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Building Kind Schools and Communities

Tips

Tips for Parents/Caregivers

    • Talk about school, bullying and healthy relationships regularly with your child (Conversation starter tips- http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA08-4321/SMA08-4321.pdf)
    • Role play real or possible scenarios your child is concerned about
    • Create a family charter by discussing how family members would like to be treated, how they would like their home environment to feel and how to accomplish that.
      • Address bullying behavior in the home.
      • Practice self compassion and positive self talk and affirmations with your children.
      • Teach and model kind and respectful behavior towards everyone at home and in the community.
      • Have frequent discussions regarding respect, kindness and compassion and what they look and feel like and how we can foster them in ourselves and each other.
      • Talk about messages in the media and which support kind and respectful behavior and which do not.
      • Practice kindness and compassion as a family to self and others.
      • Volunteer as a family in the community.
      • As a family read books and watch movies that show kind and compassionate behavior and discuss them.
      • Increase empathy and gratitude by discussing and regularly recognizing and showing appreciation to those who help to make our lives easier, safer and healthier, i.e. sanitary workers, custodians, road workers, etc
      • Create personal and family rituals which include showing gratitude and kindness to others.
      • Practice peaceful parenting (more info here).
      • Speak up when you see or hear disrespectful behavior.
      • Be involved in your child’s school
        • Find out what the school’s policy on bullying is, as well as what their prevention and intervention plan is.
        • Get to know the staff and students.
        • Volunteer in the classroom, in the cafeteria and/or at recess.
        • Go to PTA meetings.
        • Organize with other parents and become involved in bullying prevention efforts in your schools (see Action Ideas tab)

         

 If you suspect or know your child is being bullied:

  • Reassure your child it is not their fault.
  • Discuss a plan with your child.
  • Role play bullying scenarios so your child can rehearse possible ways to respond.
  • Help your child get involved with and make new friends in activities outside of and away from school.
  • Practice positive self talk and affirmations with your child.
  • Determine if your child needs professional help to deal with the trauma of being bullied.
  • Document everything your child tells you, what you observe and  all communication with the school.
  • Talk to the principal and teachers and submit concerns to them in writing/e-mail saving all communication.
  • Organize with their parents and caring adults to  meet with the school administration.
  • Discuss and get in writing how they will address/stop the bullying
  • Require all staff be made aware of the bullying.
  • Ask to be updated regularly.
  • Organize with other parents and get involved in bullying prevention efforts (spreading kindness, respect, building community, practicing intervention) in the school.  Learn about effective bullying prevention and restorative practices in other places here on our website. 

If the bullying does not stop:

  • Talk to the Superintendent
  • Go to the school board
  • Contact your State Department of Education
  • Contact your representatives and senators
  • Go to the media (Give this careful thought and of course be sure your child is okay with it)
  • Organize with other parents and community members and together insist that the school keep students safe.
  • Continue to document everything.
  • Continue to talk with, listen to and reassure your child daily.
  • Don’t give up!!  Contact us at jeremiahshopefk@gmail.com

 

When your child is a bystander:

  • Role play bullying scenarios and various ways to help

                -Tell the person bullying to stop

                -Join with other friends and surround and protect the child who is being targeted

                -Support, befriend and include the targeted child in activities

  • Encourage your child to:
       -Not participate in rumors, gossip and other forms of bullying

    -Report bullying to at least two caring adults (decide who they might be beforehand).

-Get involved in fostering kindness, respect and empathy (bullying prevention) in their home, school and community.

 

When your child is bullying others:

  • Have your child join you in becoming involved in bullying prevention efforts. Offer some ideas from the list of Action Ideas and let your child choose what they would like to help with.
  • Do role plays and read books to increase empathy for others.
  • Foster empathy and kindness in your child using ideas and activities in the articles listed under Compassionate Parenting.
  • Begin doing community service or service learning type projects as a family on a regular basis to help increase empathy and a sense of belonging. 
  • Role model kind and respectful behavior in all interactions.
  • Work with your child’s school to help stop the bullying behavior.

*Remember that all behavior is purposeful. Behavior is an attempt to meet a need. Work with your child to find out what need they are trying to meet when they bully others.  Provide pro-social ways to meet those needs instead. 

 

Additional information for the above situations at Helpful Links for Parents and Caregivers

Get involved in stopping and preventing bullying in your child’s school –  Action Ideas