At Lifetouch, we support every child feeling safe in their school. Use these tips to stay educated on how to stop and prevent bullying.

 

Signs a child might be a target of bullying

  • Reluctant to go to school (or any activity where the bullying is occurring)
  • Anxious, fearful, hypervigilant
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Onset of anorexia, bulimia or binge eating
  • Excessive crying or sadness
  • Cutting or other forms of self-harm
  • Sudden changes in friendship groups
  • No invitations to play groups, attend parties or participate in group outings

 

Steps to take if your child is being bullied

Most importantly, do not blame your child for what is happening. Even if the child is a provocative target, meaning that he or she has social quirks or tends to be different from other kids, he or she does not deserve to be bullied.

  • Reassure your child that this is not his or her fault, that no one should be treated this way.
  • Document the bullying; i.e., take a screen shot of cyberbullying activities; photograph bruises or ruined property; write accounts of exclusion or verbal taunting.
  • Share the documentation with the school and request action.
  • Have school administrators clearly define the school’s antibullying policy.
  • Seek counseling for your child.
  • Look for places outside of school where your child can form friendships, such as clubs, sports teams, theater groups, art classes, etc.

 

Steps to take if your child is doing the bullying

Often, it is painful to acknowledge that one’s own child is being unkind. It is best for the child if you acknowledge the issue.

  • Tell your child that the unkind behaviors are unacceptable, but also be sure to reassure him or her that you love them.
  • Seek counseling for your child and your family to deal with the underlying causes of the aggression.
  • Encourage your child to make reparations for the harm he or she has caused, first and foremost by teaching him or her to consider how the targeted child feels.
  • Reach out to the family of the targeted child and offer a sincere apology.
  • Ask school staff to help you teach empathy and emotional intelligence to your child.
  • Set consequences for continued mistreatment of peers; i.e., loss of screen time.

 

Steps to take if your child is a bystander

  • Encourage them to reach out to the target and offer empathy. Even a kind text message makes a huge difference.
  • Have them write an account of the bullying. Evidence is critical.
  • Have them report the bullying to the school.
  • Remind them they are not to join in the bullying.