Letter to the Editor (Independent News Herald)
To the Editor:
Bullying Prevention Month
Bullying can be prevented. Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying.
Some children may be afraid that they’ll be “in trouble” for what happened. Others may feel embarrassment or shame.
Adults may notice changes in their child’s behavior and may find it difficult to talk to the child.
Find the opportunity to talk to your child in the car, before or after homework, over dinner or breakfast, or when doing something together.
Ask open ended questions about their day or activities. How was your day? What’s the funniest thing that happened today? What was the worst thing that happened today?
Share your experience about being bullied when you were their age. Start with, “Hey, did I tell you about….?” Explain how distressing, awkward, scary, or upset you were.
It may be hard for your child to have this conversation with you. If a child says to you, “I’m afraid you’re going to be mad at me,” or “Mom, I’m kind of scared to tell you this, but…” stop what you are doing and actively listen to your child. Find out what they want or need from you as the parent or caregiver.
Keep the lines of communication open.
If your child was bullied or cyberbullied stay calm.
The goal is to hear about their experience, provide support, and to help prevent it from happening again.
When determining if you need to talk with the school/teacher about what happened, ask your child if they feel comfortable with you reaching out to the school/teacher to talk to them about the situation.
The last thing a parent wants to do is make things worse for their child. Ask your child what will make them feel safe and come up with a safety plan if it happens again.
Remind your child that it is not their fault, as no one deserves to be bullied no matter what was said or done.
Statistics show that bullying prevention programs, like the ones Hands of Hope Resource Center provide, decrease bullying by up to 25%.
Through our Violence Prevention Program (VPP) we provide educational presentations in the communities of Todd and Morrison counties. These presentations are not only provided in the schools but also civic groups, church groups, businesses, and other organizations, and are developed on a variety of topics based on the organization’s need.
We cover topics such as domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and general crime including fraud, identity theft, and elder abuse.
For school aged children, there are a variety of presentations including but not limited to: bullying, cyberbullying, sexual harassment, sexting, internet safety, healthy relationships, teen dating violence, and domestic violence in the home.
If you would like more information on our Violence Prevention Program, or on any of the topics listed above, contact the Hands of Hope Resource Center. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or give us a call at 320-732-2319 or our 24/7 hotline at 800-682-4547.
Hands of Hope Resource Center