While back to school season may be an exciting time for the parents to get a welcomed break and back into a routine, it can be a dreaded time for millions of kiddos trying to face the social pressure of being with their peers. The sad fact is that 1 out of 4 children reported to being bullied by other kids, and that number is even higher for those that have had a cyberbullying incident, according to stopbullying.gov.
The best way to get ahead of this situation happening to your child is to prepare them for what could potentially happen at school so that they aren’t totally taken off guard. Some children have thankfully never experienced other kids being hurtful or careless with their words or actions, and it can be quite a shock for lots of youngsters. Sending them off to school this fall with a plan of action before anything happens can be the best plan for this unfortunate situation.
Talk openly with your school aged sons and daughters about how to react to a child making unkind comments, or perhaps not letting them sit with them at the cafeteria lunch table. Coming up with a response or way to handle their feelings during that occurrence can be the best protection you arm them with at the beginning of school. As a parent you may want your child to respond to the bullying child and figure it out on their own, or you may want to strongly advise them to notify a teacher at once. This seems to be a touchy subject for parents as it’s very black and white for millions of Moms and Dads. Some feel as if a bully should be told on and the school should keep a close eye on that particular student. Others feel that every child goes through a few bumps and bruises growing up and that allowing them to respond to an incident at school builds their indolence and gives them “thick skin”.
Ultimately, the school has a responsibility to protect your child and if at any point another student physically harms your student, please alert the school at once so that this doesn’t happen to any further victims. Be an open book and share any experiences with your children that maybe you recall from your own school days to make a connection. Always be open and helpful so that your kiddos feel confident coming to you with any issues that may arise. Having your child go through something unkind can hurt your heart, but it can be a teachable moment to show them that is exactly the type of student or friend that they don’t want to aspire to be like, and to always choose to be kind.