Are you being bullied? Is your child being bullied?
Is your child a bully? Are you a bully?
Bullying is not a joke, if ignored it can result in death. School violence is real and it happens anywhere from preschool to high school, schools to communities, sports and games, among boys and girls, between both sexes and more often against homosexuals or anyone who is “different.”
So, what can you and your family do to prevent this from happening?
Let’s take a look:
Although it is hard for someone who is being harassed to talk to an adult about their situation, in many cases children try to seek help from teachers and parents who don’t take them seriously.
The truth is that despite the high number of harassment incidents, adults still believe that bullying is an inevitable part of growing up, probably because they were bullied themselves. However, that is not the case.
Bullying can be prevented, avoided, and confronted.
If you wish to confront school harassment, the first thing you must do is accept that it exists. If you feel harassed, don’t think it is the end of the world; search for information, talk to your parents, seek advice from your school counselor, and most importantly stand up for yourself!
Begin by keeping a detailed description of what happens to you; take pictures of your locker if it was ransacked or tagged, and save any harassing notes as proof of what’s happening to you.
You can join online support groups and search the web for information such as help guides provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Bullying is not a problem you must face alone.
Seek help from those around you, your parents, teachers, school counselors, and your classmates.
It’s true that many parents and teachers take for granted the danger signs given by children who are victims of bullying, but it’s time for you to speak up.
Ask your parents to read this
Even when you think that your kid’s school is a safe environment, a child or teenager may be a victim of bullying at this moment.
As an adult, what can I do to prevent this?
Many parents feel powerless when facing such a complex problem on their own and are more concerned about how to find out if their child is a victim or perpetrator of school bullying.
In any case, you must help and intervene because when a child tries to control or use violence it is the result of his/her own experiences of being abused and may harass others due to a learned behavior.
On the other hand, if your child is being bullied, he/she must be protected.
• Keep an eye out for sudden changes in behavior
If he/she doesn’t want to take the school bus, comes home with bruises and torn clothes, if he/she constantly “loses” his/her lunch money, videogames, iPod, school supplies, or he/she is worried about being left out or talked about, ask what is going on.
• Listen carefully and note down the details.
Provide your support and let him/her know that bullying is not an inevitable part of school, but rather a problem that can be fixed.
• Don’t blame him/her for what’s happening.
Enroll your child in activities that can help him/her develop self esteem and social skills such as sports and music. Don’t give up. Even if your child has a disability, he can develop social skills to deal with harassment.
• Educate your son/daughter
Provide counsel and reading materials about school harassment, and practice defensive techniques at home. Simulate bullying situations and show him/her how to react and inform an adult about the bully.
• Become involved in his/her activities
Attend sport practices, and be involved in his/her daily routine.
• Do not promote violence or tell your child to fight the bully.
Ask school officials to organize talks to raise awareness about bullying. A united and well-informed community can better solve problems. Search for information and find a way to share it with parents in the same school.
What if my son/daughter is bullying others?
• Be aware if your child talks about others in a degrading manner, if he/she brings home items that do not belong to him/her, or if he/she makes fun of his/her classmates.
• Children who harass their classmates in school have a tendency to develop a criminal behavior as an adult or join gangs. Early intervention can prevent this.
• Seek family counseling. Children who act violently are usually expressing their own problems by doing onto others what they experience at home.
Main photo from StopBullying.gov