Engage your child
The first thing to do if you notice that something’s wrong with your child is to talk to them. The most important thing you can do for a bullying victim is to validate the situation. Pay attention to your child’s feelings and let them know that you care. You may not be able to solve all their problems but it’s essential that they know they can count on you for support.
Be a role model at school
Bullying is a learned behavior. Children pick up antisocial behaviors like bullying from adult role models, parents, teachers, and the media. Be a positive role model and teach your child good social behavior from an early age. Your child is less likely to enter damaging or hurtful relationships if you as their parent avoid negative associations such as bullying.
Get educated at school
Continual training on bullying and education is essential to stop bullying in your community. This gives teachers time to talk openly with students about bullying and to get a feel for what the bullying climate is at school. Teaching about bullying will also help children understand what behaviors are considered bullying. School-wide assemblies on the subject bullying can bring the issue out into the open.
It’s important to have a plan for how to deal with bullying. Written policies are a good way to have something that everyone in the community can reference. Every child should be treated and dealt with equally and consistently, according to the policies. Emotional bullying should be addressed in the same way as physical bullying.
Written school policies should not only prohibit bullying behavior, but also make students responsible for assisting others who are in trouble. Policies should be clear and concise so that everyone can understand them at a glance.
Often, bystanders feel powerless to help. They may think that getting involved may bring the bully’s attacks onto themselves or make them social outcasts. But it’s essential to empower bystanders to help. Schools should work to protect bystanders from retaliation and help them understand that silence and inaction can make bullies more powerful.
Work with the bully
Don’t forget that the bullying person has issues to deal with as well and also needs help from adults. Bullies often engage in bullying behaviors out of a lack of empathy and trust, or as a result of issues at home.
Bullies first need to recognize that their behavior is bullying. Then, they need to understand that bullying is harmful to others and leads to negative consequences. You can nip bullying behavior in the bud by showing them what the consequences of their actions are.