Parent Tips to prevent Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
Parents can play a pivotal role in assisting the school district in preventing bullying. School staff and parents can and should work together to create a school that is free of bullying.
There are certain behaviors a child may exhibit at home that may be a warning sign or symptom that they have been bullied at school.
Some examples of these behaviors may be:
Possible signs and symptoms of a bullied child:
1. Is the child afraid to walk to or from school?
2. Does the child not want to ride the school bus?
3. Does the child appear apprehensive about going to school, complain of headaches or feeling ill prior to leaving for school in the morning?
4. Does the child come home with clothing or personal items damaged?
5. Does the child appear sad or depressed about going to school?
6. Does the child come home from school with any physical injuries such as bruises, cuts, or scratches?
7. Does it appear the child is either losing money or frequently requesting money?
8. Does the child seem socially isolated with few, if any, friends?
9. Does it appear the child is sleeping more than usual, or does the child appear tired as if they have not gotten enough sleep?
Warning signs that child may be bullying at school:
1. Does the child have a strong need to dominate and subdue others?
2. Is the child intimidating his siblings or children in the neighborhood?
3. Does the child brag about his actual or imagined superiority over other children?
4. Is the child hot tempered, easily angered, or impulsive with a low frustration level?
5. Does the child have difficulty conforming to rules and tolerating adversity or delays?
6. Does the child cheat on games or while playing with friends?
7. Is the child defiant or aggressive toward adults including teachers or their own parents?
8. Is the child anti-social?
9. Is the child hanging out with the “wrong crowd?”
There are also several positive approaches parents can take to help address bullying in their child’s school.
1. Take time each day to have a conversation with their child about their day-to-day life and activities. If a child is comfortable talking to their parent about school, friends, and activities, they will feel comfortable talking to their parent if they become a target of bullying.
2. Parents can spend time at school and are encouraged to be part of the school community.
3. Parents can lead by example with signs and expressions of kindness. Children learn from watching and observing their parents.
4. Parents can learn the signs and symptoms of bullying and the signs and symptoms of a bully.
5. Parents can establish and enforce family rules that let children know bullying behavior is harmful to others and is not acceptable.
6. Parents can encourage their child to stand-up to help those who are being bullied. We know bystander students can be very effective in stopping bullying behavior.
7. Parents can teach their children about cyber-bullying and the impact of sending mean, cruel, or threatening internet messages.
Ways parents can respond to children who are bullied:
If a child tells his or her parents they have been bullied at school, there are several suggestions for how a parent can react to their child’s situation.
1. Parents should try not to over-react or under-react when being told by their child they have been bullied at school. Do not simply dismiss the child’s experience. If a child has the courage to tell someone they have been bullied, it could be devastating to be told to “work it out for yourself” or “they are just teasing you.”
2. Parents should try not to place the blame for the incident on their child.
3. Parents should try to understand that the child may have a difficult time dealing with being a target of bullying.
4. Parents should try to encourage their child to keep talking about the incident if the child feels the need to discuss. They should also ask them how their days are going at school. Parents need to provide extra support and encouragement to the child during these times.
5. If a child is reluctant to talk to their parent, the parent should encourage the child to talk to another adult, such as a family member, school counselor, or trusted teacher.
6. Research indicates responding to a bully in an aggressive manner will not make the bully go away. The parent should encourage the child to stay away from the alleged bully and let the school investigate and remedy the problem.
If a parent receives a report from school that their child may have bullied another child, there are several things they can do to help:
What parents of an alleged bully can do:
1. A parent should try to take the problem as a serious matter.
2. Parents should question and listen carefully to their child in their investigation of the allegations.
3. A parent should try to find out the reasons for their child’s bullying behavior and seek help from the school.
4. If a parent receives a report that their child has been bullying at school, parents should make it clear to their child that this conduct must stop immediately
The school district has a responsibility to address all forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying, when the bullying disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students.
Here are some common tips that parents can use to help prevent cyber-bullying.
Tips to avoid/deal with cyber-bullying:
1. Parents can keep computers in an area of the home where the child’s actions on the computer can be supervised.
2. Parents can establish and enforce reasonable limits for the amount of time children spend on the computer.
3. Parents can make it clear to their children that they must have access to their children’s online accounts including passwords and other security measures for websites.
4. Parents can encourage their children to report to them if they feel they are a victim of cyber-bullying.
5. Parents can have some basic knowledge of the internal sites their child uses.
6. Parents can discuss online chat rooms and what is appropriate for their child to post on these internet sites.
7. Parents can occasionally sit with their child while the child is working or communicating online