What Parents Can Do to Stop Bullying in Our Schools
Bullying is a problem that can only be solved with your help. Whether your child sometimes behaves like a bully, sometimes gets picked on by bullies, or has seen bullying go on in school, we need your help. Please read the tips and hints below and think about how you might do things at home to help make school a safer place for all children.
If You Suspect Your Child May Be a Victim
- Listen to your child. Take the time to hear what she has to say before giving advice.
- Encourage your child to talk to his teacher. The teachers want to help.
- Provide suggestions on how to stay safe. Tell your child to avoid getting caught alone, to ask for help if in danger and to be willing to hand over possessions if necessary. She can report the theft later, safety should always come first.
- Help your child develop friendships. Research shows that children who have few friends are more likely to be targeted by bullies.
- Tell your child to stand up to the bully. It may only put him or her in more danger.
- Tell your child to keep it to themselves, or not to cry. Children need to have safe outlets for their emotions, especially when they are hurt.
- Ignore the problem. It won’t go away by itself.
If you suspect your child may be a bully
- Tell your child that bullying is wrong
- Talk to your child’s teacher about the problem. Remember, you are both on the same side – for a safe school for all children.
- Show kindness at home. Be kind to animals, use kind words at home like “I’m sorry,” “Thank you,” “I forgive you,” and “I love you.”
- Punish your child harshly or physically. If you need ideas for respectful, non-physical discipline, call your child’s teacher or counselor.
- Tell yourself “boys will be boys” or “that’s the way girls are.” Bullying is dangerous for victims and bullies as well.
- If your child is neither a victim nor a bully, they are still an important part of the solution to this problem. The most effective way to end bullying behaviors is for bystanders to refuse to stand idly by. Talk to your child about bullying and what he or she can do to make a difference, such as becoming a friend to someone who has few or is new.