Watch Out for Bullying
Bullying and cyberbullying is either physical or verbal and occurs when a child picks on another child repeatedly. It can happen anywhere at anytime, and isn’t restricted to the playground or school bus anymore.
Social media has enabled bullying to happen from afar. There are more avenues than ever before for bullying to infiltrate, making it critical that parents keep a close eye on all communication platforms their children use.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these tips for keeping your children safe from bullying this school year:
When Your Child
Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
• Look the bully in the eye;
• Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation; and
• Walk away.
Teach your child how to say in a firm voice:
• “I don’t like what you are doing.”
• “Please do NOT talk to me like that.”
• “Why would you say that?”
Other tips include teaching your child when and how to ask a trusted adult for help and encouraging your child to make friends with other children. You also should be willing to work closely with school teachers and administrators to help monitor the situation when you are unable to be around.
When Your Child Is the Bully
There may be an occurrence that involves your child participating in bullying behavior. Maybe he got wrapped up in the wrong crowd or is acting out for some reason. Regardless of the cause, it’s up to you to step in. Here are more tips from the AAP:
• Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK;
• Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior;
• Be a positive role model to show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting;
• Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges; and
• Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors and parents of the children your child has bullied.