Let’s face it: we’re all worried about bullies. On the playground and online, for lunch money or for novelties, bullies find a way into the fragile lives of many. The constantly unfolding world of social media has become a climate for the worst kind of bullying -- a phenomenon adults and parents have witnessed as well. While most kids have been gently teased by a sibling or a friend at some point, they can be subject to significant pain when teasing becomes hurtful, unkind, and constant. We all know the feeling.
So how can we as parents, friends, and allies stand up against bullies? Here we share a few tips & tools for your family about how to prevent bullying.
- Talk with your Children // Bullying isn’t a school-age experience kids should have to “tough out” or work through on their own. If you haven’t already, share with your kids the weight of what it means to bully and be bullied.
- Check for Signs // Strange or moody behavior, anxiety, skipping meals, and disinterest in or avoidance of activities they enjoy - are a few signs if your child is being bullied. If you suspect your child is, emphasize the importance of talking to someone about it -- whether it’s you, a teacher, or another trusted adult. And be sure to praise them for doing the right thing by telling you!
- Tell Your Peers // When you know about a bullying experience, it’s important to share the information with other adults. In doing so, the community of support around your child and others widens, and the amount of trusted people taking action increases.
The thought of a child being bullied can give any parent a panic attack. Thankfully, we’re neither helpless nor alone; the talking tips above, as well as family resources like www.kidshealth.org, provide a community of support and practical ways to combat bullying -- together! The inspiring video below offers a glimpse into the real lives of adult allies who stood up to bullying. Watch & tell us what you think!