Parent’s corner is a section of the WAV website dedicated to information specifically for parents.
To help parents be aware of early signs of possible issues their children may be experiencing, to provide the tools and education to help parents manage these issues and forums where they may get further help – when you know more, you do more! The more information your have the better you can care for your children and family.
How to help your child recognize signs of bullying.
Children don’t always recognize all the signs of bullying, they may think bullying is only physical, or a child is joking, or they might not understand the subtle norms and cues. Children can benefit from learning the difference between friendly behaviors and bullying behaviors.
The basic rule is to let children know if certain behavior hurts or harms them, either physically ‘or’ emotionally, then it is still bullying.
Parents should be ready to:
- Listen, let your child tell you there story
- Understand that a bullied child can be very emotional
- React in a way that the child is encouraged to tell their story
- Be supportive
- Let your child know it’s not their fault and they don’t deserve to be bullied
- Empower your child, tell them they are terrific
- Avoid judgmental comments about the child who is bullying, hearing negative statements only isolates them
- Be patient, children may not open up right away
- Talking about a bullying incident can be difficult because a child’s fear of retaliation from the bully is very real, even if they tell the adult
- Dispel the child’s fear of shame and not having friends anymore
- Parents should educate their child about bullying by providing information on a level the child can understand
- Discuss options with a child on how to deal with bullying behavior
Questions to ask:
Open ended questions will help the child talk about their situation such as:
- How was your day today
- Who did you sit with at lunch
- Is there anyone in class that you’re scared of
If you recognize any bullying behavior try to explore further
Reactions to try and avoid:
- When a child opens up to you avoid telling your child to stand up to them
- Ignore or avoid the bully
- Take matters into your own hands
It is important to help your child know that they are not alone
Many children feel that they are the only ones in this situation, let them know:
- It’s not up to them to stop the bullying
- Bullying happens to a lot of kids but it doesn’t make it right
- No one deserves to be bullied