While bullying once was simply part of childhood, it has since become a serious topic that must be addressed by parents and teachers. Unfortunately, bullying has progressed beyond classmates teasing and taking lunch money. Bullies can become physically violent or torment students online through cyber-bullying.
Talking about bullying
It is important to talk to children about bullying. This will help them understand what bullying is, how to prevent it, and how to deal with it if they experience it, or if someone they know experiences it. When you talk about bullying, make sure the child understands what bullying is, and that there is more to it than physical actions or stealing. Give children the resources and support they need to prevent bullying, such as how to be safe at school and warning signs to watch for. Teach children how to tell adults about bullying, whether it is happening to them or someone else. Remind children that bullying is never okay, and should always be reported.
Signs a child is being bullied
Bullying can be hard to detect, especially if the child being bullied is afraid to speak out. However, there are signs you can look for that can help determine if a child might be experiencing bullying.
These are only a few signs that a child is experiencing trouble, but can be used to start a dialogue about what is going on.
How to deal with bullying
One of the most important things an adult can do is believe a child who says he or she is being bullied. Some children do not report bullying because when they spoke up in the past, adults did not believe them. The only way children will speak out against what is happening is if they know they will be listened to.
If bullying is occurring at school, know your child’s school policy on bullying and go through the proper channels to report it. Teachers and administrators want to work with you to protect the children in their care, and the bullying policies put in place at the schools are to help with that. Using the school’s bullying reporting policies will ensure that teachers and administrators can handle bullying the right way within the parameters of the school.
Finally, keep an open dialogue with children. If your child reports bullying, make sure you check regularly with your child to see if the problem has been resolved, or if it is still occurring. Find out if the bully is also harassing other children or targeting your child. Keep talking about what bullying is and how it is being handled so your child knows the problem is just as important to you as it is to him or her.
For more information on bullying and other crime prevention topics, check the resources available from the National Crime Prevention Council.