Bullying is an epidemic that thousands of children and families are facing all over our country. On a daily basis, our children are faced with name calling, body shaming, physical and mental abuse, cyber bullying, racial bullying... (and on and on...) and we need to come together as parents to teach them HOW and WHY to take a stand. Take a stand for themselves and their peers.
- TALK with your children about bullying. Explain what it is and how to recognize the signs. It's easy for us to assume that our kids already know this information, but often times the conversation has not really occurred.
- ASK them questions!! "Do you think you have ever been bullied? How did you handle it?" and "Have you ever seen anyone be bullied at school? What happened and did you tell a teacher?" "Do you think you have ever been a bully, yourself? Can you tell me more about that?"
- OPEN the floor for conversation. Tell your children that they CAN come to you, to talk, to ask questions, seek advice, etc. Chances are, you've told them before ... but a reminder is always a good thing, too.
- OFFER advice and tell them stories of when you were their age and what you can remember. Doing this creates empathy, it makes them see that it's a real problem and happens to everyone.
- TEACH them that they can make a difference. Changing the life of just one person can truly alter one's thinking, forever. Teach them to be a friend.
- HAVE RESOURCES available for them if they need it.
- Behavior that hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally.
- An inability for the target to stop the behavior and defend themselves.
- An imbalance of power that occurs when the student doing the bullying has more physical, emotional, or social power than the target.
- Repetitive behavior; however, bullying can occur in a single incident if that incident is either very severe or arises from a pattern of behavior.
You can find more information and resources at www.pacer.org.