Help Your Children Take a Stand Against Bullying
October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, making this a great time for families to take a stand to put an end to the damaging behavior of bullying. Once thought of as a rite of passage, bullying is a serious problem that can have a long-term negative impact on the victim, the bully, and the bystanders. As a parent, you have power to make a difference by encouraging your children to treat others with kindness and by making sure they are well-informed and know what to do if bullying occurs.
Whether it occurs online or in person, bullying is defined as unwanted aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. A child who is being a bully uses this power, whether it be physical strength, popularity, or the possession of embarrassing information, to control or harm his or her target. Bullying can be challenging to overcome, and some families enroll their students in online school to give them a safe learning environment in which to regain their confidence.
Whether your children attend online public school, online private school, a local bricks-and-mortar school, or homeschool, you owe it to them to talk about bullying. The resources listed below can help get you started.
- Encourage your children to treat others with kindness and compassion.
- Try prompts to help you begin the discussion.
- Check out bullying awareness resources for parents to educate yourself.
- Share stories of real people who have overcome bullying.
- Talk about how to respond to bullying, including how to help someone who is being bullied.
- Direct your student to bullying awareness and prevention websites for young children and for teenagers.
- Talk to your children about safe cell phone use.
- Encourage your kids to practice Internet safety as smart digital citizens.
- Discuss how to respond to cyberbullying.
While you make your children aware of bullying, you may also want to consider ways that you can model kindness toward and acceptance of people who are different. Your actions and an honest discussion about avoiding and responding to bullying gives children the tools they need to feel confident in what has become an all too common situation.
How have you helped bully-proof your family? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments.