Bullying: How to Keep Your Child Safe

Article by Connie Hewitson

 

I hope that your children’s school year is off to a great start. In preparation, you have made sure that your children go back well prepared with everything they need, including books, paper, pencils, school boxes, and backpacks. You have bought them their new school clothes and shoes, and you have made sure they look like the sweet little angels they are when they go to school.

However, have you looked at their attitude? Yes, their attitude. In this day and age where bullying has had devastating consequences, please consider talking to your children about their attitude.

Bullying is vicious and aggressive behavior generally directed toward one specific, innocent victim. Bullying is not only physical, violent behavior; it includes psychological bullying, such as spreading rumors. It may also be verbal, where there is no physical contact, but a child may experience an undeserved, verbal attack. Bullies may also vandalize the victim’s property.

There was a high school girl quite a few years ago, who wanted to fit in with a certain group of kids. (I will call her Maria.) This group of kids were not the upstanding kids that anyone’s parents would want their children to associate with. 

 

One day after school, they followed another girl home. (I will call her Jane.) They were walking in a somewhat desolate area. Maria was egged on to pick on Jane. Maria called Jane all kinds of horrible and terrible names. She pushed her, pulled her hair, and made her cry. Jane did not do anything to deserve this, nor did she do anything to defend herself. Maria felt like she had proved herself to the group of kids.   

This is typically how bullying works. Generally, they are a group of kids who do the bullying together to torture the innocent victim, a child, on the receiving end.

You and your child should know the difference between bullying and a “good-old schoolyard fight.” Yes, it’s bound to happen. It’s not a good thing, nor a bad thing. Sometimes kids don’t see eye-to-eye, just like adults sometimes don’t see eye-to-eye. That’s when you will get a call from your kid’s school asking you to come in because little Johnny or little Susie has been in a fight with a classmate. What happened? You did not raise your kids to be aggressive, but did you teach them to stand up for themselves?  You should.

As we all know, bullying in present-day has had terrible and devastating consequences. You may think that your children would never behave in such a manner, and I pray that they never do. However, there is also the receiving end on bullying. The children whose lives become a nightmare by the bullying they endure virtually and in school. Our children and grandchildren should be made aware of it and learn how to deflect it. Learn how to defend themselves and learn to report it immediately!

Encourage your children to ‘just be nice’ as well as kind towards one another!

May your children and grandchildren have a beautiful, wonderful, and an enjoyable school year.

My topics include manners, chores, dining etiquette, public behavior, being respectful, and much more. 

I invite you to write to me with any questions or suggestions on topics you would like me to address.

 
About the Author: Connie Hewitson
Certified Image and Etiquette Consultant
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