4 Actions Parents Can Take to Prevent Bullying at School
If your child has become the victim of bullying at school, it can be tough finding the right way to go about helping him cope. It’s important, however, to address bullying issues as soon as possible. Taking prompt actions to prevent ongoing bullying can keep the situation from getting out of hand and ensure your child isn’t being distracted at school. If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to bullying, here are four actions you can take on behalf of your child.
Look for Warning Signs
If your child hasn’t told you about bullying at school, it can be hard to know what’s going out on. However, there are some telltale signs you can look for, including:
- Changes in eating habits
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of enjoyment in hobbies
- Avoidance of certain situations
If you think bullying could be the problem but your child is still reluctant to share, use books or television shows to bring up the issue. Ask a lot of questions and provide positive reinforcement so he feels comfortable opening up to you.
Talk to Your Child’s Teacher
It’s important to make teachers and administrative professionals aware of bullying issues as soon as possible. Make sure to include all details when reporting an incident, including who was involved and exactly what happened. Because most schools have a protocol in place to deal with bullying, informing administrators will give them the ability to intervene before a situation gets worse.
Teach Your Child How to Respond Appropriately
Regardless of how difficult the situation may be, retaliation is never the answer. Teach your child the right way to respond to a bully, like walking away and looking for a teacher or other adult who can help. Encourage him to sit with friends on the bus, eat with them during lunch, and walk with them in the halls to discourage bullies from picking on him.
Speak to the Offender’s Parents
If other steps you’ve taken still haven’t stopped the bullying, you may want to consider reaching out to the parents of the bully. If you choose to do so, make sure that your conversation is non-confrontational. Explain that you want your children to get along better and that you’re wondering what you might be able to do as a team to help diffuse the situation. Don’t make assumptions or accusations; instead, brainstorm ways you can work together to help your children have better interactions.
Has your child experienced bullying in the past? How did you help them cope? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.