A few weeks ago, I signed Ethan up for Kindergarten. It was a bittersweet day. I am excited for him to start his formal schooling but I am also worried. I worried about the other kids. Sure when I was growing, we had our bullies. But kids these days? They are really cruel. And they are starting at such young ages.
I worry because Ethan is a shy and sensitive kid. I worry about the day that he may come home from school in tears because someone was mean to him. And I am not sure exactly how to handle it.
One of the ways we have been preparing him for the “big school” is by reassuring him that “yes, he will meet new friends” and “yes, they will like you.” But it’s hard not think in the back of your head “but what if he doesn’t ” and “what if they don’t?”.
No one wants to think that their child would be a bullied. Unfortunately, it is something we have to worry about.
On the flip side, I also worry about Ethan going with the crowd and bullying another child. We have talked about how you need to be nice to other kids and if someone bothers you, you just move on and play with someone else. There’s no reason to use words that hurt.
So how can you teach your child about bullying? Here are some helpful tips.
Help Stop Bullying
1. Provide a safe and loving home. If your child feels safe in their home, they are more likely to feel comfortable to open up and tell you about any possible bullying.
2. Communicate. Talk to your child! But, more importantly, listen to them. Explain what bullying is and how no should be bullied.
3. If your child is being bullied, don’t blame them.
4. Be on the look out for a change in behavior. This is a warning sign that your child might being bullied at school.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your child’s school has counselors that are trained to help with bullying. Ask them for their help.
6. Be your child’s advocate. If you feel your child’s school is not doing all that they can for your child, don’t back down. Demand that they do something. Seek the help of the Principal. and if you have to the Superintendent of the school district, if the bullying persists.
7. Set a good example for your child. Speak respectfully and control your temper.
8. Teach your child what not to do. “Keep your hands to yourself.” “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.”
9. Teach them what they should do if they are bullied. Tell them it’s ok to walk away or to tell the bully to stop. If they are still being bullied, make sure they know to go get an adult.
As a mom, I feel strongly about teaching anti-bullying behavior. Not only does it need to be taught in school, it needs to start at home.