WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW

“With the recent increase in teen suicide as a result of peer bullying, this book couldn’t have been written at a better time. Bullying Prevention is a short, yet practical book full of wonderful information to educate parents on the source and effects of bullying for children of all ages.” – Lamisha Serf, The US Review of Books.

Chapters, Headings & Selected Excerpts

A complete list of chapters and headings
found in the book, with selected excerpts, below.

To read all of the content in every chapter and heading,
download the ebook or get the paperback.

CHAPTER 1

About Bullying – Basics

Bullying is a relationship problem; the solutions come from making changes in relationships.

What is bullying?

Bullying is aggression carried out repeatedly by an individual (or group) who has more power than the individual who is being victimized and wants to demonstrate this power to the victimized person or to other people. The power arises from within the relationship between the person bullying and the person being bullied. But it also comes from peer bystanders, who are almost always present during bullying episodes.

Bullying is a relationship that is characterized by disrespect. It is a problem relationship because:

• Children who bully are learning to use power and aggression to control and distress others.

• Children who are victimized become increasingly powerless; they find themselves trapped in relationships in which they are being abused.

• Children who are bystanders are also learning by example how to use power and aggression in relationships.

Bullying and power

– Excerpt not provided.

The many types of bullying

– Excerpt not provided.

Bullying is a warm-up for long-term relationship problems

– Excerpt not provided.

Boys’ and girls’ bullying

– Excerpt not provided.

How many children and youth are involved in bullying?

– Excerpt not provided.

Where does bullying happen?

– Excerpt not provided.

What parents can do

There are many things that parents can do to help prevent their children from being involved in bullying and to address their children’s bullying issues when they do arise. These will vary depending on the child’s age, the type of bullying and whether the child is bullying, being bullied or is a bystander. Steps that parents can take are discussed in detail in chapters 8 (“Children who bully – what to do at home”), 9 (“What parents can do to help children who are victimized”) and 10 (“How parents can work with the school”).

CHAPTER 2

Why Worry About Bullying?

– Excerpt not provided.

Why might my child be involved in bullying?

– Excerpt not provided.

Some youth might be victimized because:

– Excerpt not provided.

Some youth might bully others because:

– Excerpt not provided.

Why worry about bullying – now and for the future?

• Bullying is a significant mental and physical health issue: involvement in bullying is linked with numerous health problems including anxiety, depression, and physical complaints, such as headaches and eating problems. These health problems arise for both youth who are victimized and those who bully.

• Involvement in bullying is related to poor grades or academic outcomes.

• Bullying is a warm-up for long-term relationship problems. Bullying and victimization can start in early childhood and continue through the school years. The lessons of power and aggression learned in playground bullying can transfer to sexual harassment, dating aggression and may extend to workplace harassment, as well as marital, child, and elder abuse.

• Relationship problems such as bullying are, as much as smoking, drinking or obesity, a contributor to early death.

Bullying is a relationship problem that requires relationship solutions

– Excerpt not provided.

CHAPTER 3

Bullying: Myths, Facts and Solutions

Myth #1: Children grow out of bullying

– Excerpt not provided.

Myth #2: Only a small number of children have problems with bullying

– Excerpt not provided.

Myth #3: Reporting bullying will only make the problem worse

Fact: It is incredibly difficult for children who are being victimized to remove themselves from this destructive relationship. However, simply by reporting their experience of victimization to one or more adults, these children experience significantly less victimization a year later. We have also learned that efforts by children to stop bullying on their own, without involving an adult, are usually unsuccessful and often lead to the bullying becoming worse. When no one talks about bullying, children who bully feel that they can carry on without any consequences. Silence and secrecy empower those who bully. Adult intervention can correct the power imbalance.

Solution: Children need to be encouraged to report bullying and be given multiple ways of making these reports. Adults must convey the message that they want to know about children’s experiences and that it is a job for adults to make the bullying stop.

Myth #4: Children who are victimized need to stand up and fight back

– Excerpt not provided.

Myth #5: Bullying is a school problem

– Excerpt not provided.

Myth #6: Bullying does not occur within the family or the family home

– Excerpt not provided.

CHAPTER 4

Bullying In Preschool

Recognizing bullying

– Excerpt not provided.

When to worry if bullying is a problem

The years from two to six are a time of amazing transformation; the curious, impulsive, and socially naïve toddler becomes the sophisticated six-year-old ready to work and play alongside classmates, follow classroom rules, and form enduring friendships. There will be missteps for all children during this transformation. Although preschoolers can pick up on the emotions of others, they tend to see the world from their own point of view, especially when they are feeling hurt. It is hard for them to take the perspective of others. Parents and caregivers should not be discouraged when preschoolers get involved in peer conflicts, including bullying, but should play an active role in setting limits on hurtful behavior, and teach, reward and provide a model of respectful and caring behaviors.

Many preschoolers have relatively short-term (less than three months) episodes of bullying, and with extra adult support and coaching, the problem is usually resolved. It is rare for a preschooler to show an enduring pattern of involvement in bullying.

Signs that your child may be bullied include:

• being afraid to go to daycare/pre-school

• appearing isolated from the peer group

• exhibiting anxious or fearful behavior

• complaining of feeling sick

• being unhappy or irritable

• having trouble sleeping

Signs that your child may be bullying others include:

• being aggressive with other children or animals

• bossy and dominant behaviors

• not following rules or cooperating with parents and/or teachers

• appearing easily frustrated, or quick to anger

• failing to recognize the impact of his/her behavior

• understanding but not caring about the impact of his/her behavior

If you see these signs and feel concerned, talk with your child’s teachers and caregivers. Ask them to observe your child when playing with peers. Ensure that all of the responsible adults increase their moment-to-moment coaching, and send consistent messages.

The degree of support a child gets is critical, because a child cannot be expected to change if the environment doesn’t actively support healthy peer relationships. If this is the case, consider finding a more responsive caregiver, childcare, or preschool for your child.

If your preschooler is repeatedly bullying others

– Excerpt not provided.

If your preschooler is repeatedly victimized by peers

– Excerpt not provided.

CHAPTER 5

Elementary School Children and Bullying

– Excerpt not provided.

Recognizing bullying

– Excerpt not provided.

When to worry if bullying is a problem

– Excerpt not provided.

Signs your child is being bullied:

– Excerpt not provided.

Signs your child may be bullying others include:

– Excerpt not provided.

How to help your child if he/she is being bullied

• Thank your child for being brave enough to come forward.

• Tell the child the bullying is not their fault.

• Acknowledge the seriousness. Track and keep a record of details of the bullying incident(s).

• Tell your child to report bullying to you until it has completely stopped.

• Explain that telling/reporting is to get someone out of trouble and is different from tattling/ratting to get someone into trouble.

• Practice with your child what to say and do in a bullying situation:

    – confidently tell the child who is bullying to STOP!

    – Walk away and report it to your mom or dad if you are at home and, if it happens at school, report it to your homeroom teacher or another trusted adult.

• Make a Safety Plan.

    – Tell your child to stick to areas where adults are present.

    – Make sure your child can walk home with someone.

• Take action on your child’s behalf by reporting the bullying suffered by your child to the other signifi cant adults in your child’s life, such as home-room teacher, the coach for a sport that the child is involved in and any other adults who have regular contact with the child and take an interest in the child’s well-being.

• Have your child join a sport, lesson, or club outside of school to help create friendship opportunities, reduce stress, and acquire new skills and self-esteem.

• Follow up. Your child may not tell you if bullying continues.

When telling the child to be assertive in standing up for herself/himself, be sure to tell your child not to act aggressively by physically or verbally attacking the child is who is bullying, since this can make things worse.

How to help your child if he/she bullies others

– Excerpt not provided.

Reaching out for help

Bullying is best addressed through the combined efforts of parents, teachers and the community.

• Make other adults who are important to the child aware of the bullying and its seriousness by communicating regularly.

• Find out what school and community supports exist for children involved in bullying. Speak up for appropriate supervision and for tracking of incidents so that principals or activity leaders will know which children and teens need help.

CHAPTER 6

Adolescents and Bullying

– Excerpt not provided.

When to worry if bullying is a problem

During transitions from middle to high school, bullying tends to peak. Given the higher risk of being bullied, and the increased vulnerability of adolescents, it is important for parents to stay alert for signs of bullying and/or sexual harassment.

Signs that your child may be bullied include:

• avoiding going to school

• loss of interest in activities

• anxiousness, fear and low self-esteem

• complaints of feeling unwell, including trouble sleeping

• general unhappiness and/or irritability

• isolation from the peer group

• threats to hurt themselves or others

• losing things, needing money and/or having damaged clothing or belongings

• changes in performance at school

Signs your adolescent may be bullying others include:

• low concern for others’ feelings

• bossiness, manipulation and frustration

• quickness to anger

• positive views of aggression

• not recognizing the impact of behaviors

• having friends who bully or are aggressive

• having trouble standing up to peer pressure

• unexplained money or possessions, or being secretive about these things

How to help your adolescent if he/she is bullied

– Excerpt not provided.

How to help your adolescent if he/she bullies others

– Excerpt not provided.

Reaching out for help

– Excerpt not provided.

CHAPTER 7

Electronic/Cyber Bullying

– Excerpt not provided.

When to worry about electronic/cyber bullying:

– Excerpt not provided.

Signs your child is being bullied electronically:

– Excerpt not provided.

Signs your child may be electronically/cyber bullying others:

• secrecy about online activities, hiding or switching screens when others walk by

• spending longer than usual hours online

• becoming upset if not allowed to use the computer, or using multiple online accounts

These behaviors and emotions in your child may indicate that bullying is a problem.

How to help your child if he or she is being electronically/cyber bullied

Be ready to listen. Thank him/her for being brave and coming forward. Explain that it is his/her right to feel safe online. Ask for details, and convey your concern about all reports, even seemingly trivial ones. Let your child know you are there to support him/her.

Be your child’s advocate – act and speak up for him/her

• Once your child has come forward, it’s your turn to act. Consider setting up new accounts for your child.

Find out what happened and whether it has stopped. Keep a record of what occurred—print the e-mails, chat room history, or web posting, or save the phone message.

Report electronic/cyber bullying to the school and to your internet service provider, and in extreme cases, to the police.

Encourage your child not to reply to hurtful messages. Responding may exacerbate the situation.

Encourage your child to talk to you about any continuing problems with electronic bullying.

Recharge all of your child’s electronics in your bedroom at night

If your child bullies others electronically

– Excerpt not provided.

Preventing electronic/cyber bullying before it happens

– Excerpt not provided.

CHAPTER 8

Children Who Bully – What To Do At Home

– Excerpt not provided.

Taking responsibility and repairing

Once you learn that your child is bullying others, you must deliver a consistent message that bullying is not acceptable. Educational consequences are an important component of supporting this message and offer an opportunity to help children understand the effects of bullying. For example, an appropriate consequence if you learn your child has bullied, is to have him or her stay in for the weekend and write a letter of apology, and write (or draw) what it feels like to be bullied. This consequence focuses on teaching children empathy skills, which is an area that is less well developed in children and teens who bully.

Through conversations about stories in books, television and movies, help your chlld learn words and feelings that put him or her in the shoes of the victimized child and let your child think about what it would be like to be picked on, put down or left out. You can also model empathy by sharing your own feelings in bullying situations and explaining in age-appropriate language why you feel the way you do. The goal in teaching empathy is to help your child to take on the other person’s perspective before they act.

Once time has been given to consequences and empathy, it is important to teach the process of repairing the relationship with the child who has been bullied. Teaching your child to actively seek to repair the relationship is important as it makes the child take responsibility for his or her actions. Ensure that this repair process is carried out in a genuine manner which enhances both parties’ feeling of self-worth.

Teaching positive ways to deal with anger

– Excerpt not provided.

Build positive leadership skills

– Excerpt not provided.

CHAPTER 9

What Parents Can Do To
Help Children Who Are Victimized

– Excerpt not provided.

Building strong relationships

– Excerpt not provided.

Teaching coping skills

Bullying is a relationship problem that can only be solved by making changes to relationships. To deal with bullying, children need to learn and practice skills that will help them develop more positive relationships with peers.

• Give your child phrases he or she can use in bullying situations, as well as words to describe feelings. Demonstrate what you might do or say in response to a bullying episode, and have your child practice using his or her own words.

• With your child, practice different strategies that can be used if he/she is bullied or sees another child being bullied. If your child is being bullied he/she could say: “This is bullying. Stop it now and leave me alone.” If your child sees bullying happen, he/she can be part of the solution by showing that the child who is being bullied is not alone. Another important goal when your child wants to help is to get the bullied child away from the bullying situation. Your child could approach the child who is being bullied and say, “Come on, let’s go somewhere so that we can play/talk/have lunch together” or, “I’m so glad to see you. I wanted to talk with you. Let’s go somewhere else.”

• Demonstrate what you might do or say in response to a bullying episode, and have your child practice these same behaviors, using his or her own assertive, not aggressive, words for responding to the bully’s actions.

• Teach your children about respectful relationships by talking about behaviors that are acceptable and unacceptable.

• Teach your child how to ask for help.

• Identify someone your child can ask for help at school.

• Talk about what your child can do to comfort another child who has been hurt.

Making the friendship connection

– Excerpt not provided.

Reflecting on parenting styles

– Excerpt not provided.

CHAPTER 10

How Parents Can Work With The School

– Excerpt not provided.

How and when to approach your school?

Parents need to take bullying concerns seriously and approach the school in a calm, supportive manner. This can be difficult if you are feeling anxious or upset by the bullying, but it is important to avoid blaming the child who was bullying or the school. Stay focused on solving the problem. It is critical that you get details of the bullying behaviors: date, time, location, people involved, how it occurred and evidence, if there is any.

Approach the school once you have noticed signs of bullying and have talked with your child. Your goal is to ensure your child’s safety and discuss ways to end the bullying. Prior to making contact with the school, reassure your child that it is not his/her fault, and that he/she can walk away and talk to you or another adult about the bullying. Children may be fearful or anxious of parent–school interventions. Discuss approaching the school with your child so that he/she understands that adults can help solve a problem only if they know about it. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to brainstorm which adults you can talk to and work collaboratively to select a person at school that your child trusts.

Talking with the teacher

– Excerpt not provided.

Talking with an administrator

– Excerpt not provided.

Making a safety plan

– Excerpt not provided.

Following up with the school

– Excerpt not provided

CHAPTER 11

Bullying Prevention
Through The Golden Rule

– Excerpt not provided.

Stopping bullying before it becomes a problem

Parents and caregivers socialize children. They teach and help them develop the skills they need to adapt to life outside the family. Some of these lessons take the form of direct teaching and explaining, and some take the form of actions. Adults are role models for children who learn by watching and imitating. If adults engage in healthy relationships and treat others respectfully, so will children.

Children learn by trial and error, and they need many learning opportunities and the patience and support of caring adults to develop healthy relationship skills. Very few of us learn things the first time we try them and learning how to have healthy relationships is complex. But, having healthy relationships is one of the best ways to prevent bullying from happening in the first place.

Preventing bullying by practicing the Golden Rule

– Excerpt not provided.

CHAPTER 12

Resources For Parents

This chapter contains a helpful list of books, videos and websites; download the ebook or get the paperback to see the list.

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