How to Talk to Your Child About Bullies and Prevention
School safety should be a right for all students alike. It’s up to you as a parent to teach your child about bullying. Empower your children with the facts and ways to stop bullies in their tracks. Bullying is a serious problem that can have a long-term negative impact on the victim, the bully, and the people who witness it. As a parent you have the power to make a difference by encouraging your children to treat others with kindness and making sure they are well-informed and know what to do if bullying occurs.
Whether at school, online or on the bus, bullying is defined as unwanted aggressive behavior. There are different types of bullying including: physical, verbal, social, or cyber. A child who is being a bully uses this power, whether it be physical strength or popularity to control or harm their target. Whether your child attends public, private, or homeschool you should talk to them about bullying, because it can happen anytime in life, not just as a young child. Here are a few things you can go over with your child to take a stand against bullying.
Encourage your child to treat others with kindness and compassion, and practice what you preach. Children learn behavior from their parents whether it be good or bad, so make sure to watch how you respond to stress and conflict. Remember, they are always watching. Talk about how to respond to a bully, including how to help someone who is being bullied. Communicate with your child and let your child know its OK to communicate with others as to how they are feeling. Keep the lines of communication open, students have a lot of insight as to what is happening in the classroom or school bus. Asking the right questions can help you help them.
Encourage your child to do what they love. One of the best ways for students to create positive and lasting relationships is to group them with other kids that have like interests. Help your child find a place to express themselves whether it be martial arts, soccer, art or music class, or reading groups.
Your actions as a parent and honest discussions about avoiding and responding to bullying give children the tools they need to feel confident in what has become too common of a situation. Help your child be a model student for others to follow, get involved, and start the discussion.