However, it is not something that should be accepted as a “rite of passage” or something “all kids do.” It should be addressed by parents, schools and the community. As summer approaches, kids will have more unsupervised time and be involved in various community activities. Parents need to be aware of the bullying issues that may affect their children.
As a parent, you need to take time to talk and listen to your child. You may start noticing some of the effects of bullying when your child doesn’t want to go to sports practice or walk to the store. Maybe they are missing personal items, suddenly staying home more often or feeling depressed. In our busy lives we must pay attention to these signs. Taking a few moments to address bullying issues can make a big difference in your child’s life.
We must also be aware of bullying partnered with technology. Cyber-bullying is a current trend, as kids post degrading messages on Facebook and other social media sites. Even your child’s cell phone can be an avenue for threatening or inappropriate text messages. Make sure you discuss this area with your child.
Let them know that you want them to share their concerns with you and that you will work with them to find a solution to the issue. If you do not address the bullying, it most likely will continue. An excellent resource for parents is the website www.stopbullying.gov. This site provides strategies and resources for parents, children and teachers to deal with bullying. As parents, we don’t have all the answers but there are resources available to give us some direction. I suggest you take a few moments to visit this website.
The bottom line is that bullying should be the concern of everyone, not just those directly affected as the result of this behavior spills out into our community. To keep our community healthy, all efforts should be made to keep children safe from bullying behavior.