Bullying Has Always Been A Hot Topic
Bullying has been around since the beginning of time and it’s evolving. Whether it’s the bully on the playground or behind the monitor, if not addressed bullying can lead to a very tragic end. Communicating is the best way to eliminate bullying. Talk to your child about their day at school and ask them if they witnessed or experienced any bullying. Encourage your child to talk to their teachers and monitors at school about any bullying issues. When your child informs you that they spoke with an authority figure at school, you will know who to follow up with should the problem continue. Also, get to know the parents of your child’s friend; remember the old saying: “It takes a village to raise a child.”
When you come home from work, set time aside for your child. Ask them about their day. Be sure to put away the smartphone and really take the time to focus on them. Ask them questions about their day. What did they enjoyed about school? Was there a subject that really challenged them? Can they recall an interesting fact that they learned? Be sure to take the time to listen to their responses and have follow up questions. This helps them with their communication and socialization skills. Before you end the conversation, be sure to talk to them about bullying. Did they witness any bullying and if so, did they inform a teacher? When a teacher is in the room, the bully is the nicest person in the world but when the teacher leaves the room, the bully starts their search for their next victim.
NOT A TATTLETALE
Depending on your child’s age, they may be confused about telling on someone who is causing trouble versus being a tattletale. I’ve always told my daughters that if someone could possibly get hurt, they need to tell an adult as soon as possible. However, if they see their sister sneaking a cookie from the jar, allow her to be caught by mom or dad. When your child comes to you with a bullying issue, be sure to ask them if they informed a teacher. If they didn’t, be sure to encourage them to do so, because if the teacher is not aware of the situation, they will not be able to help the student in need.
Now that your child is communicating with their teachers and you about bullying issues, it will be easier for you as the parent to follow up with the teacher should the problem continue. If the teacher cannot help, do not hesitate to go to the principal with your concerns. By having open communication channels with the teacher and school staff, you are showing them that you are aware of what is happening at the school and that you are holding the faculty accountable to resolve the matter.
GET TO KNOW THE PARENTS
Do you know the parents of your child’s friends? If not, take the time to do so. Get to know them and share any bullying concerns you may have about bullying Their child may be experiencing the same situations as your child since they are friends, but may not have been informed about the matter. Once the bully sees that their victims are not afraid to go to the teacher and parents, they’ll realize that their continued actions will only get them into trouble.
Encourage your child to stand up to bullying now, so that they have the confidence to handle the bullies they face when they enter the workforce.