One of your primary goals as a parent is to keep your children safe. As parents, you try your best to keep your child protected from things that may cause them harm. When your child is born, you take measures to keep your home safe for them, installing baby proofing equipment to make sure that your child is not in any danger when inside your house. Whenever you go out with your child, you always try your best to keep an eye on where they are or what they are doing at all times. Your child’s safety and wellbeing is number one on your priority list; this is what a being a parent is all about. However, as much as you want to keep your child from any harm, there are instances when you aren’t with them physically to protect them; this is especially true when they start attending school.
Awareness about bullying is at an all-time high and this spotlight on it has become very helpful in trying to stop the spread of bullying. Many schools have started to recognize that bullying is a problem and has taken their first steps to prevent bullying inside the school premises, however, there is still a lot of things to be done to eradicate bullying. According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics, more than one out of every five students report being bullied in their school; this study doesn’t include bullying that goes unreported.
Since schools still have a lot of work to do to end bullying totally, you as a parent should try and supplement the schools’ efforts to put a stop to it. Here are some tips that can help you:
1. Start early.
As soon as your child starts interacting with other children, teach them that violence should never be a part of their interactions. You should teach your child at an early age that picking on someone just because they are different is wrong. You should also tell your child that if they are being picked on or bullied to never resort to violence to deal with it. Teaching your child compassion and the importance of communication between peers can help prevent them from becoming bullies or victims.
2. Facts only.
It is essential to gather the facts about the situation before taking any action. Talk to your child about what’s happening to them at school and get as much detail as possible. Try not to point fingers at who is to blame, even the bully, and just gather information pertinent to the situation. After getting all the necessary information, it’s best to talk to the parents of the bully.
3. Compassion and communication are vital.
Learning that your child is being bullied can be a very angering experience, but you must try to stay calm. Remember that the bully is also just a child who might be experiencing issues of their own and bullying can be a type of defense mechanism for them to cope with these issues. It’s best to open a line of communication with the bully’s parents, they may not be aware that their child is a bully so take time to explain the situation to them. The bully’s parents might get defensive about the issue but try to keep your cool, present the facts that you’ve gathered and encourage a discussion.
4. Get help.
If talking to the bully’s parents is not working, you may contact school authorities like the school teachers or the principal to get involved. Do not ask them to punish the bully, instead ask them to intervene whenever the bullying situation arises. You may also get help from the school counselor to mediate between your child and the bully to resolve their issues.
The responsibility of ending bullying doesn’t fall solely on the shoulders of the school; it should be a shared duty of everyone involved in raising children. Bullying continues only if we allow it to. If your child is still being bullied after talking to the bully’s parents, here are some steps that you can follow.