Bullying is a worldwide issue. More than ever it’s been on the forefront of a national conversation. Fifteen years ago we didn’t have as many school shootings as we do now. Part of the problem is that our children are so addicted to technology, it has stopped them from connecting with others. When you are isolated in that way things can get out of control and lead to tragedy, as we’ve witnessed time and time again. Here is some anti bullying advise on how prevent our children from becoming bullies and from being bullied.
Anti Bullying Communication Tactics
Talk To Your Kids About What Bullying Is
We need to talk to our kids so they understand what bullying is. This way they know that behavior is not nice and not approved of. This will help keep them from becoming bullies. It will also help with early prevention Being able to recognize bullying when it happens is important for preventing the ongoing behavior because they will understand what is happening is not their fault and it is OK to get help.
Talk To Your Child About What To Do If Someone Bullies Them (or a friend)
Helping your child be able to recognize a bully is the first step. Helping your child know what to do if it happens to them or to a friend is the next step. If they can deescalate the situation and talk to an adult, it is the best bet. The Stop Bullying government website offers the following tips.
“Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard. If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.” -stopbullying.gov/
Not All Bullying Looks The Same
A recent example is the trial at Rutgers. When you watch the interviews with Dharun Ravi he was clearly very much in denial and couldn’t believe that he got convicted. To tape someone with a web cam was not a big deal to him. Maybe this verdict will wake him up that you have to take responsibility for what you say and tweet. Kids should know that is is never ok to take videos or photos of other people without their permission and to share them without permission. This type of activity is wrong and such actions can have a very bad bullying effect even when not originally intended as such.
Know What Your Kids Are Doing Online
Another important anti bullying tips is to monitor your child’s online interactions. There is such a wide world and the online internet can be full of predators if your child is unsuspecting. Make sure you know what apps they are using and have had a conversation about online safety and rules. Make sure they know they can come to you with any questions.
“Talk with your kids about cyberbullying and other online issues regularly. Know the sites your kids visit and their online activities. Ask where they’re going, what they’re doing, and who they’re doing it with. Tell your kids that as a responsible parent you may review their online communications if you think there is reason for concern. Installing parental control filtering software or monitoring programs are one option for monitoring your child’s online behavior, but do not rely solely on these tools.”-stopbullying.gov
Keep Communication Open
Our kids are becoming so desensitized, it’s hard to shield them from the violence and sex that they are exposed to in games, movies, television shows, on the radio, ads, conversations at school, etc. I think it’s our responsibility as a society to take care of our children. Maybe we can’t protect them from all the things they are exposed to from a very young age, but we can have conversations and keep teaching them to communicate. Kids need to know it is safe to come to you with questions and problems. This doesn’t mean that you don’t hold them accountable for their poor choices but it does mean you don’t explode and respond in such a way that they don’t feel safe seeking your advice.
Communication is the key to preventing children from bullying and being bullied. Do you have any anti bullying tips or stories to share?