Bully-proofing My ChildBullying is not a normal rite of passage. It can have serious consequences. You can help your child learn how to prevent bullying. These tips can help:
- Help your child understand bullying. Explain what bullying is. It is more than physical; it can be done in person or over the phone or computer.
- Keep open lines of communication with your child. Check in with your child and listen to any concerns about friends and other students.
- Encourage your child to pursue their interests. Doing what they love may help your child be more confident among their peers and make friends with other kids with similar interests.
- Teach your child to take a stand against bullying. Give guidance about how to stand up to those who bully if it is safe to do so.
- Talk to your child about seeking help from a trusted adult when feeling threatened by a bully. Talk about whom they should go to for help and role-play what they should say. Assure your child that they should not be afraid to tell an adult when someone they know is being bullied.
- Know what is going on in your child's school. Visit the school website, subscribe to the student paper—if there is one—and join the PTA listserv or mailing list. Get to know other parents, school counselors, and staff. Contact the school by phone or e-mail if you have suggestions to make the school a safer and better learning place.