5 Ways Parents Can Help Prevent Bullying as Kids Head Back to School

As a mom of a now 10-year-old 5th grader, I can’t help but be overcome with emotions as she heads back to school for another year of learning and development. Although I’m eager to watch her expand her knowledge and potential, I’m also worried about the possible negative impacts of school, including bullying.

While classrooms remain a safe haven for some, children who have fallen victims to bullying can see school as an uncomfortable and even dangerous setting. Many children keep the harassment a secret to avoid further conflict. Fortunately, there are various ways parents can help stop bullying before it starts.

Below are five simple ways parents can help prevent bullying as students head back to the classroom.

Start the conversation

Some of the most important conversations are oftentimes the toughest to initiate. They’re uncomfortable, awkward, and sometimes difficult to explain. As challenging as this discussion may seem, keep in mind that it’s a valuable tool that you’ll be adding to your child’s toolbox.

If you’re unsure of how to define bullying and its effects on a child, lean on online resources for help. Look for videos that help explain the many sides of bullying. Click here to watch.

Set a good example

Parents make the best role models, so we must set the standard of how we treat others and how we expect others to treat us. Kindness is one of the simplest and most impactful behaviors a parent can model.

Remember that your child is observing everything around them, so be mindful of how you treat everyone from your family at the dinner table to your server at the restaurant.

Establish healthy self-esteem

Self-esteem, both high and low, plays a big part in bullying among children. Bullies are less likely to target kids that are confident and secure, and in the unfortunate case that the child is bullied, they are less likely to fall victim to the bully’s attacks.

Raising confident kids starts with a strong foundation at home. Play to your child’s strengths, let them explore their interests and let them make mistakes they can continue to learn and grow from. Praise and positive affirmations can also have a strong impact. Just remember to do it wisely.

Encourage advocacy

Bullying prevention goes beyond protecting our child and their well-being. By raising confident and caring individuals, we ensure that they not only stand up for themselves but speak up in support of others as well. By encouraging advocacy, you teach your child to speak up to protect those around them. Don’t let your child be a silent bystander.

Monitor their behavior

Technology has made it easier for bullies to attack and harass their victims. Between social media, instant messaging apps, and gaming platforms, children are exposed to bullying on and off school property. Keeping a close eye on what your child consumes and creates is essential to preventing bullying.

To learn more about bullying and how you can make a difference, visit www.stopbullying.gov.