You may feel powerless if your kid is being bullied at school, but there are some steps you can take to help your kid find solutions to stop bullying, all while ensuring she gets the best educational experience possible.
School bullying is a big issue: 3.2 million students report bullying each year, and an alarming 90 percent of fourth through eighth graders report incidents involving bullies.
Here’s how you can take the right steps to prevent bullying in the classroom and at home.
1. Be open
Many kids don’t report bullying incidents to parents because some may feel ashamed or think their parents won’t understand. Let your child know that she’s safe to discuss bullying problems with you. If applicable, sharing your own bullying experience when you were younger can help your own child feel more comfortable to take about the bullying.
2. Identify the type of bullying
The traditional bully stereotype of a tough kid picking on one of the more vulnerable kids is not the only way bullying happens today. It can be a group of kids picking on one kid, a group bullying another group, and even teachers and other personnel at the school can bully kids. The bullying can also take different forms from verbal to written to on the web and can also be physical.
3. Be proactive
Don’t wait until your child becomes a victim of bullying to react. Think about a plan in advanced and discuss it with your child so she’s equipped with knowing how to deal with any kind of bullying. Talk to her about whom should report the bullying, and make it clear that you are her advocate to help stop bullies. Show her that you take bullying seriously, and you won’t dismiss it as something that’s harmless.
4. There’s no one size fits all solution
Listen carefully to the type of bullying your child is receiving before coming up with a solution. e sure to come up with contingency plans should your first solution not work.
5. Do not engage
Many bullies will turn to the Internet to bully from a distance. While it can be tempting to engage these bullies and give them the attention they desire, it can often be more advantageous to ignore bullies or monitor your child’s time on the internet and social media. However, parents should keep a record of any instances of cyber-bullying should it continue to be an issue.
6. Set an example
Remember your child looks to you to set an example. It can be easy to fly off the handle when you hear your child was bullied, but letting her know you’ll handle the situation respectfully and discreetly can make all the difference.
7. Know your school’s policy
In reaction to the problem of bullying, many schools have come up with policies to deal with it. You can easily identify and learn school policies and hold the school to those standards should your child become the victim of bullying.
8. Know the law
Many states and cities have adopted their own anti-bullying laws. When schools fail to protect your children, seek out higher authorities. Especially in the case of physical bullying, laws may be broken, and parents can advise local authorities when bullying happens.
9. Be your child’s greatest fan
No matter what type of bullying your child is experiencing, remind her that home is a safe place, and there is no one who thinks more of her than you and her family and friends. Children who don’t feel valued by their families will find it easier to believe a bully’s accusations.
If your child is being victimized by a bully, don’t stop fighting until you find a solution. Find more information here.