How OT Stop Bullying

Stop Bullying: What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied!

I have worked as a special educator for over ten years. Many of my students have been bullied or are the bullies. I am also the parent of 2 children in elementary school.  I have had to deal with bullies as a parent and as a teacher. The first thing I can say from a parent and teacher perspective is bullying cannot be tolerated or ignored. Schools and parents must work together to stop bullying. Bullying has become very dangerous schools and law enforcement must issue consequences for acts of bullying as appropriate.

Years ago bullying took place mostly at school. A child could leave school and go home and get away from it all. However, with the internet and social websites bullying is now a 24 hour a day process. Students can be bullied every minute of every day and the effects can be devastating.

On the first day of school every year I have the students fill out questionnaires about bullying. Almost every student has experienced some type of bullying somewhere in the past. However, the saddest part of the surveys is when the students explain that no one helps. Therefore, I chose to bully proof my classroom and when my own children have fallen victim to bullies I demand that their teachers do the same.  The following are some things to consider when a child is being bullied.

Talk with the school. Notify them of the situation and let them know you want to be updated on steps being taken to ensure that your child will not be bullied at school. Ask if they can also help to control and cyber bullying. Many states and schools are already using or developing policies, procedures, and laws to help deal with bullying. Ask your child’s school what supports they can give to your child to help them deal with bullying such as social workers etc.. Talk with your child. Consult with professionals such as your child’s doctors and social workers on what is the best way to talk with your child and help them through this delicate issue. Talk with your child’s teacher. Ask how they are monitoring the class throughout the day and what daily lessons they teach on respect and tolerance. Teachers should teach to bullying on a daily basis. A beginning of the year assembly is not enough to deal with bullying. Teachers need to be proactive and pre-teach before every class and activity on how they expect students to tread each other. Also try accessing webistes like bullybegone.org and other sites for more information.

It is possible to keep bullying out of classrooms and schools. There are many schools that have developed extremely successful programs that have helped to increase empathy and decrease bullying.