Bullyproofing Your Child for Back to School (page 2)

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Updated on Apr 2, 2010

Tips for Bully-proofing Kids

  • Remember that children of all ages can experience bullying at school. Leventhal suggests you begin talking to your kids about bullying as early as preschool. Bullying gets really significant in grade school and is typically more physical, but in high school it becomes more subtle with social intimidation, exclusion, and cyberbullying, which includes intimidating e-mails, texts, Facebook messages, etc.
  • Create a comfortable place for children to talk to you about their troubles at school, including bullying. Hertzhog suggests you let your children know that they will not be punished for reporting a bullying incident—taking away their cell phone, for instance, because you don’t want them receiving threatening texts anymore. Try to make them understand that you will not do anything to make the situation worse; in fact, you will do what it takes to make things better for them.
  • Help your children understand the difference between reporting a bullying incident and tattling on a peer. Make sure they understand what bullying is, with many examples of different kinds of bullying.
  • Help your children make a plan for what they will do in different situations in the future. Together, designate an adult at school they will go to about a bullying incident.
  • Make sure your children understand the power of peer support and the power in numbers. Help them organize a meeting with their friends to discuss bullying, how they will respond to it in the future, and how they will help one another and other kids who are being bullied.
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