft that they can hand out to their classmates in an effort to make everyone feel included. GEDC recommends adding beads to a safety pin as a “friendship charm” – a perfect addition to a backpack or pencil case.

3. Stand up to bullies. If your student sees someone being bullied, educate them on how to stand up against a bully. Most bullies feel foolish after being confronted. After confronting the bully, encourage your child to reach out to a teacher or trusted adult to report the behavior.

4.Treat others the way you want to be treated. This tip is nothing new, but can be very powerful. As back to school season begins, take time to talk with your children on how to respect their peers and use their smile to comfort others and make friends.

This school year, take the pledge to Be a Buddy, Not a Bully! For every share of this post, we will donate $1 to the Stop Bullying Now Foundation Inc.