Posted: Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month? While bullying is an age-old problem that’s going to take more than a month to solve, it’s thrilling to see the media and society put a focus on eliminating bullying during the month of October.
It’s hard for me to imagine re-living one of the most difficult periods of my life: middle school. While nobody put a name to the issue I was experiencing at the time, it was definitely bullying. I was neither the victim nor the perpetrator, but there were always “jokes,” verbal abuse, and even physical aggression that surrounded me. But middle school isn’t the only time bullying goes down. Studies show that kids as young as preschool experience bullying, and bullying at any age can affect adults for the rest of their lives.
In whatever capacity you’re involved in the life of a child, it’s never too late to educate yourself on the signs, effects, and dangers (yes: life-threatening dangers) that go along with bullying. Here’s some key information to help you and your family combat bullying.
- There is no single factor that causes a child to become a bully, but family and peer factors such as lack of supervision, lack of warmth and involvement, aggression, and positive attitudes about violence can all play a role.
- Kids who are personally victimized may show signs of being the target of bullying, or they may not, so communication is key. If you become aware of depression, anxiety, safety concerns, poor peer relations, lost belongings, etc. it’s definitely time to start asking questions.
- If your child tells you he is being bullied, it’s important to first focus on supporting your child, and then work with the child’s school to ensure that administrators and teachers are properly intervening.
- Next, focus on the 4 R’s: Recognize what’s happening, relate to the school, report the incident, and then record what occurred and how it was handled.
- Take preventative measures. There are ten key ways that parents can do their part to address bullying. Together, parents (along with teachers and students) have the power to eliminate bullying!