October is National Bullying Prevention Month and this behavior can happen anytime, and anywhere. With more kids online, it’s not just an issue in schools anymore.
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send a message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying over time.
As a parent, you may have a lot of questions. It's an emotional topic, and one we are all too familiar with these days. Or, maybe because you just don't know what's going on with your child when you aren't with them.
How can you tell if a child is being bullied or bullying others?
What are some of the warning signs your child is being bullied?
- Are there unexplained injuries.
- Lost or destroyed clothing, electronics or jewelry.
- Changes in sleep or eating habits.
- Declining grades or social interaction.
What if it’s your child bullying others?
- Are they getting into physical or verbal fights.
- Have friends who bully others.
- Are increasingly aggressive.
- Have unexplained extra money or new belongings.
- Blame others for their problems.
- Don’t accept responsibility for their actions.
- Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity.
How are San Diego County schools working to prevent bullying? The San Diego County Office of Education is dedicated to supporting school district offices, parents, and community-based agencies in issues related to bullying prevention and intervention by providing training, staff development, technical assistance, and consultation.
- Safe interaction is key.
- Working hard to establish a culture of inclusion and respect that welcomes all students.
- Rewarding students when they show thoughtfulness and respect for peers, adults, and the school.
Why don’t kids ask for help?
- Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Youth may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. They may fear being seen as weak or a being snitches.
- Youth may fear retribution from the aggressor who bullied them.
- Bullying can be a humiliating experience, youth may not want adults to know what is being said about them, whether true or false.
- Youth who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand.
- Kids may fear being rejected by their peers. Friends can help protect kids from bullying, and kids can fear losing this support.
What can kids do?
SPEAK UP: If you feel uncomfortable with the comments or actions of someone… tell someone! It is better to let a trusted adult know, than to let the problem continue.
Make a commitment to:
- Support others who have been hurt or harmed.
- Treat others with kindness.
- Be more accepting of people’s differences
- Help include those who are left out
What is cyberbullying?
- Takes many forms: social media, texting, instant messaging.
- Acted alone or in groups attacking with false or hurtful information.
- Many states don’t have specific laws that apply to cyberbullying
- Females are twice as likely to experience bullying.
Bullying IS preventable – Give your child the tools to be safe. Have that conversation. Know what is going on in your child and know their friends.