BULLIES BEWARE! Here's the critical contact information for school administrators, teachers, parents and even the children who are affected by bullies. Everyone can now stand united to eliminate the deadly threat of bullying.
(Second of two parts)
When it comes to controlling bullying, parents can help.
Talk to your kids, not just once but every week, and really listen to what they have to say. Ask probing questions about behaviors and feelings. It may take some repetition to make them understand that you really do want to know about what concerns them. If they share that they’ve been targeted, offer support, assure them that no one deserves to be bullied, encourage and assist with reporting.
While many bullying incidents happen without adult observation, most have other students nearby. A newer strategy being examined recently is to transform the bystanders into rescuers.
My 13-year-old son and his friends witnessed several bullying incidents at their school and were able to intervene, challenge the bully and protect the target, but only with the support and encouragement of both their parents and teachers. If bystanders can be mobilized to interrupt or simply report bullying, they feel empowered and proud, changing the emotional tone from fear and anxiety.
Week of awareness
When I taught multiply-disabled high school students in New Jersey, we had a one-week requirement each fall to integrate our lessons with information to increase student awareness of bullying and nonviolence, and to promote increased acts of kindness throughout the school. One week in an entire school year is not too much to dedicate to a life-threatening behavior that can be eliminated. I watched it work, year after year, as I had a part in the many success stories.
The following websites provide valuable information for parents, teachers and children to learn about, and put an end to bullying. We have many resources available to us. It’s time to utilize them.
What is cyberbullying and how to stop it.
How to discourage attacks, by WebMD.
Ways to empower your child against bullies.
Is your child a bully? Take the quiz.
Help your child deal with a bully.
An important book for parents.
Detailed medicalinformation on bullying symptoms, treatment and more.
PBS has a place for kids to talk about their bully experiences.
Stop bullying at school and encourage better interactions among students.
How to increase positive interactions.
Department of Education presents ways to end bullying.
Strategies to eliminate bullying in school.
Learn how to end bullying. It’s preventable. Stop it now.
ABC presents “Bullied to Death” on 20/20
Diana Boggia, M.Ed., is a parenting educator in Stark County, Ohio. Send your child-rearing questions to Family Matters@cantonrep.com or The Repository, c/o Family Matters, 500 Market Ave. S, Canton, OH 44702. Find additional parenting resources, along with links to all of her columns, at Diana Boggia’s website, www.yourperfectchild.com.