Making Sure 'Back to School' Doesn't Mean 'Back to Bullying'

By on September 3, 2011

SATURDAY, Sept. 3For some children, the start of school means the beginning of bullying.

Despite widespread efforts to deal with the problem, bullying is a persistent issue in schools, says Donna Henderson, a professor of counseling at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“The goal is to create a no-bullying environment for children. It’s hard because we live in a world that accepts violence, intimidation and power as currency in life,” Henderson said in a university news release.

Henderson offered tips for parents to prevent their children from becoming bullies or victims:

  • Ask school officials and teachers about what they do to prevent bullying and hold schools accountable for their anti-bullying policies.
  • Watch for warning signs in children at the start of the new school year, such as sudden changes in behavior and not eating.
  • When you see bullying behavior, call it bullying and tell your children that it’s unacceptable behavior.
  • Discuss bullying with your children. Use real situations, news stories, television programs and movies as opportunities to talk about bullying.
  • Regularly ask children about bullying and address any problem immediately.
  • If your child is being bullied, letting them know you understand and share their distress can help them feel better.
  • 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.
  • 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.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about bullying.

Source: HealthDay

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