We all want happy kids at school! It’s a big part of your child’s day, so it’s reassuring to know that they love school. But when there are forces out of their control, it can make school a place they don’t want to be. So here are a few things I do to help talk to my kids about school and bullying.
3 Ways to Discourage Bullying at School
I’ve partnered up with Secret and their Mean Stinks campaign, and I couldn’t be happier to share how to help our kids keep the mean out of schools, cuz it bullying stinks!
1. Family Meetings
On our way home from school we walk and talk about how their day went. They usually tell me about something that happened, how lunch went, or what project they’re working on. It’s a good time to see if there’s anything pressing or fresh on their minds from their day.
About once a week Jordan and I try to sit them down after dinner on the couch and have a little “check in” time. We dive a little deeper into their school day, picking up on clues they might give. We ask about their friends, what they like, don’t like, who they play with at recess, what they do at recess. You’ll be surprised what you’ll hear and how much they’ll share if you take the time to listen. I love it.
2. Be involved
Invite their friends over for a play date. Or you could meet the child’s family at the park and get to know the parents too, learning a little more about who your child chooses to play with. This is a great way to observe how your child reacts around other kids as well. Watch their behavior to see if your child isn’t the one being mean. And if they are, talk to them about it and how someone might feel from their behavior. We’ve got to do something about it if we see it.
Another great way to see how it all goes down at school is to volunteer in the classroom. Ask the teacher if you can come in to help, I’m sure they’d LOVE it, and be a fly on the wall. Sit in the corner cutting or folding or something where you can observe how your child interacts with other children in the class.
3. Lead by example
It starts from the top! My kids see me with my friends and even when I’m just talking with Jordan. I know there have been times when I have said something about someone and it probably wasn’t nice. I really need to watch what I do and say all the time, making sure to be an example to my kids.
*This post brought to you by Secret Mean Stinks. Gang Up for Good here.
“Sit in the corner cutting or folding or something where you can observe how your child interacts with other children in the class.”
Isn’t that kind of helicopter parent-ish?
No I don’t think so, especially if it’s just once in a while, not doing it all the time. Helping out in the classroom is a great way to aid your child’s teacher, they need it, and it’s fun to peek into your child’s world. They act differently when around you at home as apposed to their peers in school. I wouldn’t call this helicopter parenting at all!
My daughter is only in preschool, but I was an elementary teacher for almost 10 years. I would like to add another suggestion, which is if your child reports any kind of bullying to you, ask if they told the teacher. Sometimes they don’t tell the teacher, and bullies can be sneaky. We are only human, and although I kept my eyes out for it, because I wasn’t treated so nice all the time in school either, sometimes I missed things. So if your child reports to you and has not told the teacher, let her or him know either by note or visit, and make sure the teacher knows you aren’t blaming her/him. Just tell her/him, my child told me this and said s/he did not tell you. I just wanted you to be aware. Teachers like to be informed so they can address the situation. But we can’t fix what we aren’t aware of. Thanks for teaming up and having this post. Bullying has become a huge problem, and anything we can do to help kids stop bullying and stop being bullied is great!
Bullying, unfortunately, this problem seems to be growing in schools these days. However, more schools are becoming more adept in handling this problem and it’s a good thing, right? That is why we as parent, we need to be supportive to our children and as much as possible gather all the information about bullying strategies and teach our kids how to avoid this situation. As a parent the most important thing is my child’s safety. So I provided him something that could be used when situation goes wrong. A mobile-based application that ensures me that my son is properly protected. Check this out.http://safekidzone.com
Number 3 is sooooooooooooo important!!!!!! Great post!!!
Marie, I agree that starting the conversation can be the most important step. Call in mother’s intuition, but sometimes you just know something is wrong, but navigating there may be difficult. Thanks for those tips, they’re incredible helpful!
Awesome advice, Marie. I will hold on to this post for when I have kids in the future.