• How to deal with bullying

    Parents, educational staff, and other adults who are concerned about the problem have a role to play in bullying prevention. They can:

    Help children understand what harassment is. Explain what harassment is and how to deal with it safely. Tell children that bullying is unacceptable. Make sure children know how to get help.

    Keep lines of communication open. Talk to children on a regular basis. Listen. Get to know your friends, ask them about the school and understand their concerns.

    Encourage children to do what they love. Special activities, interests and hobbies can build trust, help children make friends and protect them from harassment.

    Give an example of how to treat others with kindness and respect.

    Helping children understand bullying

    Children who know harassment can identify it more clearly. They can talk about bullying if it happens to them or others. Children need to know ways to safely handle bullying and how to get help.

    Encourage children to talk to a trusted adult if they are harassed or see others being harassed. The adult can provide comfort, support and advice even if he can not solve the problem directly. Encourage the child to report stalking situations should they happen.

    Talk about how to deal with children who mistreat you. Give him tips, how to use humor and say "enough!" Directly and with confidence. Talk about what to do if that does not work, how to get away.

    Talk about strategies to protect yourself, such as staying close to adults or another group of children.

    Encourage them to help children who are harassed by showing kindness and willingness to collaborate.

    Watch the short web episodes and discuss them with the children.

    Keep lines of communication open

     

    Research shows that children turn to their parents and caregivers for advice and help before making difficult decisions. Sometimes spending 15 minutes a day talking can show children that they can talk to their parents if they have a problem. Start conversations about feelings and everyday life with questions like these:

     

    What happened to good today? Did something wrong happen?

    How is lunch at your school? Who do you sit with? What are you talking about?

    What is it like to ride the school bus?

    What stands out? What do you like most about yourself?

    Talking about harassment directly is an important step in understanding how this problem might be affecting children. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but it is important that you encourage children to respond honestly. Remind children that they are not alone in facing any problems that may arise. Start harassment talks with questions like these:

    What is "harassment" for you?

    Describe how children are harassed. Why do you think people harass?

    Who are the adults you trust to talk about issues such as harassment?

    Were you ever afraid of going to school because you feared harassment? In what ways did you try to change the situation?

    What do you think parents can do to help stop harassment?

    Have you or your friends left other children on purpose? Do you think that was harassment? Why or why not?

    What do you usually do when harassment occurs?

    Do you see children in school who are harassed by others? How does it make you feel?

    Have you ever tried to help someone who has been harassed? What happened? What would he do if the same thing happened again?

    Get more ideas for talking to children about life and harassment. If concerns arise, be sure to respond.

    There are simple ways for parents and caregivers to keep up with the lives of their children.

    Read the class newsletters and school flyers. Talk about them at home.

    Visit the school website.

    Attend school events.

    Meet the bus driver.

    Meet teachers and counselors the night of "Back to School" or contact them by email.

    Exchange phones with the parents of the other children.

    Teachers and school staff also play an important role.

    References:


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