A parent that wants to prevent bullying might want to consider addressing the issue at home. Educating children about bullying at home allows parents to teach their children what bullying is, what to do when bullying occurs and how not to become a bully themselves. Below are five ways to prevent bullying.
1. Define Bullying
Many children will not understand what bullying is. After all, there is a fine line between teasing, poking fun and bullying. The most important part of teaching your children about bullying, whether it be to prevent them from bullying others or to prevent them from being bullied, is to teach them what bullying is. All family members should be present for the conversation. It should be serious and your children should be able to ask questions.
2. Establish an Anti-Bullying Policy
Bullying is unacceptable no matter where it occurs. Your home is the first place that bullying should be prohibited. Let this be known to your children and tell them know that friends or family members that bully will not be invited into the home. The next step is for you to extend this policy outside of the home. This means that you should make it clear that not only is bullying not permitted inside your home, but that it is not permitted anywhere else. Make it clear that this rule applies to school, after school activities and other places your children attend.
3. Create a Reporting System
Children are often reluctant to tell their parents or teachers when they’re a bully victim. A reporting system will allow your children to report bullying to you at any time. One type of reporting system is to have a direct conversation with your child. Make it known that this is always acceptable and that you will respond to help your child. Another reporting system can be semi-anonymous; your child can put a note or letter in a specific place for you and you will respond to the information in the note accordingly.
4. Keep Reporting Safe
Whatever reporting method you use, let it be known that your child will not be punished in any way for talking about the bullying he is or feels he is experiencing. Tell your child that you will work to protect him no matter what and that nobody will be angry or upset at the child for the bullying.
5. Revisit the Subject Regularly
One conversation or reporting method is not enough to prevent bullying. Repeat the conversation and remind your children about the importance of telling you if they feel they are being bullied. The frequency of the subject depends on your family and child, but it may need to be had monthly or more frequently according to how you feel. Subsequent conversations do not need to be as long or involved as the initial conversation, but a reminder will not hurt.