Recently, the new Anderson show covered the topic of bullying, which featured bullying prevention expert, Dr. Dorothy Espelage. (By the way, Anderson Cooper went on to host a week of shows about bullying and prevention on AC360 a week later and that's why he should get a Be the One Go-To Adult Award.)
I'm sharing it again, here, because Dr. Espelage gives a tremendous amount of solid advice for parents in a very short period of time and it's worth watching and sharing. She talks about the school's responsibility but also how critical it is for the kids to come home to a safe environment -- one in which they can share what's happening without worry that we'll overreact or under react -- and one that can cushion them from some of the negative things they're experiencing. In other words, they need a sympathetic ear and reassurance that they're important and loved.
Tips from the interview include:
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
• Insist on a bully prevention plan or safety plan for your child
• Call parents of bullies or bully group and arrange a meeting, if you can
• Get your child involved in other activities to build confidence
• If you have the means, get your child in therapy
WHAT YOUR CHILD CAN DO:
• Get off of Formspring and other social networks
• Tell, tell, tell! Talk to parents, and your support network
• Keep record of all bully incidents
• Manage your anger
• Reach out to other kids in your school that are being bullied
• Do not let the bullies know that they got to you
When you listen to her interview, she also mentions that the school bullying policy should match what is really happening. In other words, it's not good enough for a school to say they have a policy if kids aren't being stopped from bullying kids with disabilities or the way they look, etc. It's a great point.
Come to think of it, Dr. Espelage should also get a Be the One Go-To Adult Award.