Bullying can make a childhood very unpleasant and affect a child throughout life. In extreme cases, bullying can lead to a victim’s suicide or even a retaliatory shooting rampage.
The National Crime Prevention Council says:
• Listen to your child. Ask about school, events and other kids to find possible problems.
• Probing a minor complaint may uncover bigger problems. Kids are often ashamed to admit that they have been bullied.
• Watch for symptoms: such as withdrawal, a drop in school activities, torn clothes or needing extra money or school supplies.
• Teach your child skills: speaking up for himself or herself and how to calmly resolve disagreements. Teach your child social skills he or she needs to make friends. A confident child who has friends is less likely to be bullied or to bully others.
• Praise your child for kindness toward others.
• A parent must be a role model for a child. Use nonphysical discipline measures, and don’t ridicule, yell at, or ignore your children when they misbehave – otherwise your child will feel that bullying is okay.
For more insights, see National Crime Prevention Council and check out the new McGruff Bullying Prevention educational materials.