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how to protect your child from a bully

How Can We Get Rid of Bullying?

how to protect your child from a bully

Bullying in schools and online is a very important issue and topic of conversation. Just ask anyone, and they will tell you that bullying needs to be eradicated. Unfortunately, since this conversation still exists, bullying is still a thing. This is despite everyone’s insistence that it should be dealt with. Often times, the problem is that kids just don’t see bullying the way adults do.

This means that it is up to the parents and school administrators to try and curb bullying. The parents can tackle the problem when their child is at home. Meanwhile, the school can deal with the issue when the child is on the campus. If both sides do their part and work with one another, then they can stand of chance of fixing the problem before it gets too out of hand.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is any repeated act of aggressive behavior toward a specific individual. This aggressive and threatening behavior can happen in person or online. The act bullying can take many forms, including:

  • Physical – This includes things such as hitting or pushing. It even includes threats of violence.
  • Verbal – This includes acts such as name calling and taunting.
  • Relationship – This includes refusing to interact with the victim or spreading rumors about the person.

Bullying can be very damaging to a person, especially children. Kids who are bullied are more likely to skip school, in order to avoid the bully, and are much more likely to develop mental health issues such as depression.

If parents want to keep their kids happy, healthy, and safe, then they need to work to help eradicate bullying.

Putting an end to bullying would be so much easier if kids actually talked to their parents about their problems, and if kids actually listened to everything that their parents tell them. Unfortunately, that is not how the world works.

How Can Parents of a Victim Help?

Kids often want to try to handling things themselves, or are too afraid to talk to their parents about a problem. This means it may be up to the parent to recognize that their child may be suffering from bullying and talk to him or her. Parents should always encourage their child to talk to them no matter what is going on. This means that the parent always has to be there for the child, even if the timing may not be convenient. So long as a parent does this, the child is more likely to open up when they have a problem.

A parent should not encourage their child to fight back against a bully. Most schools nowadays have zero tolerance policies toward violent behavior. Teaching a child to fight back against a bully might just lead to him or her being expelled. Instead, encourage the child to walk away and find a trusted adult to report the problem to.

It is also important to teach the child how to report the incident to an adult. If done incorrectly, the adult may just think the child is imply tattling, which won’t lead to any solutions.

In order to avoid this when reporting a bully to an adult, the child should:

  • Explain what the bully has done to make the child fearful or uncomfortable.
  • Say who the bully is.
  • List what the child has tried to do to get the bullying to stop.
  • An explanation of what the child wants the adult to do to make the bullying stop.
  • A parent can work with their child to help teach them the best ways to do this.

How Can Parents of the Bully Stop It?

It is one thing when a parent has a child that is being bullied, it is another thing when a parent’s child is the bully. First of all, identifying that a child might be a bully isn’t always easy.

A parent should look out for the following behavior in their child:

  • Is impulsive and gets angry quickly.
  • Hits or pushes others to take out aggression’s.
  • Hangs out with aggressive kids.
  • Fights frequently with siblings.
  • Doesn’t understand how actions might affect others.
  • Gets into trouble at school a lot.

If a parent sees a number of warning signs in their child, they may want to sit down and talk with him or her. The sooner this kind of bad behavior can be curbed, the better. Not only does it mean less people will get hurt by the behavior, but it also helps break it before it becomes an ingrained habit.

The next time the parent sees their child lashing out at someone, tell him or her to stop and if that fails, remove him or her from the situation. Then talk to the child about they could have handled that better. Help the child practice techniques to help control bad behavior, such as taking deep breaths and/or counting to ten.

Adults Need to Take Action

At the end of the day, kids are still learning about everything in the world around them. They need guidance from adults to teach them how to behave properly, without hurting others. Adults all need to take responsibility for the bullying problem. After all, everything kids learn, they learn from the people around them.

Adults need to put their best foot forward when kids are around and set a good example. They also need to sit down and talk with their kids when they exhibit bad behaviors. By doing both of these simple things, an adult is taking action against bullying.

preventing bullying

What to Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied

preventing bullying

As a parent, one of the most heartbreaking things that can happen to your child is for them to come home from school one day and tell you that they are being bullied. At first you might feel angry, “How could someone pick on, tease, or taunt my child? Their parents should have taught them better. I am going to call the school right now and get their number so I can give them a piece of my mind.”

As unfortunate as it may be, bullying is somewhat common now days. According to a study completed by the U.S. Department of Education on 2015, 22% of students ages 12-18 were bullied during the 2012-2013 school year. A staggering 20% if high school students also reported being bullied on school grounds in the past 12 months.

The study also revealed that boys are more likely to be physically bullied, while girls are more likely to be verbally bullied, face exclusion, and experience cyber-bullying. The silver-lining of the study found that even though bullying is most common in elementary school, the likelihood that your child will be bullied decreases throughout middle and high school.

Now that you have some statistics about bullying, you’re probably thinking back to the original scenario. What are you, as a parent, supposed to do if your child is one of the 22% of students that experience bullying? It can be hard to know what to say, but the most important thing to do is make sure they know you are there for them. You should not ignore the situation, but rather sit down and discuss what is going on with them. They need to know that their voice is being heard, someone cares about them, and that they are not alone.

Your parental instincts might tell you to have the child fight back or stand up for themselves, but that’s not always the best choice. Rather, take a stance against the bully together by letting them know you want to help and that you will get through the situation together. No matter the age, being bullied is never fun and can be painful to deal with. No matter what, make sure your child knows they are not alone and you will with fight it together.

Read our blog about how to prevent bullying here. For more resources about what to say and what not to say to someone being bullied, click here.

preventing bullying

Prevent Bullies

preventing bullying

New year, same problem. It’s the start of a new school year, which means new classrooms and new friends. For some, it also means facing new bullies. Let’s join the nation and take a stand against bullying one child at a time. What better child to start with than your own? The new school year is the perfect opportunity to start, or continue, the conversation with your kids about the importance of being kind to everyone and avoid being a bully.

A bully isn’t just someone who beats up on another student. According to the CDC, “Bullying is any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm.”

It is important to talk to your children about the different types of bullying. They are physical, verbal, and relational. Physical bullying is when one hits, kicks, punches, spits on, or trips another person. Verbal bullying is when someone taunts, calls another person a name, threatens, or makes sexual comments to someone else. The final type is relational, meaning someone is trying to harm another’s personal relationship by isolating them, spreading rumors, or sharing images.

According to stopbullying.gov, children are most likely to be bullied throughout elementary school. One of the key ways you can help prevent bullying is to address the bullying whenever and wherever you see it taking place. It is also important to talk to your children about the importance of being inclusive and kind to everyone, despite differences you may have.

If you would like more information on the warning signs, bullying prevention, or other educational materials, click here.