Here are tips for talking to your kids about bullying.
Seems like lately we hear a lot about the new type of bullying. The kind that came with the advent of the Internet and all the anonymous and widespread cyber bullying possibilities that get carried across social media for all to see.
Still, the old tactics work just as well—Take the case of a 7-year-old boy we just learned about in Mexico. He died from a lung infection supposedly caused after his head was shoved into a toilet by an older boy. Bottom line, bullying is still a big, big problem, no matter the kind.
How to Prevent Bullying
Even though most schools now claim to have zero tolerance bully policies—That is at least a far cry from the old days, when getting pushed into lockers and called a long list of names was de riguer and not of too much concern to administrators—Parents still have to be a big part of any anti-bullying campaign.
It’s important to be tuned in to your kids, their friends, classmates and the like. This way, you can be alerted to certain signs of bullying or behavior that might need to be addressed before it escalates. Also, it's important to discuss what’s going on in school and the right and wrong messages certain actions send. Here at The List, we have the top ways to prevent bullying and get your children on the anti-bullying bandwagon.
1. Talk to Your Kids
Ask them about their day, like, what happened in classrooms, the cafeteria and on the playground. For younger kids, you can inquire whether friends are being nice to each other. For older kids, you can discuss if people are treating each other nicely or if there is anything they have seen that bothers them. Make this is an enjoyable conversation, not a grilling session so that your child will know to come to you when and if a problem comes up.
2. Explain Bullying
Let them know that bullying can be more than physical. While no one has the right to touch, hit or shove, neither do they have the right to verbally abuse them either. Whether it is name calling, taunting, mean jokes or other, it's not acceptable. Also, explain to your children that what they say, might hurt someone too, so he or she needs to be mindful of appropriate conversation.
3. Be Someone to Emulate
Many behaviors that children learn come from home. Therefore, you need to set a good example in terms of attitude toward others, empathy and judgment. If your children see you as an accepting person, they in turn are likely to learn that attitude.
4. Give Your Kids Power
Teach them how to speak up for themselves, how to tell a bully to stop bothering them or someone else. Explain to them that no one has the right to treat them badly and that they can let a teacher or other grown up know what is happening.
5. Find Out About Anti-Bullying Programs
Many communities and schools have anti-bullying programs in place that both children and adults are involved with. Find out about their strategies and what procedures are in place at your schools to deal with potential situations.
6. Recognize Warning Signs
Whether in your own children or in discussions with friends about their kids, there are certain signs that someone who is being bullied may exhibit. Some include: Complaining about going to school from an otherwise happy-to-go child, constant stomach aches, mood changes, bad grades and acting out.
Bullying is a widespread problem that isn't going away anytime soon. By talking to your children about the issue, they will feel comfortable approaching you if they sense a troublesome situation at school.
For more tips on preventing bullying, check out Poshmom.