Funnyman Chris Rock Is Serious About Parenting
Is Your Child a Bully or Being Bullied?
"I advise parents to explore stopbullying.gov," says Bradshaw, who helped develop the go-to federal guidelines for parents, educators, and kids on the widespread bullying problem. She suggests strategies for spotting and addressing bad behavior in and out of school.
Notice changes in routines. If your child suddenly can't sleep, begs to stay home from school, or constantly complains of not feeling well, pay close attention -- and question your kid with love. "Also, look for outward clues: scratches on their arms, bruises, or missing items that might have been stolen," Bradshaw advises.
Talk, but choose your words wisely. Bradshaw suggests having a "bully talk" before there's a problem, in which you promise support. Also, "never suggest that a child in any way deserves to be bullied: 'If only you wore different clothes,' that sort of thing. Defend your child's absolute right not to be treated unfairly or physically harmed."
Alert school authorities. Don't hesitate to speak to a teacher or principal -- and don't apologize for being your child's supporter. "Insist that the bullies be held accountable and that the bad behavior stop. Gather as much evidence as possible -- emails, texts -- to support your position," Bradshaw says.
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