Children will soon be returning to school. Sadly, for as many as one in five children going back to school is negatively colored by the fact that they will face bullying in the halls and classrooms of their school. What can adults do to prevent the damage done to self concepts when bullying is part of every school day?
Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior that involves real or perceived power imbalance. This behavior is repeated, increasing the anxiety, embarrassment and loss of self-esteem for the person on the receiving end. Bullying and cyber bullying is abuse and it is unacceptable.
Here are some things adults can do to minimize the incidence of bullying behaviors for your children.
Know the school policies and how bullying behaviors are handled. What is done at your child’s school to prevent bullying through classroom lessons? What is done to inform children about bullying and what is done when a bullying incident is reported.
Watch for warning signs of bullying. Has your child’s behavior changed or has he or she refused to eat normally. Any major changes might indicate bullying is part of the school day.
Recognize bullying whenever you see it and identify it as such. Let your child know that bullying behaviors are unacceptable and should be reported.
Talk about bullying and ways to stop it. Respond to disrespect or aggressive behaviors when they come up in television shows and movies. Take a firm stand against such behaviors and let your child know you’ll back them up if it happens.
Role play with younger children so they know what to say and do in a bullying situation. Help them understand when to tell an adult and let them know you’re available when they need help.
Teach your children that there are often bystanders who witness bullying but don’t intervene. Teach them this behavior is wrong and that bystanders have the obligation to report bullying.
Not sure what constitutes bullying or who most often commits acts of bullying? When does bullying occur and who does most of it? Take this quiz to see if you know the answers.
What have you done to stop bullying in your neighborhoods and schools? How can children learn not to bully others? Why do children bully one another and is it really as serious as it sounds? What stories can you share to encourage other parents and grandparents?