One of my biggest worries as a mother has always been finding out that my child is being bullied. It seems like every time you turn on the news there is a report about a child — some as young as elementary school age — committing suicide as a result of bullying. As a parent, it's important to know how to talk to your kid about bullying so that you can help avoid this kind of tragedy in your own family.
Bullying has become so prevalent that several organizations have developed over the past few years in the attempt to educate adults and children on its impact. The PACER Center in Minneapolis, a parent training and information center for families of children with disabilities, founded the National Bullying Prevention Center in 2006. Its goal is to provide resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that affects education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services manages the website StopBullying.gov which provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how to prevent and respond to bullying. These are just a couple of the excellent resources available to parents who want to bring up the bullying conversation.
If you're worried your child is being bullied (or even bullying others), here are some tips on how to talk to your them about it.