Bully Prevention Begins at Home When Parents Take A.C.T.I.O.N

Nancy B. Alston

The schoolyard bully may seem like an obsolete term, but bullies are alive and well. They’re at your children’s bus stop, on the bus, in their classroom, and also on computers and smart phones. Bullying is as much a problem as it ever was; yet the arrival of cyber bullying adds another dimension to an ongoing problem. Believing that bully prevention begins at home, this article will give you, the parent, a method to reduce the likelihood that your child will be bullied or bully someone else.

Ask More Questions

Remember to ask your child more questions. While they may seem busy, calm, and just doing their own thing, you have both the right and responsibility to ask who they are texting, who they are calling, and who just called them.

Create Cyber Curfews

Once kids get online, it can be hard to get them off. Setting cyber curfews not only ensures that they’re giving adequate attention to their homework and other pursuits, but it limits the potential for them to get involved in a cyber-situation. Kids can’t bully or be bullied over the internet if they aren’t online. Set clear limits for internet and phone use each day and enforce those limits with clear-cut consequences if those limits are not followed.

Trust (but Verify)

Parents should always have a log containing passwords for email and social media accounts. Make a point to check those accounts on a regular basis or when you notice changes in your childs behavior. When you see they are using these accounts as they should, your trust will grow–so much so that by the time they are adults, you will feel confident in their ability to make sound decisions. If they are being bullied or bullying someone you will be able to head off these behaviors because of your frequent monitoring.

It’s OK to Tell Someone

Encourage your child to open up and talk by telling them it’s alright to say if they are being bullied or know of a friend whose life is being affected by a bully. Get to know their friends so that when names are mentioned, you know the children in question. Encourage them to speak to adults whenever they suspect that they or someone they know is being bullied.

Offer Support and Solutions

Discussing your children’s peers is the first step toward finding solutions for the social problems they face. Remember that often times a social problem can feel far more disturbing to them than even an academic one. Share your own personal experiences and work to find solutions together for coping with their feelings. Help them find actionable solutions for controlling their feelings and dealing as best they can with difficult people. The coping and solution-finding skills you help them to develop will go with them their whole life.

Never Feel Guilty

You should not feel guilty for checking your children’s online behavior. Indeed, it is your parental responsibility to ensure that all aspects of your child’s life are as they should be. Bullying can lead to dramatic and quite negative situations. It is your role as a parent to monitor what your children do as well as what is done to them whether they are on their computer in your home or at school on the playground.

Keep this acronym in mind each week so you can stay tuned in to your children and help prevent bullying. You won’t be disappointed; you’ll grow closer to them and more aware of your children’s lives. You’ll also set the example which will help them become good parents someday too! Share this Anti-bullying Article with someone you care about.

Feel free to comment or add more useful information and examples.

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