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Friday, October 19, 2012

October is National Anti-Bulllying Awareness Month

Friends protect each other!
On October 6th, I wrote a post on bullying.  I didn't know at the time that October is National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month.  I didn't even know there was such a distinction.  Now that I know, I want to add a few more comments on the subject, only this time not talk about the bully but talk about the bullied.

As mothers, we have the responsibility to provide a safe environment for our children and protect them from harm.  Bullying is not something new in our society.   I'm sure you can remember instances in your childhood where either you or someone you knew was the target of a bully.  I know I can still remember.  Even so, it isn't a natural or normal part of childhood and shouldn't be dismissed nor tolerated.

If you think your child is being bullied, there are things you can do to help him.
1. First, talk to him and get details.  Do not show that you are upset.
2. Be calm and reassuring.
3. Show support for him and his situation.  
3. Help him come up with appropriate ways to respond when being bullied.  Usually the best way is to walk away and not show anger or fear.  Fighting back is NOT a good idea.
4. Have him practice what to do if it happens again.
5. Make sure he knows that he can always come to you with his problems.
6. When he's away from home, encourage him to be with friends as often as possible.  Bullies rarely target a group of children.
7. Keep a closer eye on the kids playing in the neighborhood.  Discourage unsupervised play.
8. Talk to other mothers and work together to ensure the safety of the children.

Often, bullying occurs at school so you will need to involve the teacher and school administrators.  They need to know what is going on so they can monitor the situation. Your child's mental and physical health and safety are not things to be dealt with lightly.

These are just simple steps you can use to help your child with bullies.  Hopefully, working together with your child and teaching him a few coping techniques will be enough to take care of the problem.  If it isn't enough or the problem is severe, you might have to take more drastic steps and involve law enforcement.   Every child deserves to feel safe, at home, at school, and in the community.