We all want our children to be happy and healthy, and keeping them away from bullies is a great place to start. Unfortunately, American schools can sometimes be infested with bullies. But the good news is that parents can work to help their children protect themselves against them. Here are some steps to do so:
1. Have An Open Discussion About It
Be open about bullying with your kids and have family members talk about their experiences with bullies. If your child tells you that they have been bullied, praise them for being courageous enough to share this with you and give them your love and support. Next, talk to staff and teachers about how you all can address the situation. Also, find out about your school’s policy on bullying.
2. Remove Temptation For Bullies
If the bullies at school are after money or electronic gadgets, have your child pack a lunch and leave his or her electronics at home.
3. Have Your Child Use The Buddy System
Have your child travel around campus with others for safety. Having two or more kids standing in front of your child’s locker lowers the chance that the bully will target your kids or his or her friends. Remind your child to travel with others, especially where bullies hang out. This may be on the school bus, in the bathroom, etc.
4. Have Your Child Remain Calm In The Presence Of A Bully
A child may be safest remaining calm when they are in the presence of a bully. Your child can say “Stop” and walk away from the bully. Bullies thrive on instilling fear in others, so they may stop picking on a child who isn’t affected by them.
5. Don’t Go It Alone
If you want to talk to the bully’s parents, it may be best to do so when a counselor or other school official is present so that they can mediate. Oftentimes, children get their bullying behaviors from behaviors they have copied from their parents; so be sure to have backup there to maintain a level of professionalism in your discussion over these behaviors.
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