October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and as such, it’s important to talk about the ways you can help protect your child against bullying and address bullying when it becomes a serious problem.
Bullying is difficult for children. Unlike in the past, bullying doesn’t stop when the school day ends. Many children deal with bullying online, through text messages and through other digital means. From video games where others can leave horrible messages for them to calling and saying rude things on their phones, there is almost no way to get a reprieve from bullying in today’s society.
The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that around 25% of students report being victims of bullying. So, as a parent, what can you do to make sure your child is protected against this situation, which is likely to occur in many children’s lives?
Respond quickly to bullying
It is your responsibility as a parent to respond appropriately and quickly to bullying when it begins. If your child comes home and discusses being victimized by a bully, you need to listen to what they’re saying and respond correctly in that situation. Not all cases where your child has been upset at school will constitute bullying, but if the harassment is happening regularly or is particularly harmful, it’s time to step in.
Some things you should do include:
- Listen to what happened from your child’s point of view.
- Contact the school (if the bullying occurred there) to find out what happened.
- Document your interaction with the school and the date that the bullying occurred. You should also document what happened.
- Help your child understand how to be proactive. Help them practice responding to bullying in a positive or appropriate manner.
When you reach out to the school, the school should be prepared to handle the bullying instance. If the school was unaware of it, this would be the appropriate time for the school to call both students and their parents in to have a discussion about what happened.
If you know the other student’s parents, it may be worth a phone call to talk about what happened and if there is anything they can do to help. Some parents are completely unaware of their children’s behaviors and will be shocked to find out about bullying.
If all else fails, you can reach out to your attorney in Brooklyn and the police to take the case further.