Communication Leads to Safety
Keeping a child safe from bullying begins with open lines of communication between parent and child.
Bullying typically peaks in grades 3 – 8. Being engaged in your children’s lives and talking with them openly and frequently is important for both young children and adolescents. Studies show that parents are told about fewer than half of bullying incidents. Ask questions about your child’s day, and initiate conversation about friends and activities. If your child becomes noticeably depressed, or unusually quiet, or exhibits strange behavior, you will already have built a culture of trust.
Parents should also share any knowledge of suspected or specific incidents of bullying with school officials right away. Talk to school administration or the parent/teacher organization about other ways for parents to stay connected and share information with each other, such as parent phone lists, phone trees, and newsletters. The more parents are involved, the more likely they are to know if their children are safe and free of harmful influences, including bullying.