Dr. Jo Anne White’s Bully Free book won awards, including a Mom’s Choice Award for Excellence. Although there have been global measures and steps taken by schools and agencies to bring attention to and control bullying, it’s still widespread and a real concern for parents. Preventive measures need to take place to ensure that bullying in our society is stopped.
Often, bullying happens for no specific reason. Bullying can take on a variety of different forms. Some forms of bullying are intimidation, including name-calling, physical threats, property destruction, defamation of character, psychological harassment, physical aggression and a host of hostilities towards an individual. These are the most damaging and can have life-long effects that interfere with a person’s confidence, ability to socialize, emotional trauma, intimate relationships, maintaining a job and even result in suicide.
The Role of Parents
Now that there are legal ramifications and online agencies for support, and local authorities to contact, parents need to feel that they can do something to protect their child if bullying occurs in school or anywhere. The law is on your side. If your child is being bullied at school, get involved by first going to the school and alerting the administration and educators of the problem.
If you receive no results or feel like you’re getting the runaround, connect with your local authorities. Help is also available online, and you as a parent have every right to get answers, seek action and get protection for your child.
It’s not always easy to get your kids to talk about what’s going on in their lives, especially with teenagers. You need to create a safe open environment for communication without judgement so that your child will feel comfortable to come to you if something is worrisome, upsetting or taking place that he/she cannot handle or contain. You are the first level of defense and it’s up to parents to check in, monitor their behaviors online and offline, know their friends and activities and take a genuine interest in what they like and what they do.
However, it is crucial that parents realize the signs to look for if their child is possibly being bullied. Their well being and their lives depend on it.
The next installment will be about cyber-bullying and how it can be controlled.
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