October is Bullying Prevention Month and it is the perfect time to teach your children a lesson about dealing with bullies.
The Stop Bullying campaign has some alarming statistics about the problem. According to their survey, 48% of students 6 – 12 have dealt with bullying at some point in their lives. Another 30% admit to being the ones who were doing it to others. Those figures only account for the children who fess up to either; the actual numbers could be much higher.
The Dangers Of Bullying
It isn’t just a matter of someone getting their feelings hurt, or having trouble in social situations. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people and there have been cases of children as young as ten taking their lives.
Experts have found that there is a potential connection between long-term bullying and suicide. That shows us just how serious this issue is.
In honor of Bullying Prevention Month, here are some ways to prepare your children to fight bullies. Not only in their own lives, but for the sake of protecting others.
Show Them That It Isn’t Their Fault
Children internalize so much of what happens around them, especially when it is aimed their way. They may be feeling guilty and ashamed. It is critical that you tell them that being bullied isn’t their fault and the hurtful things they hear aren’t true. Emphasize all the wonderful qualities they have.
Foster an Environment Of Trust
If your child doesn’t trust that they can speak to you openly and honestly, they may never come forward about what is happening to them. They may be even less likely to tell you about what is happening to others. Foster an environment of trust and openness between you and your child. Make them feel safe enough to come to you with difficult issues.
Have a Plan In Place
Once you know who is being affected, whether it is your child or others, you will want to have a plan in place so you know who to contact. That might include teachers, administrators or other parents. Document everything that has been happening so you have a cohesive record to show. It will make it easier to establish a pattern.
Teach Them That Cyber-Bullying Is Still Bullying
With easy access to phones, computers, and tablets, cyber-bullying is on the rise. Your child might not even realize that it is just as serious as something done face to face. Teach them about the damage it can do and look for signs that your child is being cyber-bullied.
Together, we can help to end bullying in our schools, neighborhoods, and homes.