No parent wants to see their child being bullied at school. However, many parents do not realize there is something they can do about it. Just because you are not at the school with your child, doesn’t mean you can’t prepare them and make them less of a target for bullies. If you want to prevent bullying of your child, consider the following:
1. Talk to the school. First and foremost make sure the school principal is aware that you will not put up with your child being bullied, and that you would appreciate if they had a strict policy on bullying and made it known to the students. Often, a word of caution goes a lot further than any sort of punishment can.
2. Talk to your child’s teacher. Once the school has some sort of bullying policy not only in force, but also known to the students, talk to your child’s individual teacher or teachers. Let them know that you are worried about bullying, and that you would appreciate them keeping an extra eye on your child to help ensure their safety, and to ward off potential problems before they escalate. A teacher is the best person to monitor the social dynamics of the classroom because they are right there in the thick of it every day.
3. Toughen your child up. Help your child understand why people bully, and help them develop a thick skin. If they do not give the bully the reaction they want when they pick on your child, they will usually move to a different target, or give up all together.
4. Enroll them in self-defense classes. You don’t usually see bullies picking victims that are larger than them, and the reason is because they might get beat up themselves. So, give your child an edge, enroll them in a self-defense class so that if a bully does target them, they can hold their own. If they know how to land a good punch, or deflect a blow, a bully will think twice before picking on them physically.
5. Do what you can to help them be cool. The victims of bullies are almost always in the percentage of kids who are not in the “in” crowd. The kids who are on the fringes or outside. Bullies don’t want victims with lots of friends, as that is bad news for them. So, help your kid be cool and have a group of friends so that they will be less likely to be picked on. How they dress, what activities they are involved in, etc. will impact how others perceive them, so do what you can to help them be cool.
6. Implement the buddy system. Kids who are alone are easier targets for bullies, so encourage your child to be with a friend at all times from on the bus or walking to school, to time spent on the playground, or between classes, etc.
If you can do these things, chances are your child won’t be bullied.