Studies reveal that 35% of children ages 13 to 17 reported being the victim of bullying within a 12 month period. There is something Atlanta parents can do to help.
Bullying happens when others are rude, spread rumors, are physical aggressive, verbally or emotionally abusive. Harassment is also a form of abuse.
Bullying now includes cyber bullying. Cyber bullying includes the internet and cell phones. Cyber bullying may be even more damaging. Cyber bullies send messages out on social media sites like Facebook and Myspace, text messages, chat rooms, and email messages that reach a large audience in a short period of time.
Once the bully gets away with it once they are likely to repeat the behavior unless stopped. It is important to teach your child how to deal with bullies. Bullying is a serious problem that can cause long term affects beyond childhood and into adulthood. It is important to stop the bullying as soon as possible.
How can parents help?
Listen, empathize, and be supportive
- Don’t blame your child for being bullied.
- Get as much information as possible about the bullying.
- Call your child’s teacher, school counselor, or principal.
- Do not call the bully's parents as this could make matters worse. Allow the school to contact the parents of the bully.
- Help your child be more effective when dealing with bullies.
- Help build their confidence by pointing out their strong points.
- Encourage participation in activities that they excel in or provide them with opportunities to try different activities to find something they do well.
- Discourage retaliation.
- Encourage your child to develop friendships with other children inside and out side of the school setting.
- Consider counseling to help your child cope.
- Do not tell your child to ignore the bully-they would not be telling you about the bullying if they could ignore the bully. They are asking for help.
Teach your child to be proactive.
- Tell teachers, school counselors or a trusted adult about the bullying.
- Avoid being alone in areas where bullies are more apt to act out like locker rooms, bathrooms, etc.
- Don’t retaliate against the bully.
- Do not give the bully what they want-they want you to show fear and emotion.
- Walk away and calmly tell them to stop. Even if they don’t stop, keep walking.
- Don’t let the bully get to you-laugh with them-yeah I think these glasses are ugly too!
- Walk with friends or teachers to and from classes and activities if needed.
- Block bullies from your social media sites.
Atlanta resources for bullies