Bullying Prevention is about stopping it before it starts. What can we do to help our children stop bullying before it even starts? How do we prepare them for a world full of bullies? How do we stop them from becoming bullies ?
As with any problem that needs a solution we start by looking at knowledge and possibilities.
There are no easy answers. Bullying is a complex issue and the answers must involve the children, parents, schools and communities where it is happening. Bullying Beliefs hinder the progress through out society. As usual, we as parents must meet the challenge.
My suggestion is we start back at the basics. We can’t change the World (at least not in one day) but we can change our and our childrens experience of it.
1) We can spend time with our kids, volunteer in our schools and in our communities. It is a well known fact that Bullying can be reduced with the presence of a responsible adult. That is not to say bullying won’t occur as lots of it is under the “radar” of the adult. But it can be reduced and prevented with adult interaction.
2) At Home: We can provide our children with assertiveness skills and build their self esteem to reduce their chances of being targeted. A Child who feels good about themselves is less likely to be targeted. Will standing with shoulders back, head up and speaking assertively always work? No, but it is one more tool your child can develop
3) At School: We can buddy our children with an older kid willing to look out for them. Children are generally bullied when they are alone. Bullies choose their target based on an imbalance of power and the perception that the target is less than in some way. An older, larger child will deter them.
4)In Our Communities: We can help our children Build Friendship Skills: Learning to Be supportive, Say sorry, keep promises, be accepting of differences, Be respectful and treat your friends the way you would like to be treated. Children need to learn to build friendships, keep them going and walk away from hurtful friendships. (Some adults could use the same skills)
5) We can model our values. This is what being Un-Perfect means. Children learn from us. We can show our children how to be leaders, show tolerance for differences, create justice and unity, display empathy and compassion for others with our actions not just our words.
It is best to stop it before it starts. Unfortunately, socially we tend to only recognize a problem when prevention is too late and a serious intervention is required. We know Bullying is an ongoing issue with serious Effects on our Children. Bullying Prevention is key as many bullies start because they were bullied which just starts the whole cycle again.