According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, 20% of students in grades 9 through 12 have experienced bullying, and 30% of students admit to bullying. The numbers are staggering and scary. Bullying has increased exponentially with more and younger children accessing the internet, phones, and social media. This blog discusses five ways parents, guardians, and caregivers can help prevent school bullying.
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How to Prevent Bullying: 5 Ways
You can help alleviate bullying on school campuses in dozens of ways. However, we are spotlighting five.
Educate Your Child Early On
Children learn early, learning what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Children watch adults, model their behavior, and follow their example. It is essential to show your children how to treat others, be respectful, and use manners. Building a healthy foundation early can help prevent bullying later. Teaching children to be friendly and kind will also show them the type of behavior they should expect in return and to recognize bullies and signs of bullying early on.
Educating your children on good habits and behavior is never too early. Even preschoolers can learn that their behavior and actions can impact others.
In 2023, educating your children must go beyond teaching manners, such as saying please and thank you. You must go a step further and teach them internet awareness and the dangers technology poses.
Setting a solid foundation early on is one of the most impactful ways to prevent school bullying.
Create a Dialogue
Creating an open dialogue and keeping communication open between you and your children is crucial to preventing bullying. Creating an opportunity for your children to talk to you about bullying and peer-to-peer interaction can prevent your children from bullying and being bullied.
Teachers should also be encouraged to provide opportunities for open dialogue with their students. Allow them to share their ideas, feelings, and concerns. Teachers can also encourage their students to participate in anti-bullying organizations and forums.
Encourage Your Children to Become Upstanders
An upstander stands up for themselves and others rather than just being a bystander or onlooker. They are someone who takes action. Educate your children to speak up for themselves and others, even in challenging situations. Teaching your child to stand up for someone else who may be the victim of bullying will build confidence and leadership and lessen the risk of them being bullied themselves. For instance, if your child stands up to a bully on behalf of a friend, that bully is less likely to target your child, knowing they will not allow it. You can practice role-playing scenarios with your child to give them the tools and tactics necessary to intervene and speak up.
Equip Your Child with Proper Tools
Equipping your child with the proper tools to combat bullies can shift the balance of power back into their hands. Building their confidence, teaching them techniques, and equipping them with appropriate tools can give them the upper hand.
Tools to prevent bullying and escalation include teaching them how to respond in specific scenarios. This might be teaching them to:
- Walk away. Sometimes, walking away from a bully is best.
- Tell them firmly to stop. Tell them sternly to stop and that you won’t put it up with it,
- Stick with buddies. Bullies often target kids who are alone and are less likely to target kids in a group of peers. Stick with a group or, at the very least, with a buddy.
- Avoid situations. Bullying is scary, and sadly, often bullies cannot be easily discouraged. Avoid situations in which you anticipate bullying to occur. For example, if you know that a bully terrorizes kids behind the bleachers at every Friday night football game, avoid that area or the game altogether.
- Ask for help. Of course, asking for help to deal with a bully can be crucial. It is not tattle tailing or being a rat but instead being safe. Encourage your children to come to you with concerns about bullying.
Teaching your child about these tools can help put a stop to bullying in school.
One of the best ways to prevent bullying is for parents to get involved with their children, school, and extracurricular activities. Being present in your kid’s school and activities allows you to monitor what is happening closely and the general interaction between students. It also provides opportunities to speak with teachers and school administrators if you witness unchecked bullying. Overall, the more parents are involved, the less prevalent bullying tends to be.
To learn more about preventing school bullying or to speak to an attorney regarding help with bullying, contact us at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble. Our clients are more than just a number to us. Here, we treat each as family. Sometimes, it happens no matter how much you try to prevent bullying. If your child or someone you love is the victim of bullying, understanding your rights and legal options is essential.