Many of Fort Hudson’s staff have school age children, and one of the most important topics facing kids today is bullying. In an effort to boost awareness on this topic, we make the following tips available…
If your child is being bullied, there are specific things you can do to help them. All children need to learn to stand up for themselves and be their own advocate; however, children cannot and should not be expected to stand up to bullies all by themselves. That can lead to frustration, anxiety, depression, and worse. Furthermore, studies show that kids who are bullied have a greater chance of becoming a bully themselves. Parents, schools and community members have to be advocates for all children and stop bullies. This may take work though. Bullying is no longer just the schoolyard bully who takes their lunch money. Bullying can include social isolation, cyber bullying, rumor spreading and other more subtle and covert practices. Because these are harder to see, and because kids fear that telling someone will only aggravate the bully and make things worse, it is hard to adults to even know that bullying is occurring, There are strategies, though, to be informed and to intervene.
- 1. To help a child who is being bullied we have to be informed about what is happening. Talk to your child. They may not open up at first. Some kids may not want to tattle or may have a hard time opening up; however, the more we talk with them the more the lines of real communication will open up. Encourage them to open up to you, but make sure they understand the difference between reporting and tattling.
- 2. Help your child develop a circle of good friends around them. Kids who are socially isolated, are far more apt to be victims of bullying. Kids need friends they can stick up for and who will stick up for them. Community sports and school clubs are a great way to start forming a circle of positive friendships.
- 3. Discuss and role play strategies for dealing with bullies. This includes what to say and do during an altercation and immediately afterward. When we are stressed, we tend to think slower and have a harder time coming up with what to say. Having practices a response will make it much easier. The response could be to turn and walk away and report the incident, and it could include a verbal response.
- 4. Monitor closely. Monitoring should be done by school staff, parents, etc. Adults can intervene easier if they catch it happening. Obviously, kids cannot be watched 24 hours a day, but way too often, bullying takes place in places that could easily be monitored closer. Also monitor your child for any emotional signs of being bullied and get them help if needed.
- 5. Discuss the situation with the parents of the bully and with school staff or other adults who are in the setting where it is happening and expect a zero tolerance policy for bullying. That does not necessarily mean that you will always get the cooperation you are seeking, but it does result in success sometimes, and it sends a message to your child that you will be their advocate and will follow through.
Read more: 10 ways to stop Bullying | howtoadult.com