Now that summer and outdoor play season is here, playground activies occur with less parental or teacher supervision may result in more bullying. Parents play a key role in preventing and responding to bullying. If you know or suspect that your child is involved in bullying, there are several resources that may help from stopbulling.gov. This is a wealth of information designed to help you with every step of the way.
1. Recognize the warning signs that your child is involved in bullying. They could be being bullied, bullying others, or witnessing bullying. Although these signs could signal other issues, you should talk to your child if they display any sort of behavioral or emotional changes. Many times kids won’t ask for help, so it is important to know what to look for. If your child is at immediate risk of harming himself or others, get help right away.
2. Learn what bullying is and what it is not. Understanding what bullying is is the first step in forming a plan to prevent or respond to bullying with your child. Many behaviors that look like bullying may be just as serious, but may require different response strategies. You can also learn about:
A. The frequency of bullying;
B. Who is at risk for being bullied and bullying others
C. The effects of bullying
3. Cyberbullying often requires different strategies than in-person bullying. Learn how to work with your kids to prevent cyberbullying and how to respond when it occurs.
4. Utilize tips and tools to talk to your child about bullying. Opening lines of communication before your child is involved in bullying makes it easier for them to tell you when something happens. It is also important to work with a school to help prevent bullying before it starts.
5. If you know or suspect bullying has occurred, learn how to find out what has happened with your child. Understanding what has happened can also help in communicating with school or community officials about the situation.
6. If you have determined bullying has occurred, learn how you and school or community officials can work together to support your child, whether they were bullied, bullied others, or witnessed bullying. Learn also about considerations for specific groups.
7. If bullying is occurring at school, learn about what your state requires schools to do in your state’s anti-bullying law. Learn also about federal laws that require schools to address harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disabilities and ways to report situations that have not been adequately addressed to the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice.
8. If you have worked with your child and your school and need additional assistance, find resources to help address the situation.