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    It Could Happen to You


    Advice You Can Give your Children about Bullies

    The key to helping youngsters is providing strategies that deal with bullying on an everyday basis and also help restore their self-esteem and regain a sense of dignity.

    It may be tempting to tell a child to fight back. After all, you're angry that your child is suffering and maybe you were told to "stand up for yourself" when you were young. And you may worry that your child will continue to suffer at the hands of the antagonizer.

    But it's important to advise youngsters not to respond to bullying by fighting or bullying back. It can quickly escalate into violence, trouble, and someone getting injured. Instead, it's best to walk away from the situation, hang out with others, and tell trusted grown up.

    Here are some other strategies to discuss with youngsters that can help improve the situation and make them feel better:

    Avoid the antagonizer and use the buddy system. Use a different bathroom if a antagonizer is nearby and don't go to your locker when there is nobody around. Make sure you have someone with you so that you're not alone with the bully. Buddy up with a friend on the bus, in the hallways, or at recess — wherever the antagonizer is. Offer to do the same for a friend.

    Hold the anger. It's natural to get stressed or angry when being bullied, but that's what antagonizers thrive on. They are seeking power. Practice not reacting by crying or looking red or agitated. It takes a lot of practice, but it's a useful skill for keeping off of a bully's radar. Sometimes youngsters find it useful to practice "cool down" strategies such as counting to 10, writing down their angry words, taking deep breaths or walking away. Sometimes the best thing to do is to teach youngsters to wear a "poker face" until they are clear of any danger (smiling or laughing may provoke the bully).

    Walk away, ignore the bully. Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop, then walk away. Practice ways to ignore the hurtful remarks, like acting uninterested or texting someone on your cell phone. By ignoring the bully, you're showing that you don't care. In the course of time, the bully will probably get bored with trying to bother you.

    Tell trusted grown up. Many adults at school can help stop bullying.

    Talk about your situation. Talk to someone you trust, such as a adults at school, siblings, parents or friends. They may offer some helpful suggestions, and even if they can't fix the situation, it may keep you from feeling lonely and it always feels better to talk about your problems.

    Remove what the Bully wants. If the bully is demanding your food money, start bringing your food. If he's trying to take your material possessions, don't bring them to school.


    How to Help Your Youngsters with Bullying

    When your child tells you about a bully: FIRST, focus on offering comfort and support, no matter how agitated you are. Youngsters often do not want to talk to adults about bullying because they feel embarrassed this is happening to them, or worry that their parents will be agitated.

    Take your child’s complaints seriously and take all necessary measures to stop the bullying.  Bullying, these days, is more than badgering a lot of the time.  Bullying often includes activity which is against the law and policies of the institutes where the bullying is happening (even if there are no bullying laws or policies). In these circumstances, it will be helpful to file complaints against the assailant with local law enforcement officials – be sure to include all efforts made with school staff or other adults who were contacted in effort to gain help with your child’s BULLY SITUATION.  Let’s get away from the word bully for these circumstances and call them what they are:

    1. Assault
    2. Harassment
    3. Theft
    4. Sexual Harassment
    5. Sexual Assault
    6. Child Endangerment
    7. a lot of bullying situations involve violation of Civil Rights

    Sometimes youngsters feel like it's their own wrongdoing, that if they looked or did something different it wouldn't be happening. Sometimes they're scared that if the bully finds out that they told, the bullying will worsen. Some kids worry that their parents won't believe them or do anything about it. Or children worry that their parents will urge them to fight back when they're scared to.

    Esteem your child for talking about bullying, this shows bravery. Remind your child that is not alone — remind them of their good friends and support system and tell them the truth- most people are bullied at some point, even adults. Remind your kid it is the bully who is wrong — not your child. Affirm with your child that you will figure out what to do and go about it together.

    Sometimes a sister, brother or friend can help deal with your kid being bullied. It may help your kid to hear how the older brother she idolizes was teased about her braces and how she handled her bully situation.

    Believe your child if they tell you bullying will get worse if the bully finds out that your child told. Approaching the bully’s parents is helpful sometimes. In other cases, school staff and law enforcement can help. If you've tried those methods and still want to speak to the bullying child's parents, it's best to do so in a context where a school official, such as a counselor, can mediate.

    Many states have bullying laws and policies. Find out about the laws in your community. In certain cases, if you have serious concerns about your child's safety, you may need to contact legal authorities.

    Process to Address Bullying

    Most schools have a Bullying Policy which,  in and of itself,  is not an effective way to address issues and bring them to satisfactory resolve.  A clearly defined process along with a policy is needed to address each issue of bullying from the time it is reported to its culmination.  Such a process should be available at a parents request.  

    Please check with your child's school to see if it has a process to deal with instances of bullying and how you as a parent can become involve in such a process.  This can be a significant step in decreasing the frequency and severity of bullying.

    Please share the response you received from your school.

    Does your state require only a bullying policy?

    Should an actual process to address bullying be a state or district mandate?


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