Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month?
While the stories of bullied children are nearly enough to scare parents into following our children around everywhere, we know this isn’t the answer.
Instead, we must model, teach and guide our children to be kind, inclusive, empathic changemakers.
1. Teach empathy.
One of the simplest ways we you prevent bullying is by promoting kindness. Set a good example by interacting with others with love and compassion, especially when your children are present. Teach empathy by talking with your kids about your own feelings, encouraging them to talk about their own and consider other kids’ feelings. Encourage pretend play and role playing to develop empathy. Help your kids practice putting themselves in another’s shoes by asking them how they think one of their peers is feeling. Find more tips on modeling empathy here.
2. Volunteer at your child’s school recess.
The playground is one of the most common places that teasing and bullying occurs. With adults on the playground, these acts are less likely to happen. You can help make school a safe place for all students by teaching simple conflict resolution techniques like Rock-Paper-Scissor and being a great role model by playing games in an inclusive way yourself.
3. Talk with your kids.
Keep communication open and watch for signs that your child is having a hard time in school. If you suspect something is happening, go to your school to speak with your child’s teacher. If there is a serious issue and you are unable to get help from your child’s teacher, set up a meeting with the principal. And keep going up the ladder; don’t stop until you get action.
Join us Saturday, October 20 at 10:00am PDT for live web streaming and an online conversation on developing active, bullying-free communities!
In the Los Angeles area? Come to our fun-packed day of speakers and workshops, fun and games, supervised activities for your children and parking–all for just $25! Go to http://www.playonconference.org for more info.
Jill Vialet, Founder and CEO of Playworks, has been a recognized leader in the physical activity and play for the past 15 years. She recently addressed TEDxABQ on the moral imperative of building schools where all parents would send their children. Vialet is a proud mother of five.