It’s back to school time here in the United States and parents, caregivers, and school staff each have a role to play in the prevention of bullying. Children need to understand bullying so they know how to stand up to it safely or when to go get help. They need to have an open line of communication with their parents so they can get advice about bullying, and they need people modeling for them how others should be treated.
Help Children Understand Bullying. Children who know about bullying can talk about it if it happens to them or to someone else. Encourage children to report bullying when it happens and give them advice on how to stand up to a bully by confidently saying, “stop.” Teach children strategies of what to do if saying, “stop” doesn’t work, such as walk away, stay with friends, or to go near other adults. Urge children who see someone being bullied to get help.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open. Children often look to parents for advice with life’s drama. Here are some great conversation starters:
- What was a good thing that happened at school today?
- Did anything bad happen?
- What is lunch time like?
- Who do you sit with at lunch time?
- What do you talk about?
- What is it like to ride the school bus?
- What’s your favorite subject?
- What do you like best about yourself?
Start conversations about bullying with questions like these:
- What does “bullying” mean to you?
- What are kids who bully like?
- Why do you think people bully?
- Who are the adults you trust when it comes to things like bullying?
- Have you ever felt scared to go to school because of bullying?
- What things have you tried to change?
- What do you think parents can do to help stop bullying?
- Have you or your friends left other kids out on purpose? Do you think that was bullying?
- What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
- Do you ever see kids at your school being bullied by other kids?
- How does it make you feel?
- Have you ever tried to help someone who is being bullied? What happened? What would you do if it happens again?
Model How to Treat Others. By treating others with kindness and respect, adults show the children in and around their lives that there is no need for bullying. The children are watching, even when you think they are not, how adults manage stress, friendships, co-workers, and families.
Encourage Children to Take Part in After School Activities. These activities, such as sports, choir, youth groups, or school clubs give children a chance to have fun and meet others with the same interests. They can build relationships and confidence which helps protect them from bullying.
Hi this is Terri Borman childcare specialist and author of Shapes Go to School. While having fun reading my book, not only will children learn to recognize shapes they can learn everything in between such as colors, counting, and even diversity. I would like to spot light one of the characters from my book named Hexagon. Looking bullyish, Hexagon is angry because he doesn’t like it when people call him names. To purchase Shapes Go to School click on this link http://www.amazon.com/author/terriborman or click on the picture of Hexagon.
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