for personal growth and recovery
815-432-5241


Print This Page



 

Bullying what can Parents do to help

images_(19)
The worst part of the day is trying to work up enough courage to go to school...
© Bullying .gov

Parents  images_(20)

Parents play a key role in preventing and responding to bullying. If you know or suspect that your child is involved in bullying, there are several resources that may help.

  • Recognize the warning signs that your child is involved in bullying. They could be being bullied, bullying others, or witnessing bullying.  Although these signs could signal other issues, you should talk to your child if they display any sort of behavioral or emotional changes.  Many times kids won’t ask for help, so it is important to know what to look for. If your child is at immediate risk of harming himself or others, get help right away.
  • Learn what bullying is and what it is not. Understanding what bullying is is the first step in forming a plan to prevent or respond to bullying with your child. Many behaviors that look like bullying may be just as serious, but may require different response strategies.  You can also learn about:
  • Cyberbullying often requires different strategies than in-person bullying.  Learn how to work with your kids to prevent cyberbullying and how to respond when it occurs.
  • Utilize tips and tools to talk to your child about bullying. Opening lines of communication before your child is involved in bullying makes it easier for them to tell you when something happens. It is also important to work with a school to help prevent bullying before it starts.
  • If you know or suspect bullying has occurred, learn how to find out what has happened with your child. Understanding what has happened can also help in communicating with school or community officials about the situation.
  • If you have determined bullying has occurred, learn how you and school or community officials can work together to support your child, whether they were bulliedbullied others, or witnessed bullying.  Learn also about considerations for specific groups.
  • If bullying is occurring at school, learn about what your state requires schools to do in your state’s anti-bullying law. Learn also about federal laws that require schools to address harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disabilities and ways to report situations that have not been adequately addressed to the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice.
  • If you have worked with your child and your school and need additional assistance, find resources to help address the situation.
  • The Roles Kids Play

    Teenagers talk behind a girl's backThere are many roles that kids can play. Kids can bully others, they can be bullied, or they may witness bullying. When kids are involved in bullying, they often play more than one role. Sometimes kids may both be bullied and bully others or they may witness other kids being bullied. It is important to understand the multiple roles kids play in order to effectively prevent and respond to bullying.

    Importance of Not Labeling Kids

    When referring to a bullying situation, it is easy to call the kids who bully others "bullies" and those who are targeted "victims," but this may have unintended consequences. When children are labeled as "bullies" or "victims" it may:

    • Send the message that the child's behavior cannot change
    • Fail to recognize the multiple roles children might play in different bullying situations
    • Disregard other factors contributing to the behavior such as peer influence or school climate

    Instead of labeling the children involved, focus on the behavior. For instance:

    • Instead of calling a child a "bully," refer to them as "the child who bullied"
    • Instead of calling a child a "victim," refer to them as "the child who was bullied"
    • Instead of calling a child a "bully/victim," refer to them as "the child who was both bullied and bullied others."

    Kids Involved in Bullying

    The roles kids play in bullying are not limited to those who bully others and those who are bullied. Some researchers talk about the "circle of bullying" to define both those directly involved in bullying and those who actively or passively assist the behavior or defend against it. Direct roles include:

    • Kids who Bully: These children engage in bullying behavior towards their peers. There are many risk factors that may contribute to the child's involvement in the behavior. Often, these students require support to change their behavior and address any other challenges that may be influencing their behavior.
    • Kids who are Bullied: These children are the targets of bullying behavior. Some factors put children at more risk of being bullied, but not all children with these characteristics will be bullied. Sometimes, these children may need helplearning how to respond to bullying.

    Even if a child is not directly involved in bullying, they may be contributing to the behavior. Witnessing the behavior may alsoaffect the child, so it is important for them to learn what they should do when they see bullying happen. Roles kids play when they witness bullying include:

    • Kids who Assist: These children may not start the bullying or lead in the bullying behavior, but serve as an "assistant" to children who are bullying. These children may encourage the bullying behavior and occasionally join in.
    • Kids who Reinforce: These children are not directly involved in the bullying behavior but they give the bullying an audience. They will often laugh or provide support for the children who are engaging in bullying. This may encourage the bullying to continue.
    • Outsiders: These children remain separate from the bullying situation. They neither reinforce the bullying behavior nor defend the child being bullied. Some may watch what is going on but do not provide feedback about the situation to show they are on anyone’s side. Even so, providing an audience may encourage the bullying behavior.
    • Kids who Defend: These children actively comfort the child being bullied and may come to the child's defense when bullying occurs.

    Most kids play more than one role in bullying over time. In some cases, they may be directly involved in bullying as the one bullying others or being bullied and in others they may witness bullying and play an assisting or defending role. Every situation is different. Some kids are both bullied and bully others. It is important to note the multiple roles kids play, because:

    • Those who are both bullied and bully others may be at more risk for negative outcomes, such as depression or suicidal ideation.
    • It highlights the need to engage all kids in prevention efforts, not just those who are known to be directly involved
    • Get Help Now

      When you, your child, or someone close to you is being bullied, there are many steps to take to help resolve the situation. Make sure you understand what bullying is and what it is notthe warning signs of bullying, and steps to take for preventing and responding to bullying, including how to talk to children about bullying, prevention in schools andcommunities, and how to support children involved.

      After reviewing that information, if you feel you have done everything you can to resolve the situation and nothing has worked, or someone is in immediate danger, there are ways to get help.

      The problem

      What you can do

      There has been a crime or someone is at immediate risk of harm.

      Call 911.

      Someone is feeling hopeless, helpless, thinking of suicide.

      Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Site exit disclaimeronline or at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

      The toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in our national network. These centers provide 24-hour crisis counseling and mental health referrals.

      Someone is acting differently than normal, such as always seeming sad or anxious, struggling to complete tasks, or not being able care for themselves.

      Find a local counselor or other mental health services

      A child is being bullied in school.

       

      Contact the:

      1. Teacher
      2. School counselor
      3. School principal
      4. School superintendent
      5. State Department of Education

      See more on working with the school.

      The school is not adequately addressing harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion.

      Contact:

      For more information and resources go to  Bullying.gov 
 
 

« Back

 
 
 
 
Iroquois Mental Health Center | 323 W. Mulberry Street | Watseka, IL 60970 | 815-432-5241 | TDD. 815-432-4254 | Fax. 815-432-4537

© Copyright 2016-Iroquois Mental Health Center. All rights reserved|Website design and development by Americaneagle.com
close (X)