October is National Bullying Prevention month, where people from all over the nation unite to keep America’s youth safe from the many different forms of bullying today. The campaign was created to raise awareness and encourage school systems and communities to take necessary action.

Many children and adolescents experience bullying. It may occur in school or outside of the classroom. As a parent, guardian, or teacher, it can be helpful to talk to your children about recognizing and dealing with bullying.

Educate your children about bullying.

Before your child is placed into situations where they may observe or fall victim to bullying, educate them of what it is and what signs they should look out for. Tell them if they experience it, they can always go to you (or another nearby adult) for help.

Ensure your children that it is not their fault. A bullies’ comments or actions should not be taken personally by the victim, although this may be easier said than done. However, they’re unkind words and actions are often a simple projection of their own personal issues or insecurities.

Practice responses to bullying.

Go through potential situations with your child in which they can practice their dialogue in a bullying situation, whether they are witnessing it or being bullied personally.

If a child comes to you for help, listen.

Make sure they know that you are there to support them. If necessary, you can report instances of bullying to your child’s school so that they can take action and lessen the likelihood of more bullying instances.

Sources: Child Mind Institute, ChildMind.org. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.