We are already in August, and that means school is just around the corner for people in certain parts of the country. As we prepare for another school year, here are a few ways you can help protect your children from being bullied in the upcoming year:
1. Ask school officials and teachers about what they do to prevent bullying and hold schools accountable for their anti-bullying policies.
2. Watch for warning signs in children at the start of the new school year, such as sudden changes in behavior and not eating.
3. When you see bullying behavior, call it bullying and tell your children that it’s unacceptable behavior.
4. Discuss bullying with your children. Use real situations, news stories, television programs and movies as opportunities to talk about bullying.
5. Regularly ask children about bullying and address any problem immediately.
6. If your child is being bullied, letting them know you understand and share their distress can help them feel better.
7. Discuss and/or role play possible responses to bullying, such as walking away, not showing emotion, staying in groups to avoid being singled out, and confronting a bully.
8. Do some self-assessment. If you use intimidation in your dealings with others, you may be setting a bullying example for your child. Or if you’re bullied by other adults and don’t put a stop to it, your child will believe that’s the way to respond to bullies.