Talking To Your Kids About Bullying
Kids face all types academic and social challenges in school. Being the victim of a relentless bully can be a distraction and even a danger to kids. As a parent, it is important to recognize the signs of bullying, know how to talk to your children about bullies and establish an appropriate reaction to a bully situation.
Jodie Miller, a sixth grade teacher, often coaches her students through bullying problems. Open to all reports of bullying and taking each child seriously, she has a continual conversation with her students about what bullying is. Ms. Miller asks students reflective questions such as, “Are they bugging you or bullying you?” She considers whether “a child’s emotional and/or physical well being is in jeopardy.” Another regard; “Is the incident happening over a period of time or is one kid having a bad day?” She also stresses, “The need to talk to your intermediate/pre-teen child consistently is imperative.”
Bullying identifiers and warning signs.
In between bugging and bullying lies teasing. This is one of the most difficult areas for teachers and parents to identify. Children tease, joke around and try to make one another laugh, especially boys. It is a way in which they connect. However, if your child is consistently feeling “picked on” at school, in your neighborhood or even at home, an adult needs to intervene.
Sometimes children do not report bullying, making it even more difficult to identify instances. However, there are warning signs and children sometimes change their normal behavior when being affected by a bully. According to stopbullying.gov, some warning signs include frequent stomach aches, faking illness, change in eating habits, difficulty sleeping, declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork and friends and self-destructive behavior.