October is Bullying Prevention Month
As a parent, it is important to help your child understand what is and what is not bullying.
Bullying is defined as aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. It is excellent that you are monitoring your child’s behavior and it is only normal to have some concerns.
Here is a list of recommendations if you think your child is being bullied:
- Make sure to tell the school, coach or other organization that may be involved
- Keep the lines of communication open- talk to your kids regularly about their friends, school, and their concerns. Make sure you listen to them.
- Read books about bullying
- Keep lines of communication open with other parents involved in the situation.
- Encourage kids to be involved in activities. Sports, hobbies and clubs can give kids a chance to boost their confidence and can protect them against being bullied.
- Model how to treat others with love and kindness.
It is also important for kids to have a plan in place if they are being bullied or see someone being bullied. Make sure they tell a trusted adult if they have been bullied or see someone being bullied. If you notice any changes in their behavior and have already checked in with them then it is important to also check in with their teacher or school counselor. Make sure you give the school as much details about their change in behavior as possible. It may also be beneficial to seek counseling services.