Parents and guardians are among a school’s best allies in bullying prevention:
- Communicate Daily – Ask questions about their school day. Ask for details and not just yes and no answers about their experiences on the way to and from school, lunch, and recess. Listen for frequent and consistent names. Children who feel comfortable talking to their parents about these matters before they are involved in bullying are more likely to get them involved after.
- Be a Campus Volunteer – Most classrooms and school could use an extra hand or two during “free” time like recess. Volunteer and encourage children to interact with peers aside from their best friends.
- Be a Good Example – When away from school, model effective communication techniques. So be careful addressing the driver that cut you off or the waiter who got the order wrong. As Education.com puts it, “Any time you speak to another person in a mean or abusive way, you’re teaching your child that bullying is ok.”
- Create Healthy Anti-Bullying Habits Starting as young as possible, coach your children on both what not to do (push, tease, and be mean to others) as well as what to do (be kind, empathize, and take turns). Also coach your child on what to do if someone is mean to him or to another (get an adult, tell the bully to stop, walk away and ignore the bully).
- Discuss and Make Sure Your Child Understands Bullying – Explain what it is, the various forms and that it’s not normal or tolerable for them to bully, be bullied, or stand by and watch other kids be bullied.