Be A Buddy, Not A Bully!
March 26, 2021
Bullying It’s Not Okay!
BULLYING AFFECTS ALL CHILDREN
- There are 3 types of bullying: Physical, Verbal, and Social
- Bullying happens: Primarily at school and when adults are not watching through e-mail or instant messaging but, can happen at any time.
TALK WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT BULLYING
Even if you do not think your child is bullied, a bully, or a bystander, you will be helping to protect your child just by asking these questions:
- “How are things going at school?”
- “Does anyone get picked on or bullied?”
Talk with your child about how to stay safe. If there is a fight, and the bully “wins,” this will only make matters worse for your child. Help your child learn how to respond. “Let’s talk about what you can do and say if this happens again.”
WHEN YOUR CHILD IS THE BULLY
If you know that your child is bullying others, take it very seriously. Now is the time when you can change your child’s behavior. In the long run, bullies continue to have problems. These problems often get worse. Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior.
Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK. Be a positive role model. Children need to develop new and constructive strategies for getting what they want. All children can learn to treat others with respect. Use effective, nonphysical discipline, such as loss of privileges. When your child needs discipline, explain why the behavior was wrong and how your child can change it. Help your child understand how bullying hurts other children. Together with the school principal, teachers, counselors, and parents of the children your child has bullied, find positive ways to stop the bullying.
Ask for help. If you find it difficult to change the behavior, reach out to a professional, like a teacher, counselor, or pediatrician.
WHEN YOUR CHILD IS BULLIED
Teach your child how and what to say:
- Look the bully in the eye.
- Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
- Walk away.
- “I don’t like what you are doing.”
- “Please do NOT talk to me like that.”
- “Why would you say that?”
Just telling your child to do and say these things is not enough. For many children, these skills do not come naturally. It is like learning a new language—lots of practice is needed. Practice so that, in the heat of the moment, these skills will come to your child naturally.
Teach your child when and how to ask for help. Your child should not be afraid to ask an adult for help when bullying happens. Since some children are embarrassed about being bullied, parents need to let their children know that being bullied is not their fault.
Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
Support activities that interest your child.
Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
WHEN YOUR CHILD IS A BYSTANDER
Most children are neither bullied nor bullies—they just watch.
There are things that your child can do to help stop bullying. Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying. This only encourages the bully who is trying to be the center of attention. Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying. Talking to an adult is not “tattling.” Standing up for another child by getting help is an act of courage and safety. To make it easier, suggest taking a friend. Help your child support other children who may be bullied. Encourage your child to include these children in activities. Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop.
Knowing what to say is important. If your child feels safe, the following statement may help to stop the bully: “Cool it! This isn’t going to solve anything.”
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