Now that our children are heading back to the classroom, it is the perfect time for us to begin talking with them about bullying. Children who are being bullied may be reluctant to discuss the issue; making it even more difficult to open up the conversation. As adults, we must be aware of the sensitive nature of the topic and learn to talk openly and truthfully with our kids. To help you get started, here are a few tips on how to approach the situation if you suspect your child may the the victim of a bully.
2. Research your schools harassment policy. Most schools have a written policy about bullying. Take the time to read over it and ensure that what is happening with your child is bullying. Remember, bullying is not just one incident, it is an a series of ongoing incidents that are intentional, harmful and repetitive.
3. Approach the school. Although children typically are not overjoyed with the prospect of getting the school involved, intervention from the school is generally what prevents bullying from escalating even further. Keep a detailed account of incidents. Print off any emails, facebook comments, tweets, ect that may provide evidence to back your child's claim. Make an appointment to speak with the principal or counselor. Make sure they realize the severity of the situation and how it is affecting your child.
4. Consider taking further action. If the school is being lax about the situation, don't be afraid to take this to a higher level. Contact the school board, the media, the police. Don't be ashamed or feel that you are overreacting. That is your prerogative as a parent. Let someone know your child is being bullied and it needs to stop.
5. Boost your kids confidence. This is probably the most useful method of combating bullying. Bullies target people they feel are weak or inferior. Getting your child more active in sports or other activities that they enjoy may cause the bully to back off. It's important for your children to feel loved at a time like this. Encourage them to take part in activities that make them happy.
Here are some additional resources to help with bullying.
Kids Health: Helping Kids Deal With Bullying
Empowering Parents: My Child Is Being Bullied
Also, be sure that you are talking openly and honestly about bullying and ensure that your child understands what it is. Don't be afraid to get involved if you find out your child is actually the culprit. The more you talk to your children, the less likely they are to become, or be the victim of bullies.