Bullying statics show that almost every child will encounter some type of bullying. Unfortunately no child is immune to this behavior. Children of all ages and race are being affected. As parents we may not have the power to prevent this behavior but we do have the power to stop it. Here are our top ten actions that parents can take to help stop bullying.
How to Stop Bullying:
Daily Talks. Unfortunately with everyone’s busy schedules not enough time is spent talking with children. Research shows that adults are often the last to know when children are bullied or bully others. It is important to make the time to talk with your child daily. This can be done by asking them questions about what they are doing in school, who they are hanging out with, who they have lunch with, etc. If your child feels comfortable talking to you they will hopefully open up if they are being bullied or harassed.
Get Involved. It has been proven that most bullying happens when adults are not present. Unfortunately you can’t watch over your child during school but you can get involved in social or after school activities.
Lead by Example. Children learn a great deal from their parent’s behavior. Your child closely monitors your behavior and often follows your example. Next time you get angry while driving, at a sales clerk, don’t blow your top. You have a chance to show your children effective communication techniques without yelling.
Know the Signs. Children that are being bullied are often embarrassed or ashamed and therefore don’t tell anyone, especially parents.
Therefore, it is essential for parents to know to recognize possible signs of being bullied. The signs of bullying include but are not limited to depression, frequent loss of personal belongings, avoiding recess or school activities, and getting to school very late or very early.
Teach Your Children. Habits form at a very early age in children. Parents can help develop anti-bullying habits early in your children. Coach your children on what to do and what not to do. Children should be taught not to be physical with other children that includes, hitting, pushing or being mean to others. They should also be taught what to do when other kids are mean. This includes, teaching them to tell an adult, say “no”, ignore and walk away.
Bullying Programs. As a parent it is important to know what your child’s school is doing to prevent bullying. Do they have a bullying program in place? Research shows that schools that have an anti bullying policy in place that educate students If your child’s school does not have effective bullying strategies and policies in place, talk to the principal and advocate for change.
Establish Your Own Rules. Parents can’t just rely on the school to teach their children that bullying is not accepted. Parents need to send a clear message to their children that bullying is not right, tolerated and there are consequences. They also need to teach their children exactly what bullying is and why its not tolerated.
Cyber bullying. Parents and children may not fully be aware of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is one of the newest forms of bullying due to today’s technology. Cyberbullying includes sending mean, harassing or threatening messages via the Internet, instant message or texting. Cyber bullying can be crueler than school bullying because the bullying can take place 24/7. It is again important to educate your child on what cyber bullying is and to let an adult know if they are being bullied.