Instead of Hurting Someone Back...

20 Things to Do Instead of Hurting Someone Back

1) STOP and THINK. Don’t do anything right away. Consider your options. Think about what might happen if you try to hurt the other person.

2) Know that what you do is up to you. You can decide. You are in charge of your actions.

3) Tell yourself, “It’s okay to feel angry. It’s not okay to hurt someone else. Even if that person hurts me first.”

4) Tell the person, “Stop that! I don’t like that!”

5) Keep your hands to yourself. Make fists and put them in your pockets.

6) Keep your feet to yourself. Jump or dance or stomp.

7) Walk away or run away.

8) Tell the person how you feel. Use an “I message.” Example: “I fell angry when you hit me because it hurts. I want you to stop hitting me.”

9) Take a deep breath, then blow it out. Blow your angry feelings out of your body.

10) Find an adult. Tell the adult what happened and how you feel.

11) Count slowly from 1 to 10. Count backwards form 10 to 1. Keep counting until you feel your anger getting smaller.

12) Think cool thoughts. Imagine that you’re sitting on an iceberg. Cool down your hot, angry feelings.

13) Think happy thoughts. Think of something you like to do. Imagine yourself doing it.

14) Treat the other person with kindness and respect. It won’t be easy, but give it a try. This will totally surprise the other person, and it might end the conflict between you.

15) Draw and angry picture.

16) Sing an angry song. Or sing any song extra loud.

17) Remember that getting back at someone never makes conflict better. It only makes it worse.

18) Take a time-out. Go somewhere until you feel better.

19) Find another person to be with.

20) Know that you can do it. You can choose not to hurt
someone else. It’s up to you.

Adapted from The Bully Free Classroom, by Allan L. Beane, PH.D.,
Free Spirit works for kids Publishing, C. 1999.