Barron Whited explains to us what works in Bullying Prevention Advocacy
It seems like every week, there is a news story about a child being bullied on the playground, at school or even online in our country. Oftentimes, bullies like to pick on the weaknesses of others to make themselves look superior among their friends. This behavior can cause emotional and physical harm to a student causing scars that can last a lifetime. The best way to counteract this is for parents and students to educate themselves on how to deal with unacceptable behavior from other peers. Here are some ways to do this:
- Education & Awareness. It is important to know what bullying is and how to help students if they are being mistreated by others. Typically, this behavior repeated by name calling, pushing, hitting or even spreading rumors about someone. Sometimes, the bullies will even encourage others to exclude students from certain groups or organizations. If parents suspect any of these situations are happening to their child, it is vital to have on going communication with them and their school about what they are going through and how they can get help.
- Online Safety. Cyberbullying is a form of online bullying through various social media sites. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is on the rise and students sometimes don’t know how to handle these situations. Parents can teach their children to never respond to mean comments made about them online. They can also encourage them tell an adult right away and take a screenshot of what is being said to them for proof. If students engage in online conversations with the cyberbullies, it can make things worse. Children can stay safe online if they report cyberbullying directly to the social media sites themselves as well as sharing it with their parents. Also, it may help if parents limit the access to social media sites.
- Be Confident. Bullies like to make fun of kids for the way they dress, certain interests or even having good grades. They like to be cruel to students who do not follow whatever everyone else is doing. Parents can help students be confident by encouraging them to write down their strengths and accomplishments. If students show they are happy and proud of whom they are, it will shine through to others. Being confident and assertive can help students do better in school and increase their self-esteem.
- Ask for Help. If kids are being bullied in person or online, encourage them to speak to an adult they trust; whether that is a parent, relative, teacher, administrator, or a guidance counselor. If they talk about their feelings, it can provide support and help them to remain calm during these situations. If students ignore people who say mean things to them, it doesn’t empower the bully to continue the behavior. Kids can help themselves by talking with others; joining extracurricular activities and demonstrating they are taking the high road.