Ten Strategies To Prevent Bullying In School
Preventing Bullying for Parents and Families
Bullying is a serious problem among youth, causing physical, psychological, social, and educational harm to the victim. It can take the form of physical violence, verbal abuse, social exclusion, or even damage to property. Additionally, bullying has now expanded to include cyberbullying through technology.
Bullying affects all involved, including the victim, the perpetrator, and witnesses. It is estimated that 1 in 5 high school students are bullied on school property, with even higher rates for students who identify as LGBTQ+ or who are female.
The consequences of bullying can be severe, including physical injury, emotional distress, self-harm, and even death. It also increases the risk of depression, anxiety, sleep problems, poor academic performance, and dropping out of school.
However, bullying is preventable and there are ways that parents and families can help. By addressing and understanding the root causes of bullying, we can help to prevent it from happening. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has developed a comprehensive technical package, available in both English and Spanish, that provides evidence-based strategies for preventing youth violence, including bullying.
The package includes universal school-based programs that can help to reduce bullying by strengthening youth skills and modifying the physical and social environment. It is important to note that different types of violence, including bullying, are interconnected and often share common root causes. Addressing and preventing one form of violence can have a ripple effect and help to prevent other forms of violence as well.
According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Center, bullying is a widespread problem affecting one out of three students, and each day, 160,000 children miss school due to fear of being bullied. Over 5 million students nationally are affected by bullying, causing harm to self-esteem, hindering learning, and leading to serious physical and emotional harm.
While bullying may seem like a natural occurrence, there are several strategies that parents, teachers, and students can implement together to reduce and control bullying in schools. Here are ten tips for families to prevent bullying at home and in the community:
1. Talk to your child about bullying. Encourage open communication and help your child understand what bullying is, how it affects others, and how to respond.
2. Educate your child about cyberbullying. In today’s digital age, children can be harassed, teased, and emotionally abused over the internet. Educate your child on safe and responsible internet use, and monitor their online activity.
4. Teach empathy and compassion. Encourage your child to be kind to others and to treat others the way they would like to be treated.
5. Encourage your child to stand up against bullying. Teach your child to be an ally, to speak up for others who are being bullied, and to report bullying to a trusted adult.
6. Teach your child to assert themselves. Encourage your child to be confident, assertive, and to stand up for themselves. This can help prevent bullying and give your child the tools to handle bullying if it occurs.
7. Help your child develop self-esteem. Encourage your child to pursue their passions and interests and to engage in activities that help build self-confidence and self-esteem.
8. Get involved in your community. Join local organizations and initiatives focused on preventing bullying and promoting kindness and empathy.
9. Monitor your child’s behavior. Pay attention to changes in your child’s behavior, such as increased anxiety or signs of depression, which could indicate that your child is being bullied.
10. Lead by example. Model respectful and kind behavior, and create a positive and inclusive environment in your home.
Here are some resources for parents on bullying at school:
StopBullying.gov: This website, run by the U.S. government, provides information and resources for parents, educators, and kids on how to address and prevent bullying. Link: https://www.stopbullying.gov/
PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center: PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center offers resources and information for parents, educators, and students on how to prevent and address bullying, including a helpline for children and teenagers. Link: https://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/parents/
The Bully Project: The Bully Project is a nationwide movement to end bullying that provides resources and support for parents and educators, including a blog and a list of helpful books and websites. Link: https://www.thebullyproject.com/resources-for-parents
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): The AAP provides information for parents on how to address bullying, including tips for talking to your child and working with schools to prevent bullying. Link: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Bullying.aspx
Bullying is a serious problem, but by working together, parents, teachers, and students can create a safe and welcoming environment for all. By taking steps to prevent bullying, families can help reduce the impact of bullying and ensure a brighter future for our children.