Communication: The key to end bullying.
Bullying has always been a hot topic with children and if not addressed, can lead to a very tragic end. One of the best ways to reduce the amount of bullying that your child is exposed to is by simply improving the channels of communication with your child, their teachers and the parents of their friends.
When you come home from work and see your child, be sure to set time aside for them as you ask them about their day. Put down the smartphone and really take the time to focus on them as you ask them what they enjoyed about their school day, what subject material challenged them, what was the interesting fact that they learned and be sure to take the time to listen to their responses. Then ask your child if they witnessed any bullying and if their teacher was aware of the bullying situation. When a teacher is in the room, the bully is the nicest person in the world, but the moment the teacher leaves, the bully starts their search for their next victim.
Depending on your child’s age, they may be confused about telling on someone who is causing trouble versus being a tattletale. I’ve always told my daughters that if someone could possibly get hurt, they need to tell an adult as soon as possible, but if their sister is sneaking a cookie from the jar, allow her to be caught by mom or dad. When your child comes to you with a bullying issue, be sure to ask them if they informed a teacher. If they didn’t, be sure to encourage them to do so, because if the teacher is not aware of the situation, they will not be able to help the student in need.
Now that your child is communicating with their teachers and you about bullying issues, it will be easier for you as the parent to follow up with the teacher should the problem continue. If the teacher cannot help, do not hesitate to go to the principal with your concerns. By having open communication channels with the teacher and school staff, you are showing them that you are aware of what is happening at the school and that you are holding the faculty accountable to resolve the matter.
Do you know the parents of your child’s friends? If not, take the time to do so. Get to know them and share any bullying concerns you may have as their child may be experiencing the same situations as your child since they are friends, but may not have had the confidence to tell their parents. Once the bully sees that their victims are not afraid to go to the teacher and parents, they’ll realize that their continued actions will only get them into trouble.
Encourage your child to stand up to bullying now, so that they have the confidence to handle the bullies they face when they enter the workforce.
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