As parents, we have a role to play in preventing bullying. We can:
Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help.
Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
Model how to treat other with kindness and respect.
Read below for more information on each of these topics!
Help Kids Understand Bullying
Kids who know what bullying is can better identify it. They can talk about bullying if it happens to them or others. Kids need to know ways to safely stand up to bullying and how to get help.
Encourage kids to speak to a trusted adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied. The adult can give comfort, support, and advice, even it they can't solve the problem directly. Encourage your child to report bullying if it happens.
Talk about how to stand up to kids who bully. Give tips, like using humor and saying "stop" directly and confidently. Talk about what to do it those actions don't work. like walking away.
Talk about strategies for staying safe, such as staying near adults or groups of other kids.
Research tells us that children really do look to parents and caregivers for advice and help through tough decisions. Sometimes spending 15 minutes a day talking can reassure kids that they can talk to you if they have a problem. Start conversations about daily life and feelings with questions like these:
What was one good thing that happened today? Any bad things?
What is lunch time like at your school? Who do you sit with? What do you talk about?
What is it like to ride the school bus?
What are you good at? What do you like best about yourself?
Talking about bullying directly is an important step in understanding how the issue might be affecting kids. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but it is important to encourage kids to answer them honestly. Assure kids that they are not alone in dealing with any problems that arise. Start conversations about bullying with questions like these:
What does "bullying" mean to you?
Describe what kids who bully are like. Why do you think people bully?
Who are the adults you trust most at school when it comes to things like bullying?
Have you ever felt scared to go to school because you were worried about bullying?
Have you or your friends left other kids out on purpose? Do you think that was bullying? Why or why not?
What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
Do you ever see kids at your school being bullied? How does it make you feel?
Have you ever tried to help someone who is being bullied? What happened? What would you do if it happens again?
There are simple ways that you can keep involved with your kids lives:
Read class newsletters and school flyers; talk about them at home.
Check the school website
Go to school events
Greet their bus driver
Meet teachers and counselors at "Back to School" night or reach out by email
Share phone numbers with other kids' parents
Encourage Kids to Do What They Love
Help kids your take part in activities, interests, and hobbies they like. Kids can volunteer, play sports, sing in a choir, or join a youth group or school club. For local resources for all of these things, click HERE to get them involved!
These activities give kids a chance to have fun and meet others with the same interests. They can build confidence and friendships that help protect kids from bullying.
Model How to Treat Others with Kindness and Respect
Kids learn from other adults' actions, particularly their parents'. By treating others with kindness and respect, adults show the kids in their lives there is no place for bullying. Even if it seems like they are not paying attention, kids are watching how adults manage stress and conflict, as well as how they treat their friends, colleagues, and families.
To read the original article from StopBullying.gov and for more resources, click HERE.