#NationalPinkShirtDay this month, consider having a conversation about bullying with your child. Through listening parents & guardians provide reassurance that being the victim of bullying is not a child’s fault.
Tips to deal with bullying
Bullying has a negative impact on families in our communities. Here are a few tips and ideas that can help parents, guardians, children and youth deal with bullying:
Tips for children dealing with a bully
Get help by telling your parents or guardians right away. They will help you and find more support as needed.
Tell the school through a teacher, principal or guidance counsellor.
Always tell a friend or an adult you trust about the bullying. Having someone on your side will help you stand up for yourself.
Practice ‘walking tall’ with shoulders back and head held high.
Ignore the bully or say “NO” and walk away. Bullies are often seeking attention. If you act like you don’t care, the bully might get bored and give up. The most dangerous thing you can do when confronted by a bully is fight back. Bullies are generally stronger than their victims.
Give up your possessions. If the situation is dangerous, if the bully is bigger and stronger than you, or if they have a weapon, then it would be smart to give them what they want. Material things can be replaced. You or an adult should then contact police at 902-490-5020. Call 911, when immediate action is required: someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress. In-progress is defined as currently happening, the suspect may still be in the area and/or the victim may still be in danger.
Stick with a group. Try not to be alone in places where you could be unsafe – an empty schoolyard, a dark alleyway or a school washroom.
Signs that a child or youth is being bullied
You should be concerned if the child or youth:
is frightened of walking to or from school
is unwilling or worried to go to school
is adamant about the need to be driven or escorted to school or changes their route to school
begins to do poorly in school
comes home regularly with belongings destroyed or missing
has unexplained cuts or bruises
becomes withdrawn, distressed, anxious or begins to lose sleep
What to do if a child or youth is being bullied
listen and be supportive – take bullying seriously
reassure your child/youth that it isn’t their fault
ask how they’ve been dealing with the bullying
talk about what actions you can both take to solve the problem
promise to consult your child/youth before taking any action
talk to school administrators and ask what they can do to help
help your child/youth develop a list of trusted adults they can call/text or go to for help
arrange to meet your child/youth if the bullying is happening on the way to or from school
consider enlisting the help of a professional
What to do if your child is a bully
try to find out why your child is behaving this way
explain that bullying is wrong and try to get your child to understand what it’s like for the victim
talk about how your child might stop bullying and show them how to get along with others without bullying
praise your child when they interact appropriately with others
set realistic, firm guidelines to help your child control behaviour
talk with a teacher, guidance counsellor or principal at your child’s school
model good behaviour at home
enlist the help of a professional
Protect children from cyberbullying
There are steps you can take to help protect youth and children from cyberbullying:
encourage your child to speak up. If someone sends them a text, tweet or email that makes them uncomfortable they should TELL SOMEONE THEY TRUST (family member, teacher, friend).
control your child’s online presence
increase your child’s security settings online
show them how to hide or deactivate their profile and/or block users. This can be done through the setting options on social networking sites like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
save the evidence. As hurtful as it may be, save offending messages, pictures or copies of conversations. This can be used by authorities during investigations
report serious forms of cyberbullying to teachers, principals, police
if you’re a victim of cyberbullying contact CyberScan at 855-702-8324 to find out the supports that are available to you