Bullies have always been a problem at schools. In the past, kids were told that dealing with their aggressors was a part of life. However, in recent years, anti bullying campaigns have swept the nation. Legislation has been passed to protect bullied students. And noted public figures like Lady Gaga and President Obama have also started anti bullying campaigns. More and more educators and students have committed to doing their part to help end bullying.
Anti Bulling campaigns start at home so what can parents do to get in on the action?
First, it’s important that parents do their research and know their facts. The Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media conducted a survey and found that nearly half (48 percent) of the children had been bullied. According to their research, 42 percent of the children confessed to being bullies, with 15 percent admitting to bullying others at least once every week.
The key to ending bullying starts at home. Dr. Ersilia Menesini of Eductaion.com says that bullying is a learned behavior which many children pick up from excessive conflicts with parents and siblings. No family is perfect and arguments are to be expected. However, Dr. Menesini says that when families constantly fight, damage property, intentionally hurt one another, or abuse their powers (as a parent or older sibling) the child may become a bully.
If you are ready to put a stop to bullying, talk to your child. Here are some suggestions from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
If you suspect your child is being bullied:
The signs: tries to avoid recess, academic issues, lost or damaged belongings, depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety.
- Dialogue. Encourage your child to discuss their problems with you. Voice your concern and offer them support and encouraging words.
- Document. Keep track of the incidents your child has with the bully. Record dates and exact details. This many come in handy when reporting to the school.
- Plan. Come up with a plan on how to handle the bully. You may consider having a discussion with the teacher, the other student, and the other parents present.
If you suspect your child is a bully:
The signs: above average self-esteem, impulsive, lack of empathy, violent, or has a disregard for rules.
- Dialogue. Listen to your child; have them explain their side of the incidents. Discuss with them why bullying is wrong and tell them
- that you will not tolerate it.
- Investigate. Spend time with your child doing other activities. Find out how they spend their spare time and how they interact with their friends.
- Seek Help. Don’t be afraid to seek help, either from your child’s teacher or with a school counselor.