Keeping Kids Safe From Bullies

Your child can protect themselves from bullies. Bullying can make your child feel anxious and fearful about going to school each day. That's why it's important to pay attention to warning signs like faking illness, scrapes and bruises or even depression.

Go over these bullying safety tips with your child to make sure they understand what to do if they're being bullied. Make sure they also know that they shouldn't be bullies themselves. Read through these tips and discuss bullying with your child and help them help themselves: -Kids: If you're being bothered by a bully, let an adult, like a teacher, parent, or coach know. -Parents: If your child seems hesitant to go to school or to socialize with other kids, ask if there's someone who's giving them trouble. -Kids: Try to walk or eat with other friends if you feel uncomfortable about being alone because of a bully.

-Parents: Take teacher's notes seriously if they say your child is being teased or is having trouble fitting in. -Kids: Simply ignore bullies and pretend that you don't see or hear the mean things they may be doing. -Parents: Remember that bullying can be more than just physical. Other types of bullying include cyber (hurtful e-mails and IMs), emotional (exclusion; forming cliques), racist (using derogatory racial terms, etc.), sexual (inappropriate touching, etc.), and verbal (name-calling; teasing).

-Kids: You can also defend yourself by simply telling a bully to stop pestering you. -Parents: Meet with your child's teacher to see what you can do to help your child deal with their bullies. -Kids: Don't become a bully yourself by hitting, teasing, kicking or yelling at bullies or anyone else. -Parents: Look out for more obvious signs of bullying like bedwetting, poor concentration and missing money or possessions. -Kids: Remember that some bullies may be mean because they're sad or mad about something else -- their abuse is not your fault.

-Parents: Try contacting the parents of bullies to explain what's going on between your children. A bully may be angry, sad, or frustrated because of issues at home. One of the best ways in dealing with bullies is to make sure your child is less of a target.

Teach them to walk tall with shoulders back. Show them how to carry their heads high and keep their eyes focused on others when they are talking. Direct eye contact is done by children who are confident.

Keep the safety tips in mind and remember that being brave and walking tall doesn't mean being a wimp.

Joyce Jackson is a safety expert and consultant in northern California. For her latest book and information see Keeping Kids Safe.


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