What Adults Can Do For A Child Who's Being Bullied
- Ask about it. Often, due to shame or fear, a victimized child doesn't alert an adult. Signs: sudden school phobia, lack of friends, torn clothing, missing personal belongings, fearfulness and anxiety.
- Contact school authorities immediately. The school and the child's parents should ensure safety for the victim both to-and-from school as well as during school hours. School administration should outline consequences for the bully, and institute ongoing monitoring. They should also engage the bully's parents in the interventions.
- Develop the social network of the child. Participation in group activities can integrate the child in the social life of the school and encourage positive friendships.
- Cite individual cases of bullying as a means to encourage anti-bullying policies in school. Part of this effort should include education of parents, teachers and students about the poisonous effects of bullying on the school.
What To Do For A Child Who's A Bully
- Deal with the problem early to prevent later, ingrained behaviors.
- Talk with the child about the behavior and make clear the parents and school will not tolerate any future incidents.
- Outline the consequences for the child if they continue to bully others in the school.
- Use the school administration, the child's teachers and the parents to form a communication network.
- Praise non-aggressive behavior that solves conflict non-violently.
- Eliminate role models who demonstrate aggressive behavior around the child. This is an important point to raise with the bullying child's parents. Role models may also include a stream of violent TV, video games or printed material.
- Consider psychological counseling to assist the child in developing socially acceptable interactions with peers.
Quick Tips -- "What If I'm Being Bullied?"