Sometimes when thinking about bullying it is easiest to try and focus on training just one group of individual’s in how to put an end to it. I could easily say that bullying is so prevalent because teachers are allowing it to take place. Others may say that it is the parents fault for not raising their children correctly. Finally, some may say that we only need to focus on teaching the kids themselves to stop bullying each other. I think the best way to achieve maximum results when implementing anti-bullying techniques is to have a well-rounded plan that includes training and techniques for teachers, parents, and the students themselves.
For Teachers: Some parents may find it hard to believe when teachers claim to not know that there is bullying occurring in their vicinity in the school. The truth is that this is most likely a very true statement because it has been found that the majority of bulling takes place in common areas such as the lunchroom, hallways, the bus, and in this modern society online bullying is growing (Whitson, 2015). A simple way to make a large impact on this particular issues is to use current staff members (i.e. teachers, recess aides, cafeteria workers) and have them present in between classes and break times at school. The presence of adult figures will decrease the opportunities a bully has and will increase the confidence in the students being bullied that teachers are present (Whitson, 2015).
For Parents: There are two different aspects that need to be addressed when discussing parents and their roles in bullying. First, we will look at parents who have children who are being bullied. First, there are several things that a parent should refrain from when trying to help a child cope with bullying. A parent should never encourage their child to fight back and they should never directly approach the bully or the parents of the bully either. Parents should also avoid completely ignoring their children when they state they are being bullied (Lovegrove, Bellmore, Green, Jens, & Ostrov, 2013). Parents that have children who are being bullied should always encourage their children to talk openly about their lives. This will provide the parents more insight into their lives that they might not have otherwise. Once the parent is aware of bullying they should help coach the child to make choices that could help negate bullying. A few examples would be helping them come up with ideas that may remove them from bullying territory such as playing on a different location of the playground or to even chose some new friends at school (Lovegrove, et al., 2013). Parents can find additional information on risk factors at http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/factors/index.html.
If you are a parent that suspects your child is a bully there are several steps you can take to help direct your child in the right direction. Parents need to make sure their children realize that bullying will not be tolerated and to not accept excuses of them saying they were just playing or them trying to minimize the bullying to not being a big deal. Implementing consequences when bullying occurs is also important, but the parent needs to keep in mind that nonviolent (no spanking) consequences are the best options. Using corporal punishment would give the impression that violent activities are sometimes acceptable (Lovegrove, et al., 2013).
For Students: One preventative technique that has shown success in schools is to train a small group of students to provide a peer-support group that is equipped with intervention skills (Sherer & Nickerson, 2010). This type of technique can allow students to see first hand what the effects of bullying can create. Also, using peers will allow the bullies to see individuals they attend school with everyday taking a stand against bullying.
When combining techniques that address all three of these groups the best results will most likely be achieved. I have provided additional websites below for further assistance in anti-bullying techniques.
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Lovegrove, P. J., Bellmore, A. D., Green, J. G., Jens, K., & Ostrov, J. M. (2013). “My Voice Is Not Going to Be Silent”: What Can Parents Do About Children’s Bullying?. Journal Of School Violence, 12(3), 253-267. doi:10.1080/15388220.2013.792270
Sherer, Y. C., & Nickerson, A. B. (2010). Anti-bullying practices in American schools: Perspectives of school psychologists. Psychology In The Schools, 47(3), 217-229.
Whitson, S. (2015). Bringing an End to Bullying. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 24(1), 50-54.