Bullying is one of those topics that is all too often swept under the rug. In last month’s issue, we delved into the sensitive subject hoping to provide parents with peace of mind about what international Beijing schools’ are doing to address the problem. We spoke to two schools about bullying: First we spoke with four high school students from the Canadian International School of Beijing (CIS) about the detrimental effects of cyber bullying and then spoke to International Montessori School of Beijing (MSB), who shared the details on their educational bullying program for students from Grade 1-6. Dr. Kristie Craigen, a Hong Kong based clinical psychologist, also spoke to us about what kids can do if they or a friend is experiencing some form of bullying. Read the interview with Dr. Craigen and find out more about MSB’s program here. In our interview with Dr. Craigen, she talks about what kids should do when encountering a bully but what can parents do if their child becomes a victim of bullying?
Flipthescriptnow.org is a comprehensive resource for parents, students, and educators and provides valuable anti-bullying resources. The website also gives tips for parents to tell whether their child is the victim of bullying or if their child may be bullying themselves. Below are 10 suggestions on a parent’s role in children’s behavior.
“Teach Pro-Social Behavior– Parents can help their children learn ways to handle their anger, frustration, or other negative feelings. Some kids take these feelings out on other children because they don’t know better ways to cope. Model good behavior, and teach children how to resolve conflict in non-aggressive ways.
Promote Extracurricular Activities– Encourage children to pursue interests outside of school. This helps kids build their confidence, introduces them to like-minded peers and shows them that their experience in school does not set the stage for the rest of their life.
Assure Help Will Come– Concern over exacerbating the problem often prevents children from reporting bullying to adults. Assure your child he or she made the right choice by telling you, and then prove it to them by dealing with the situation in a responsible and confidential way.
Stand Strong for Safe Schools– Bullying is another term to describe youth violence. If you feel that your child’s school is not able to manage the bullying that is occurring, engage your local police department in helping raise awareness of the seriousnessof this issue an teaching schools ways to manage aggressive youth.
Set Boundaries with Technology– Educate your child on appropriate online behavior and supervise their activities online. Set up proper filters and place computers in public areas. Cell phones and the Intenet should be privileges that can be lost when not used properly.
Be Familiar with New Technology– Kids art often more savvy than adults today regarding technology. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the technology, social networking websites, and other online resources that are popular among youth today.
Stay Informed About Your Child’s Life– In addition to maintaining open lines of communication, keep up to date on your child’s friendship’s and where and with whom he or she spends time, both in and out of school.
Maintain Open Communication– Maintaining an open and honest dialogue between you and your child about their lives increases the likelihood they will turn to you when they need help. Try approaching your child in an interested and non-judgmental way.
Advocate Reporting Antisocial Behavior– Bullying is any sort of non acceptable behavior. Teach your child that telling on those who bully is not considered tattling. Even if your child is not being bullied, he or she can learn the value of helping others in trouble.
Build Empathy– The ability to put one self in someone else’s shoes can be a powerful ally against bullying. Talk with your children about how they think it feels to be pushed down the stairs, ridiculed in front of a group of kids, excluded from an activity, etc.”
Photo: daneeliz (Google Images)