Protecting Your Kids From Bullies What Every Parent Needs to KnowBy Child Safety Specialist Nov 15, 2011 | 10:00:00 amPosted in: Child Safety, Family, Home Security Tips
Cyberbullying is a hot topic in the news. Not only did Anderson Cooper dedicate an entire week long series to it but some of the biggest Hollywood stars and athletes including Robert Pattinson, Selena Gomez and Kristen Stewart have admitted to being bullied when they in school.
But while the awareness of the issue is growing, when it’s happening to your own child it seems as if we’re going through it on our own. This week is recognized as National Anti-Bullying Week so hopefully your school is discussing the issue in class. If they’re not, here are a few recommendations if your child is being bullied:
• Don’t dismiss the issue - Whether your child plays it down or is seriously upset, get involved. Parents of “bullycide” victims (kids who have committed suicide due to bullying) frequently comment that they wish they had taken the issue more seriously.
• Help your child come up with a plan – Get as many details as you can so that, when necessary, you can provide accurate details to school administrators. Encourage your child to stay with a friend and in areas where there are large groups of people, as bullies like to strike when the victim is alone. While you should advise your child not to fight back, consider enrolling him or her in a self-defense karate class or some other sport that will help boost self-confidence. Bullies seek out those who appear to have lower self-esteem.
• If the bullying is occurring online, be sure to keep a record of all emails, texts, posts, and tweets in case you need to the authorities.
• Get the school involved – States are now enacting more serious anti-bullying laws. In the aftermath of Rutgers student Tyler Clemente’s death, New Jersey has passed one of the toughest anti-bullying laws, which should be a model for other states. Communicate with the school on a daily basis and insist on updates as to what they’re doing to rectify the situation.
• If you don’t get satisfaction, raise it to the next level – Whether it’s a neighbor’s child, a close friend or someone you’ve never met, talk to the bully’s parents and express your concerns. They may be unaware of the situation. And, while this might be an awkward conversation, if it’s someone you know, it’s imperative that you discuss the issue.
• If necessary, get law enforcement involved – Many school districts around the country have a police officer or several assigned to the school that are always on campus. This would be the first law enforcement personnel to approach. Ask him/her for their suggestions on handling the situation.
• Most importantly, continue to reassure your child that you will support him and get the bullying to STOP!
Stop the Bullying
Dealing With School Bullies
Bullying Is Becoming An Epidemic
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