“It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets)
Bullies appear in many classic fairy tales. We all know the story of Snow White and her wicked stepmother and Cinderella and her cruel and jealous step-family. In both of these stories the main characters were victims of bullying.
Classic stories and fairy tales have a truly defining characteristic in that their messages or life lessons stand the test of time. And those lessons span throughout the ages to be passed from generation to generation. One such tale is “The Three Little Pigs”. They have a real bully situation on their hands in this story. They take the stance to stand tall and send the message: “Don’t mess with me.”
Unfortunately bullies also appear in modern life. Bullying is a big problem that affects lots of kids. Bullying can happen anywhere, and to anyone—from name calling, to affecting reputations and relationships, or even physically hurting someone or their possessions.
I like the modern take that a 5 year old shares in her story, “The Peanut Butter and Jelly Hotdog.” It was a finalist in my annual writing contest for kids. It looks at the subject in such a wise a clever way and has some great advice on how to deal with a bully.
“Wanda’s Wart” is an all-ages indie picture book from Robin Robinson about the importance of friendship, honesty—and not being afraid to stand out for what makes you an individual. This story may help children deal with particular kinds of bullying, and for kids who run the risk of suppressing their interests and talents just to fit in.
We can help kids understand bullying by talking to them about it and teaching them how to stand up to it safely. This video by Geek Club Books talks about autism and bullying:
Download the episode guide to find more books, websites and activities about bullying.
Questions to Spark Conversations about Bullying:
The Three Little Pigs by: The Brothers Grimm
- What are the problems the characters face?
- How do they solve these problems?
- What lesson does this story teach you?
- How would you have handled the big bad wolf?
The Peanut Butter and Jelly Hotdog by Ivy Exum
- Why do bullies act that way? Share your thoughts
- What are things you can do to prevent a run-in with a bully?
- What did they do in this story to stop the bully?
- Have you heard the expression “kill them with kindness”? What does it mean? Does it apply to this story?
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