Although October is National Bullying Awareness Month, we must address it every day. Please take some time to talk to your child and about bullying and its implications. Make them aware that it is not cool to be a bully or to be bullied. If the child is the victim of a bully, encourage them to contact an adult and talk about it. If the child is the bully, encourage them to stop the bullying, and you take action so they understand how to become friends and be peaceful
Dads 4 Life supports the efforts of Tony Bartolli as a Bullying Speaker. He travels across the nation to help students, Dads, and Parents with Awareness on the issue of School Bullying. One of his primary focal points is ‘how to’ recognize and Prevent Further Bullying instances anywhere and any environment. We see and hear about the bullying stories via news reports, newspaper, and magazines. Dads ….and parents in general… have heard about other kids being bullied. Or, perhaps your own son or daughter is being bullied.
Now is not the time to panic and pull back from sounding the alarms. Now is the time to start the conversation if you know your child is getting Bullied. Talking is always like turning the key in the ignition and starting a car. In extreme cases of bullying, it is a time for accountability and making a visit to your child’s School to sit down with school leaders.
How common is bullying?
It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Source: National Education Association
- American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million of their victims. Dan Olweus, National School Safety Center
- One in seven students is either a bully or victim.
- 56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
- 5% of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school.
- 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
- One out of 20 students has seen a student with a gun at school.
- Mean behavior among kids is a universal problem. In a poll of 232 children in kindergarten through 8th grade at a Connecticut elementary school, every child claimed to have been the victim of at least one schoolmate or sibling’s meanness in the previous month.
What is bullying?
Bullying is behavior that is intentional and repeated over time. Actions are meant to HARM somebody else emotionally, physically, verbally and mentally.
What can a Parent do?
Make a DECISION to be involved in your child’s everyday life. That can be directly about the Bullying, or in activities that take your mind and your Child’s mind away from the bullying. Getting outdoors, going to a bookstore, going for bike rides, camping trips, etc.
CONNECT with your kids. By connecting you will learn more about any bullying that they may be experiencing. Show that you care. Let them know you’ve done research and have found information and stories on Bullying. They need your time, time & time. When you show your kids that you won’t ignore the bullying situations…you’re setting a good example.
Give THOUGHT and ideas to your kids to help in bullying situations. Even though the issue can bring challenges and maybe some days of unrest, take steps of action. I recommend at least twice a month, sit down with your son or daughter …. get creative. Think of things to say with your child…when he or she faces Bullying.
Maybe the Bully is known for being on a Sports team in school and is trying to show power. Your son or daughter could challenge the bully with Kindness. I know it is not easy, but telling the Bully something else might just baffle them. Tony teaches the kids to say things like, “You might not like my clothes, but I sure do”. “You want to know something, I’m going to try out for Soccer next school year”. Or, Wow, I had a good camping trip over the weekend”.
One more, EMPOWER your son or daughter. It’s like putting on the armor of we will not stand for bullying. Help your kids learn comebacks. He or she could give a definition of bullying and walk away. Outsmart the bullying. Of course, in Physical Bullying, this is difficult. That’s when to get school Leaders involved. But bullies love to use INTIMIDATION. And when a son or daughter can call the Bully on it, that carries some weight! Call out ” Stop this BULLYING”! Calling out for help. Even, I’ve heard so much about the issue of bullying, and it’s NOT going to be a part of my Life. I vote for a BULLY-FREE school!”
Dads, you can be an example, you really can! Use judgment and help your students if they face these challenges. Bullying does not have to be ” just an everyday thing that most students go through” Getting out in front of Bullying sure help and can prevent years of struggle or even prevent a disaster.
Tony Bartoli -Bullying Awareness and Prevention