Bullying has always been a problem, but today, it has become a bigger problem than ever before. It seems like the fallout of bullying is always on the news and there are public service announcements about the issue everywhere you turn. Most people seem to understand what a serious problem this is, but many people aren’t exactly sure what they can do about it. When it comes to bullying in schools – how to stop and educate kids on this issue is critical to reduce the instances of bullying and help kids learn better ways to handle their problems to create a safe environment every child should encounter at school.
Learn What You Can about Bullying in Schools
The most important things parents and educators can do in terms of handling bullying is to learn as much as possible about it. First, it is important for adults to understand which types of children are the most likely to become bullies and which ones are more likely to be targets. This can help them learn which children they should target in their education and which side of the coin each child is on. In addition to learning about which children are likely to bully or be bullied, parents, educators and administrators must learn about the different ways in which kids are bullying other kids. While some of the bullying occurs between children in the school environment, more bullying now takes place online than through any other avenue.
Bullying in Schools: Teach Social Skills from a Young Age
One of the reasons why bullying is such a problem in school is because many children today do not know how to handle social situations. This is when children tend to lash out at others and cause problems for them. When parents step in and train children in the proper way to handle a variety of situations, it carries through their lives and helps them learn how to handle issues with other children more effectively. From a young age, children can be mean to each other. While this is a mild form of bullying, it will only get worse if they don’t learn how to behave properly in a social situation.
When children are young, it is important for parents and other care providers to offer guidance in dealing with social situations. These skills should include:
- Problem-Solving in a Social Situation
Children who know how to think constructively when it comes to solving their problems, express empathy toward the feelings of others and stand up for themselves are less likely to become the victims of bullying or become bullies themselves. The lack of social skills increases the risks of bullying behavior.
Bullying in Schools: Give Your Kids Positive Reinforcement
If parents aren’t paying attention to their children at home, those children are more likely to lash out with negative behavior. Why? Because the negative behavior results in attention from the parents. Even though negative attention isn’t the most desirable, many children crave the attention so much, they will do anything to get it. The negativity will eventually carry over into school life for these children. Instead of acting out positively to other students, these children will act out negatively, often with bullying behavior.
The best way you can ensure your child doesn’t participate in bullying behavior is to use plenty of positive reinforcement. Spend time doing fun activities and talk to your child on a daily basis about what is going on in his life. The more involved you are in your child’s life, the more likely he will open up to you and talk about any issues that are going on. Sometimes that positive influence in your child’s life is all that is needed to curb bullying behavior.
Bullying in Schools: Educate the Children
It is a teacher’s job to educate the children. However, this education shouldn’t be limited to the subjects of reading, arithmetic, history and the other subjects typically taught in a school. When it comes to bullying in school – how to stop and educate kids lies with the teachers as much as with the parents. While the parents need to set a solid foundation at home, teachers need to build on that foundation and provide students with additional guidance against bullying. Teachers should spend time talking to the class about what is acceptable behavior and what is not. When teachers lay down the guidelines for the type of behavior that will not be tolerated, it is less likely to occur in the school environment.
In addition to providing students with information on what type of behavior is acceptable and what is not, teachers also play a role in whether the behavior is reported properly. Students should know that teachers adopt an open-door policy that allows them to come to the teacher at any time with a problem. They should also outline other avenues students can use to get help if they don’t feel comfortable reaching out to the teacher. This can include school guidance counselors, the principal, other teachers and even their parents. Keeping the lines of communication open is extremely critical to stopping bullying in its tracks.
Help Children Understand Bullying in Schools
One of the most devastating aspects of bullying is the fact that many students who are bullied have no idea why someone would want to hurt them in this way. It can be extremely damaging to a child’s self-esteem, as well as his perception of how the world works, when he is the victim of a bully. Therefore, it is important to discuss why bullying happens and help him understand how he has the power to put a stop to it.
Many bullies aren’t really bad kids. Many of them are reaching out for help in an inappropriate way. If you are able to teach children how to treat everyone with kindness, even those people who aren’t particularly nice to them, you will be giving them the tools they need to fight back against bullies. Bullies often continue their behavior because no one stands up to them. When a child or multiple children put their foot down and refuse to be bullied, they are doing their part to stop the bullying behavior. Kids shouldn’t be afraid to use humor to diffuse the situation or even just walk away from it and let an adult know what is happening.
How to Handle Bullying in Schools
While many students feel they should tell an adult about bullying behavior, many are reluctant to do so for fear of being labeled a tattletale. Therefore, it is important for parents and educators to train children how to handle a bully. Sometimes approaching an adult with the information isn’t necessary. Instead of heading straight for an adult, children can try some of the following tactics first:
- Speak up — Saying something is often enough to stop the bully in his tracks.
- Be Friendly — Many bullies behave as they do because they are lonely or think no one cares about them.
- Walk Away — If bullying persists no matter what you do, don’t be afraid to walk away.
- Band Together — There is truly power in numbers. Band together with several others and talk to the bully about his behavior.
- Talk to an Adult — Some children simply feel more comfortable talking to an adult about any bullying behavior. This is perfectly acceptable.
Knowing how to handle bullying can help stop and curb the behavior going into the future. It is so tempting for children to stay out of any bullying they see because it is easier and it isn’t happen to them. However, when they stand by and watch it happen without acting in some way, they might as well be taking part in the behavior.
Talk about Feelings when it comes to Bullying in Schools
Talking about your feelings often has a stigma attached to it, especially when it comes to older children and teens. They always want to keep things bottled up inside and avoid talking about how they really feel. It is important to encourage these children to really talk about their feelings and let you know when things are bothering them. Bullies are often children who are suffering emotionally on the inside for some reason or another, while the children who find themselves as the victim also tend to keep their feelings, especially in regard to the bullying behavior, to themselves as well. When you encourage children to open up, they are more likely to talk out their feelings than negatively act upon them.
Set up Strong Policies against Bullying in Schools
Not all schools have a bullying policy, but they all should. If your school doesn’t currently have an anti-bullying policy in place, it is time to work with a committee to create one. Schools that have strong bullying policies that are well known by all students, teachers and parents are more likely to suffer from fewer bullying problems than schools that don’t share their policy or don’t have one in place at all. Involving the parents and possibly even the students in the creation of these policies will ensure solid policies that will prevent bullying and clearly define how the activity is handled if it does occur. This should include an easy reporting method so everyone feels comfortable reporting any bullying they witness to ensure the issue is dealt with through the appropriate channels.
Keep a Finger on the School’s Pulse
Bullying problems are more likely to occur where there is a lack of adult presence or attention. For instance, if a teacher leaves the room, the bullies are more likely to act out. Or if the children are unsupervised on the playground at lunch. It is important for teachers and other staff to work together to keep an eye on what is going on in the school at all times. If there are areas in which bullying is more likely to occur, it is important to make sure an adult is in that area at all times when the children are present. An adult presence and someone watching over the school will let bullies know their behavior will not go unnoticed or unpunished.
In terms of bullying in school – how to stop and educate kids is an essential aspect to creating a safe, learning-friendly environment for all children. No child should be afraid to go to school. This is why it is so important for all parents and educators to take the appropriate steps to ensure every child can feel secure. When parents and teachers work together to educate children on the proper social skills, the basics of bullying and how they should handle themselves in various situations, the instances of bullying will reduce. The more work everyone is willing to put into the issue, the more likely it is that bullying will someday be resolved, allowing every child to obtain a quality education without fear of how they will be treated by the other students.