My Child Is Being Bullied What do I do?
My Child Is Being Bullied What do I do?
Many parents find themselves with the unfortunate reality that their child is a victim of bullying. With so many ways this can be done both through the World Wide Web and in the real physical world many parents find themselves asking my child is being bullied what do I do? There is plenty you can do both as a parent and an educator. In fact it is each of our responsibilities to ensure every child is safe and free of any harm. Here are some things you can do to ensure your child isn't being bullied. Here are some quick facts on bulling.
Are Your Kids Getting Bullied
Are you Kids Getting Bullied In School?
Bulling Quotes for Kids
Kids Being Bullied
Here are some scary facts on bulling. 30% of the children in the United States of America are victims or bullies themselves in either a moderate or severe capacity. In addition to these horrifying facts is the link between kids being bullied and the high rate of suicide, violence in schools, and murder. Read your newspaper or listen to your local news and you can't go a day without hearing some poor child was murdered or hurt or a teen went ballistic and shot a bunch of his classmates in the school. Half of the time this has been documented to be related to violence in their own home life or a victim of severe bulling. 77% of pupils suffer being bullied mentally, physically, and verbally. These upsetting facts put out by the Ambassador 4 Kids Club an organization started in 2011 by organizer Lin Seahorn a victim of violence herself put together this informative piece. The organization strives to ensure every child has a safe educational and home environment. Check out this informative piece with the latest statistics below.
How do I handle my Child Being Bullied at School?
First you want to watch out for any of the following signs of bulling.
- Sudden Changes in Behavior. If you notice that suddenly your child is no longer as talkative or happy as they once were then this can sometimes mean a few things. It isn't always related to bullying however it is a good idea to keep an eye on these sudden changes in behavior. Another thing you want to take note of is if your child is suddenly having behavior issues in school. My experience as a former Paraprofessional is seeing Johnny Smith who is this happy go lucky kid suddenly turn into this kid who was getting into one fight after another. This is a drastic change in behavior and nine times out of ten there is a trigger that causes this. Many times I have found it could be he is doing things the bully wants him to do or demands to keep him off his hit list or to be cool with the in crowd. If you start noticing these drastic changes in your child or a student in your classroom over time this is definitely a red flag.
- Change in Appetite. Kids being bullied will sometimes have a sudden change in appetite due to the stress of the harassment whether it is physical or mental that they are going through. Remember children are still developing and their young minds aren't normally equipped to deal with these traumatic forces that are out there. Teachers and parents if you have a child that has suddenly stopped eating or not eating hardly at all this is another red flag you might want to watch for.
- Change in clothing and style. I used to see this a lot in several schools I worked at through the years. To be considered cool or with the in crowd as it is called bulling victims will change their style and clothes to try to fit in with the general population hoping to stay off the bully's radar. Now grant it many children especially as they get older will change their taste of clothing however if you see this in a drastic way say a matter of weeks or so this might be something else you might want to discuss with your child.
- Restless nights. Many kids that are being bullied will not sleep well at all. The stress of what is going to happen in school the next day might be keeping them up for hours agonizing over the possible consequences of going to school. What will the bully do? Is he going to get me today? Am I safe? Will he be absent maybe? Can you imagine what is running through their head as these horrible attacks occur? One can only imagine.
- Sudden lack of interest in school. This is a big one folks. If you have a child that is always eager to go to school has straight A's and no behaviors and then suddenly within a matter of weeks to months see his interest in school decline drastically then you know something is definitely up. This is a major red flag that you want to keep an eye out for as well.
Ok so I outlined some of the signs I used to see as a paraprofessional now the question is what do you do. The question my child is being bullied and what to do should be clear in your mind now if you see even one or two of these signs. Depending upon the age of your child you want to talk to them and ask them how are things going in school? Who are their friends? What did they do today? Did they play with anyone special today? Older children you might try saying hey Jean I notice you don't like staying afterschool for cheerleading anymore. May I ask why honey? Show them your love and concern which I know as a parent you have for them. Sometimes as adults we get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to check in on our children. It happens unfortunately especially with all the demands that are out there in our society. That being said though it is always a good idea to check in on your child.
Does Your Child's School Have a Bullying Intervention Program
Does Your Child's School Have A Bullying Intervention Program?
Anti Bullying Slogans
Kids Against Bullying
Your Child Being Bullied At School Next Steps
So you sat down and finally got it out of your youngster that they are indeed being bullied at school. They have been putting up with this for months and haven't told you a thing. First reaction is to be concerned and hurt as to why they couldn't trust you to tell you this was going on. However you want to keep in mind that the mentality of many bullies if not all of them is intimidation whether it be they threaten to expose and say humiliating things about their victims, attack them physically, or even do things that can get them into trouble at school. Some bullies are very astute and do well in school and use some of their charm to manipulate staff to think negatively about the victim they are attacking. You must break through this initial shock and hurt the true issue is the bulling itself and how to address it. I would recommend trying the following suggestions.
- Meet with your child's teacher, counselor and administrator. All three of these individuals need to be present to address this issue. This affects your child's academics, their mental state and behavior. When you have this team together you can develop a plan that will best assist your child in getting the help and services they need. The bully should be brought in for an interview conducted by the administration and definitely there should be some form of discipline to handle this. Many schools have a zero tolerance for bullying. If after the investigation is done and it is truly a bullying incident rest assured they will be dealt with appropriately.
- Request a meeting with the bully and the bully's parents. This is an important step in the process. This is a good way to resolve any differences both between the children and even the parents. I would recommend doing this at school where school staff can monitor the session and give tips on how to keep things going along in a positive manner.
- Make follow up visits to your child's school. You want to periodically make visits to your child's school unannounced and check on them at different times of the day to make sure everything is going well and that the bully hasn't done anything else to harm or cause your child distress.
Videos of Bullying
My Child is being bullied how can I prevent this from Occurring Again?
Here are some excellent suggestions you can try and even suggest to your administration if they don't have such policies and programs in place.
- Anti-Bullying Committee. Every school should have an anti-bullying committee. Most of these are made up of a combination of parents, staff, and students. If your school doesn't have a program like this then you might want to recommend starting one and getting the word out to the parents in your school.
- Peer Mediation Program. This is an excellent program that we had in the last school I worked at before I retired. Basically the concept behind this is a staff member runs the program and students enroll in the program as an extracurricular activity and become peer meditators. They run meetings between students who are having disagreements and other problems. Often these simple peer meditation meetings can alleviate a small problem from escalating into a bigger issue. You might want to ask if your school has one of these or volunteer to be on it.
- School Safety Committee. This is another committed similar to the anti-bullying committee which consists of staff and parents typically. The basis for the committee is to ensure that safety protocols are followed, discipline policies are enforced and in many cases the parents volunteer to patrol the school buildings, hallways, and lunchroom and other areas of the school premises to ensure every child is safe.
While these are just a few things that should be in place in most schools there are many more you want to check out as well such as an active Home and School Association, Volunteer Committee, and anything the school might have where you can be a more active participant at your child's school. By being proactive many times these issues can be curtailed before they escalate. I love to see your comments below. Thanks so much for reading this.