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Is Your Kid Being Bullied? Here's Your Action Plan

Nov 19, 2013 at 5:32 PM Chime in now

If Your Kid is Being Bullied, Swift Intervention is a Must



You may have heard of Shane Koyczan’s To This Day Project and if you haven’t, Bullying Awareness Week is the perfect time to check out the animated video to his spoken word poem. It’s a powerful tool to start conversations about bullying. It brings to light the complexity of bullying, the feelings experienced by people who are victimized, and it should start some conversations about how we can help kids who are being bullied and kids who are bullying.
Parents and educators often ask for a step-by-step list of what to do when they have to deal with bullying. First, swift intervention is an absolute must. If you witness bullying, say, “this is bullying and it needs to stop.” If you hear about an issue or if you suspect one, trust your gut and check what’s happening. Sometimes parents and educators worry about getting too involved in children’s social interactions but these interactions and relationships need lots of support and guidance.
Whether a child is being bullied or is bullying someone else, it’s important to create an action plan for yourself and for that child. Creating an action plan with that child provides an opportunity to talk through feelings that have resulted from the bullying.
Here are some starting points for handling the issue:

  1. Learning that your child was bullied – or bullied someone else – can be very painful. Listen carefully to the information and if necessary, say you need some time to come to terms with the information before moving forward.
  1. Take reports of bullying seriously. Always recognize your child’s courage in reporting or talking about the bullying. Reassure the child who was bullied that he or she has the right to be safe, to be protected by adults at school, and to be treated with respect by everyone.
  1. Before meeting with school personnel to create a safety plan for your child, set short and long-term goals. It is important to identify what you are trying to accomplish and to know what to expect from the school based on its rights and responsibilities under the legislation.
  1. Follow up and monitor how the plan is working. Check in regularly with your child and with the school to ensure that the problem is being addressed. Initially check in daily, and then gradually reduce the check-ins to every few days, every week, etc.
  1. From the first time you become aware of the situation, keep an ongoing record of what happened, when it happened, what was done, and whether the plan of action was effective in stopping the bullying.

Remember, you are a role model for your children. If your children see you communicating respectfully and remaining constructive in the face of disagreements with others, they are more likely to behave the same way. 
To learn more about preventing bullying and promoting healthy relationships, visit www.prevnet.ca or Family.ca/standup.
Danielle Quigley, Ph.D. | Post-doctoral Fellow, PREVNet
Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network

Read More:
Eight Great Tips for Raising a Compassionate Child

How Do You Break Your Kid Out of the Cycle of Bullying?

This Pink Shirt Day Watch Canadian Poet’s Viral Anti-Bullying Video

7 Lessons From the Parent of a Bullied Child




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