Tag Archives: bullying

Bullying Prevention–The Role of the Parent

Our school staff works very hard to teach children about bullying and how it can be prevented.  A thought I would add to the article is to encourage your child to come to an adult at school for help.  It is much more effective to address bullying immediately so that the bully does not make the mistake of thinking that they are “getting away with it.”

The National Education Association (NEA) has an interesting article for parents:

Parents’ Role in Bullying and Intervention

Behavior Patterns Begin at Home

Behavior patterns begin at home. Teaching your child good communication and social skills at home will go a long way toward his/her success in school. Talk with your child. From the time children learn to talk, parents can have a running conversation with them about how their day went. This makes it natural to continue the custom after the child starts to school. Ask questions about their days. Ask about their friends. Get to know their classmates and friends. Volunteer your services to  the classroom whenever possible.

Parents need to be observant of their children’s behavior, appearance, and mood, both for signs of the child being bullied or engaging in bullying behavior. Torn clothes, bruises, loss of appetite, mood changes, reluctance to go to school are all signs that something is wrong. These are all signs that a child is probably being bullied. Many children fall deeper and deeper into depression as a result of long term bullying. Signs that a child is engaging in bullying behavior might be impulsiveness, showing no empathy for others, or a desire to be in control. Children who bully are often arrogant and boastful winners and poor losers when they engage in competitive games.

A child who has bonded well with his/her parents and feels warmth and caring from them is much less likely to resort to bullying behavior with peers in schools and elsewhere. The parents should have also set adequate limits for a child’s behavior at home and not allowed aggression toward siblings, other family members and peers.

Discipline at Home Establishes a Pattern for Interaction with Others

The way a child is disciplined at home will establish a pattern for his/her interaction with other children in school. A parent who disciplines a child with yelling or hitting is teaching a child to react in that manner with other people. Often a child who exhibits bullying behavior in school has been the target of that behavior in the home. Boys who observe their fathers handling disputes with a physical response or girl who observe their mothers practicing exclusion or manipulation of friends or family members will likely exhibit the same behavior in school. Although the data shows that both genders can engage in all of these behaviors, it also shows that boys are more likely to bully other boys physically while girls are more like to bully with manipulation and exclusion or with spreading rumors.

Name calling is a favorite form of bullying behavior among some children. Parents need to be particularly aware of the language children hear at home. One mother, in a discussion of the assortment of hurtful words kids use to humiliate others, say, “Oh, faggot is my son’s favorite word. He calls his friends that all the time.” It apparently had never occurred to her to tell her son that this could be hurtful to his friends.

Racial and ethnic slurs and name calling are another favorite form of bullying. Targets of such name calling should be taught to look the perpetrator straight in the eye and say, “I don’t like it when you call me names,” but to go no farther. They should be taught not to get into an argument or to try to change the perpetrator’s mind.  It is a waste of time, and prolonging the situation could lead to physical bullying.

Parents Must Monitor Their Own Behavior Too

One of the problems that nearly all schools have to deal with at sometime or another is bullying behavior on the part of a parent. Parents who want to address a problem or any other concern with school personnel should learn how to approach an administrator, classroom teacher, or other school staff. A parent who is angry and threatening school personnel solves nothing and makes life more difficult for his/her child. Further, parents who punish their children for not fighting back physically are adding to their child’s problems. Unfortunately, the parent who engages bullying behavior often exhibits this behavior both toward school personnel and his/her own child.

Self examination would be a wise course for a parent whose child has been accused of bullying behavior. The parent’s first question, before taking any action, might well be, “What have I done to contribute to this situation?”


Reprinted with permission from Childhood Bullying and Teasing: What School Personnel, Other Professionals, and Parents Can Do, Dorothea M. Ross, Ph.D.




Kindergarten Article–Bullying and Teasing

November 25, 2011

Bullying and Teasing: No Laughing Matter

Bullying: Know the facts about bullying, even if you don’t think bullying affects your child.

Unfortunately, teasing is often part of growing up — almost every child experiences it. But it isn’t always as innocuous as it seems. Words can cause pain. Teasing becomes bullying when it is repetitive or when there is a conscious intent to hurt another child. It can be verbal bullying (making threats, name-calling), psychological bullying (excluding children, spreading rumors), or physical bullying (hitting, pushing, taking a child’s possessions).

How Bullying Starts
Bullying behavior is prevalent throughout the world and it cuts across socio-economic, racial/ethnic, and cultural lines. Researchers estimate that 20 to 30 percent of school-age children are involved in bullying incidents, as either perpetrators or victims. Bullying can begin as early as preschool and intensify during transitional stages, such as starting school in 1st grade or going into middle school.

Victims of bullying are often shy and tend to be physically weaker than their peers. They may also have low self-esteem and poor social skills, which makes it hard for them to stand up for themselves. Bullies consider these children safe targets because they usually don’t retaliate.

Effects of Bullying

 If your child is the victim of bullying, he may suffer physically and emotionally, and his schoolwork will likely show it. Grades drop because, instead of listening to the teacher, kids are wondering what they did wrong and whether anyone will sit with them at lunch. If bullying persists, they may be afraid to go to school. Problems with low self-esteem and depression can last into adulthood and interfere with personal and professional lives.

Bullies are affected too, even into adulthood; they may have difficulty forming positive relationships. They are more apt to use tobacco and alcohol, and to be abusive spouses. Some studies have even found a correlation with later criminal activities.

Warning Signs

If you’re concerned that your child is a victim of teasing or bullying, look for these signs of stress:

  • Increased passivity or withdrawal
  • Frequent crying
  • Recurrent complaints of physical symptoms such as stomach-aches or headaches with no apparent cause
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Sudden drop in grades or other learning problems
  • Not wanting to go to school
  • Significant changes in social life — suddenly no one is calling or extending invitations
  • Sudden change in the way your child talks — calling herself a loser, or a former friend a jerk

How to Help 
First, give your child space to talk. If she recounts incidences of teasing or bullying, be empathetic. If your child has trouble verbalizing her feelings, read a story about children being teased or bullied. You can also use puppets, dolls, or stuffed animals to encourage a young child to act out problems.

Once you’ve opened the door, help your child begin to problem-solve. Role-play situations and teach your child ways to respond. You might also need to help your child find a way to move on by encouraging her to reach out and make new friends. She might join teams and school clubs to widen her circle.

At home and on the playground:
Adults need to intervene to help children resolve bullying issues, but calling another parent directly can be tricky unless he or she is a close friend. It is easy to find yourself in a “he said/she said” argument. Try to find an intermediary: even if the bullying occurs outside of school, a teacher, counselor, coach, or after-school program director may be able to help mediate a productive discussion.

If you do find yourself talking directly to the other parent, try to do it in person rather than over the phone. Don’t begin with an angry recounting of the other child’s offenses. Set the stage for a collaborative approach by suggesting going to the playground, or walking the children to school together, to observe interactions and jointly express disapproval for any unacceptable behavior.

At school:
Many schools (sometimes as part of a statewide effort) have programs especially designed to raise awareness of bullying behavior and to help parents and teachers deal effectively with it. Check with your local school district to see if it has such a program.

Schools and parents can work effectively behind the scenes to help a child meet and make new friends via study groups or science-lab partnerships. If you are concerned about your child:

  • Share with the teacher what your child has told you; describe any teasing or bullying you may have witnessed.
  • Ask the teacher if she sees similar behavior at school, and enlist her help in finding ways to solve the problem.
  • If she hasn’t seen any instances of teasing, ask that she keep an eye out for the behavior you described.
  • If the teacher says your child is being teased, find out whether there are any things he may be doing in class to attract teasing. Ask how he responds to the teasing, and discuss helping him develop a more effective response.
  • After the initial conversation, be sure to make a follow-up appointment to discuss how things are going.
  • If the problem persists, or the teacher ignores your concerns, and your child starts to withdraw or not want to go to school, consider the possibility of “therapeutic intervention.” Ask to meet with the school counselor or psychologist, or request a referral to the appropriate school professional.


Kindergarten News September 29–Conflict Resolution

Our homework incentive is off to a good start.  Please remember to check your child’s folder and help them complete their homework.  If it is forgotten, students have an opportunity to make it up the next morning.   I was very proud of the four students who decided to use today’s free choice time to complete their homework.

We spent time today role playing different ways to handle conflicts in the classroom and playground.  We are working on how the children can think through and use options other than tattling when they are interacting with each other.  If your child comes home tonight talking about how loud and silly their teacher was, you will  know why!  They had a lot of fun watching me whine, cry and have tantrums!  The students took turns modeling appropriate behavior and already know quite a bit about what they should do if someone is being mean with words or actions, not sharing, etc.  Here’s a link to a great article on how to help your child deal with challenging situations.

Mrs. L. was in this afternoon to help students with handwriting and centers.  No homework tonight!

Kindergarten News September 12–Bullying and Bus Safety

School is becoming more routine for the kindergarten students and they are becoming more confident every day.  I am happy to see them growing into their school personalities!

Superintendent Teresa Strong spoke to the entire student body this morning regarding expectations for respect and safety at Tower-Soudan School.  She emphasized that because of our small size we are like a family and need to treat each other well.  Any students who feel they are being mistreated should tell an adult in order to have their needs addressed.

The kindergarten class had a good discussion about bus safety and watched a video clip of Winnie the Pooh’s School Bus Safety Adventure.  Please look in their folders for a safety checklist to review with them.

Here is an easy recipe for the playdough the students enjoyed today.  It is inexpensive and takes only about ten minutes to make!

I am continuing to assess the students as they learn the routines at school.  The information will be used to individualize learning according to math and reading abilities.

Look for the current breakfast and lunch menus on the Tower-Soudan School website.