“Bullying is behavior that hurts or harms someone who cannot defend themselves, either emotionally or physically.”
– Raise A Giant
As a Mom of two children that are in elementary school, the topic of bullying is one that is on my radar. I have a child that has been bullied, my youngest, and I have a child that could be seen as a bully, my oldest. It is a struggle as a parent to have the words to help your child who is hurt by this behavior and to prevent it with a child that could hurt others with their behavior. It is something that even though I dealt with it as a child, it was no where near at the level it is now. It is important to talk to our children to prevent this behavior so that they can stand up to it, speak up against it, and not participate in it.
When I was in school many MANY years ago, bullying did exist, but not to the extent that it does today. One of the main differences today is that bullying doesn’t just happen at school, it goes beyond the four walls and follows a student home via social media and text messages. A child that is a victim of bullying could be victimized at school and at home without much of a break.
We have all seen the news items of children/teens killing themselves after being victims of bullying. Last month was the National Bullying Prevention month. There were a lot of resources put out to help parents talk with their kids about bullying and how to stop it. It is my hope to pass along the best resources that I have found so that you can begin a dialog with your child and we can stop this horrible behavior.
- Stopbullying.org – This is a great site that has information for both parents and kids. The kids area of the site has games as well as children talking about how bullying makes them feel. It lists reasons why children bully others and the impact it has.
- Bully Free Program – This site also has some great suggestions on how to help a child that is being bullied as well as to help a child that IS the bully.
- Pacer Center – This is the original site that got me interested in this topic. They partnered with Green Giant to help stop bullying. One of the things they are providing is a way to write a letter to your child through the Raise A Giant site, to let them know they are valued and loved. That letter could provide them with the confidence to not be bullied. to speak up against bullying behavior by their friends, or to stop them from bullying others. They have some great resources and graphics that can be used to help discuss this sensitive topic with your children.
Bullying is a topic that we can’t rely on the schools to address, though they are, but the main discussion and teaching needs to happen at home. It will take all of us as parents and relatives of children and teens today to do our part to help end this horrible behavior that is occurring not only in our schools, but over the Internet and through text messaging. I hope you will take the time today to get your thoughts together, check out the resources in this post, and begin having the discussion with your own children.
If you find these resources helpful or know of others that should be included, please leave me a comment below. I would really like to hear your thoughts.