Bullying can take many forms, but it's harmful no matter how it happens. Some bullies use verbal taunts and intimidation while other bullies rely on physical violence. If your child has been bullied, you have the responsibility to act to help protect her. Many strategies have the potential to reduce or eliminate bullying when you, your child and school employees use them properly and consistently.
Teach your child to avoid the person or persons bullying her. There is nothing wrong with staying away from the bully and it doesn't mean that your child isn't standing up for herself or ignoring the problem. Avoiding the bully is a simple way to decrease the bullying behavior and to help your child protect herself.
Stand Up For Yourself
Show your child how to look a bully in the eye and loudly request that he stop it right now. This empowers your child to take control of the situation, but it also calls attention to the bully. The fact that your child is calling the bully out is often enough to make him stop or to bring the behavior to the attention of the teachers who can take further action.
Make it clear that your child can tell a teacher or other adult at the school if she's being bullied. This is different than tattling and is an essential step in bringing the bullying to the attention of caring adults who can step in and take disciplinary action.
Act out potential bullying scenarios with your child. Pretend to the be the bully and encourage your child to stand up for herself or go tell a teacher. This practice can give your child the courage necessary to tell someone about the problem so it can be solved.
Find A Friend
Encourage your child to hang with her friends. Often, bullies target a lone child, and if your child is surrounded by friends, or even just one close friend, it can deter a potential bullying situation.
Ask for Improved Supervision
Take action on behalf of your child. There is only so much your child can do to prevent bullying and, as the parent, you have a responsibility to protect your child. Ask teachers and other adults at your child's school to keep an extra close eye on your child, which can increase feelings of safety and security and deter a potential bully.
Talk to the School Board
Ask your child's school or school board about anti-bullying programs. If there isn't a program in place, find out how to start one in your child's school. Gather parent support and present a proposal.
Volunteer At the School
Volunteer at your child's school. This will allow you to keep an eye on your child, but it also provides an extra pair of eyes to supervise students and step in before bullies have a chance to bully. Encourage other parents to volunteer, as well, so there is always some extra supervision.
Speak up. Teach your child to tell someone if she sees someone else getting bullied. Keeping quiet does a huge disservice to a child being bullied and allows the situation to continue. If you see bullying, you should always speak up as well, by telling a teacher or the principal about what you've noticed.
Don't Give Up
Stay active and persistent. The bullying problems aren't likely to improve overnight, but with consistent work, you, your child, other parents and the school employees can work together to decrease the instances of bullying at the school.
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