Bullying can be a serious issue among school-aged children. Below is some information on what to do if your child, or you know someone who is being bullied or who is a bully.
What to do if…
Your son, daughter or a student of yours is being bullied.
If a child tells you they are being bullied, focus on comforting and supporting him/her. It may have taken the child a lot of courage to come tell you. Make sure to address the situation right away. Parents - talk to your son or daughter’s teacher, so they are aware of the problem. A teacher can address the problem indirectly by changing seating plans, and encouraging your child to join in activities and not play by him or herself. Teachers can ensure your child is safe and immediately deal with any problems that occur.
It is important to advise kids not to respond to bullying by fighting or bullying back. Encourage the child to be assertive but not aggressive. Fighting back may cause more problems. Instead, it's best to walk away from the situation. Review the information with your child or students from February’s “New this Month” section.
Have them get involved in something positive, such as joining a team or a club. Doing something he or she is good at will give them confidence and make them feel good about him or herself.
Your son, daughter or a student of yours is a bully.
Adults are necessary in creating healthy relationships for children, and must provide positive, encouraging environments as children grow. Both parents and educators are role models and must lead by example and avoid using power aggressively. Always look for, listen, and respond to bullying.
As parents and educators the most important role in breaking the bullying cycle is to help children learn empathy by looking for opportunities to teach kindness, tolerance, and acceptance. Bullies and their accomplices need to understand the harm they cause and that their behaviour will not be tolerated.
Teach them the Golden Rule – Always treat others the way you want to be treated.