Bullying is no laughing matter no matter when it happens. When it is your child is bullied, that makes the situation more personal. You’re more likely to want to fight for your child’s right to go to school without anybody picking on them. Here are some steps you can take to improve the situation.
Talk About Problem
Talk about the problem with your child’s new teacher at the beginning of the year. This can help the teacher keep on the look-out for any potentially troubling behaviors. These behaviors indicate that your child is being bullied. The teacher can then step in to prevent any potential problems.
Organize a Group
Organize a group of concerned parents. Approach the school’s administration about ways you can participate in the school’s anti-bullying efforts. You can volunteer in a classroom during a lesson about this problem or otherwise participate in helping make the campus safe and accepting of all students.
Encourage and Teach
Encourage your child to speak to an adult they trust at school if they are bullied or see others who are being picked on.
Teach your child how to effectively stand up to bullies, such as being humorous, and saying “stop” in a direct and confident way. Your child can also walk away if they are bullied.
Teach your child to stay near groups of adults or other children to prevent being cornered by a someone where no one can see what is going on.
Talk with your kids every day to keep the lines of communication open. Ask about one good thing and one bad thing that happened during the day. Find out who they sit with at lunch and what they talk about. Ask about what it’s like to ride the bus, and ask them what they feel they are good at doing at school.
Discuss with your child about what harassment means. Explain what a bully acts like, and talk about why they may act that way. Help your child identify an adult they can talk to at school about this problem.
Create A Plan
Create a plan of action for if your child sees someone being bullied. They can be kind to those who are bullied, or find an adult to help out if another child is being bullied, for example.
You can find more helpful ideas about how to talk with your child about bullying and about how to prevent it at StopBullying.gov.
L. Hughes-Page, M.Ed.
L. Hughes Page is a Field Supervisor to student teachers in the Graduate Department of Education at Gwynedd Mercy University.