Talk to Your Child About Bullying
Bullying definitely can affect a child's health and wellbeing. It can lead to emotional and sometimes physical pain, and it's something that most children will be exposed to, either directly or indirectly (by witnessing others being bullied), at school. It can be physical, verbal or social, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Bullying can occur at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, via phone or text message or over the Internet. The AAP offers the following advice:
WHEN YOUR CHILD IS BULLIED:
Help your child learn how to respond by teaching him or her how to: Look the bully in the eye / Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation / Walk away.
Teach your child how to say in a firm voice: "I don't like what you're doing." / "Please do NOT talk to me like that." / "Why would you say that?"
Teach your child when and how to ask for help / 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.
Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child's safety and well-being when you can't be there.
WHEN YOUR CHILD IS THE BULLY
Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
Set firm and consistent limits on your child's aggressive behavior.
Be a positive role mode. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors and parents of the children your child has bullied.
WHEN YOUR CHILD IS A BYSTANDER
Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying. / Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying / 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.