Today’s kids can experience bullying in person and online. According to stopbullying.gov, almost a third of U.S. students in 6th through 12th grades experience bullying at some point (28 percent).
Dealing With a Bully
What exactly is bullying? It can be any repetitive teasing, talk of hurting someone, spreading rumors, leaving a kid out on purpose or attacking someone physically or verbally. Whether your child is being bullied or is the one doing the bullying, you want the behavior to stop. If your child is the one being bullied, they need to know to tell a trusted adult about what is happening. Confiding in their friends and asking for their help is another good idea. A child that is being bullied can also practice what they want to say to a bully with their friends, family or a teacher. And when the bullying is happening, urge them to do their best to remain calm and confident and to not show they are mad or sad as a result of the bully’s actions.
Is Your Child a Bully?
If your child (or you) has a problem bullying other kids, what are the things you can do to help them correct the behavior? Start by asking your child to think about what it must feel like to be bullied. You want them to focus on feelings of empathy for the other kid. Ask them to think before they speak and ask themselves if what they are about to say would hurt their feelings. Your child can also approach teachers and friends for help and suggestions on how to make a commitment to change their behavior. Finally, if your son or daughter has bullied someone, he or she should reach out to apologize to the other child.
Don’t Be a Bystander
Interested in some tools for your kid if they see someone else being bullied, and they want <>to help stop the behavior? Here are some tips and suggestions for them to follow:
- Don’t give the bully an audience.
- Set an example by practicing good behavior.
- Help the person being bullied get away.
- Tell an adult you trust about what happened.
- Be a friend to the kid being bullied.
Lice Happens likes bullying even less than it likes lice. Let us know if you need our help with the latter by visiting www.licehappens.com.