Parent Tips on Bullying
Tips for Parents on Bullying
- Really listen to your child about bullying and let her tell her story.
- Use good listening skills. Pay attention and don’t be distracted.
- React to the story in a way that encourages trust. Try to believe your child.
- Tell the child it’s not her fault and that she doesn’t deserve to be bullied.
- Be patient if your child isn’t ready to open up right away.
- Teach your child about bullying at a level she can understand.
- Discuss options with your child for dealing with bullying behavior (SWAT).
- Report bullying behavior to the Safe Schools Alert System, a trusted adult, building administrator or staff member.
- If you make a report gather details, names, locations, times, dates, behaviors.
- Model respectful behavior in front of your children.
- Reinforce your family’s rules and be consistent.
- Teach children the difference between tattling and telling an adult when someone is in trouble.
- Check in daily with your child after school.
- Tell your children specifically what bullying looks like and what to do if they see it or experience it.
- Establish technology house rules with your children.
- Check what sites your children visit and who they talk to on line.
- Talk to children about what is safe to post on line and how to protect passwords.
- Tell children not to respond to bullying messages on line, but not to delete them in case a report needs to be made.
- Ask your child specific, open-ended questions to gather information about bullying such as: did the child hurt you on purpose? Was it done more than once? How do you feel about the behavior? Is the other child bigger than you? Are kids making fun of you?
What NOT to do!
- Don’t talk to the child who is bullied and the child who bullied at the same time, as this could case more trauma or fear of reprisals. Children make also be less truthful or blame themselves.
- Don’t require the child who is bullied to tell the child who bullied him how it made him feel. This could reinforce negative behavior.
- Don’t assume the child who bullied has low self-esteem. This is a big misconception among adults.
- Don’t assume bullying is just part of growing up.
- Don’t use labels like bully or victim. It can imply the behavior is a permanent condition and prevent children from asserting themselves. It also implies the behavior is one person’s fault, when a variety of factors are likely at play.