The following 10 steps can play a role in reducing or even eliminating bulling altogether for your child.
1. Never Ignore Bullying
Never brush off behavior as kids playing or as something harmless. Any type of bullying should be addressed in the appropriate fashion.
2. Look For Signs of Bullying
Children may be afraid to come forward about being bullied. Therefore, it is important for adults to look for signs of bullying like anxiety, decreased appetite or unexplained injuries.
3. Intervene Right Away
Adults who notice bullying have a responsibility to intervene. Sometimes, a small action taken early on can prevent months or years of bullying that may lasting effects for students.
4. Be a Good Role Model
It is important to model good behavior when bulling is noted. Adults shouldn’t get angry, yell or place blame. Instead, they should calmly direct everyone involved to move along, expect to be spoken with later or disperse.
5. Deal With Children One-on-One
Trying to deal with the bullying in a public space rarely works. Speaking to children individually ensures that everyone gets to speak their mind and be heard.
6. Don’t Try to Solve the Problem on the Spot
Adults shouldn’t get children to apologize on the spot or try to deal with bullying in a matter of minutes. Expect to consult with each party and think carefully about the consequences before saying them out loud.
7. Give Bystanders Responsibility for Their Behavior
Remember that it is rarely just a problem with two children. Bystanders should also be told that simply watching bullying is wrong, and they should be told how to better handle the situation.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Out a Professional Opinion
If the bullying won’t stop after intervention, or it is not clear how to continue, then bringing in outside help is appropriate. School counselors, teachers or nurses are all viable options.
9. Be Fair to Both Parties
A bullying situation is rarely as clear-cut as it first appears. Listening to and empathizing with both parties can help reveal the cause of the bullying as well as how best to handle it without seeming unfair.
10. Learn How to Deal With Bullying
No one inherently knows how to handle bullying perfectly, so it is okay to need advice and training. Seeking out additional resources may make it easier to handle instances of bullying in the future.