Do Not Be A Bully Month is celebrated in August and reminds us to address bullying prevention. The month-long event aims to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
With the school year just around the corner this is the perfect time for parents to sit down with their children and discuss proper behavior and how we treat others.
According to bullyingstatistics.org some things that parents can do to teach their children not to bully include:
- Set a good example by not bullying or intimidating others.
- Talk to your child about the fact that bullying is wrong and hurts other people.
- Make clear family rules about what bullying is and that any form of bullying is not acceptable.
- Explain the consequences if anyone bullies, and be sure that you follow through on the consequences any time this rule is broken.
- Spend time with your child and ask questions about their friends and activities.
- Monitor your child’s behavior, including cell phone and social media usage.
- Watch for and praise any times that they use positive social interactions.
- Contact your school and inquire about their bullying policy and how they will address bullying during the year.
- Encourage your school to post their policy on the school website if it is not there already.
If not addressed in the proper way, bullying can aggravate depression and could be a catalyst for suicide, especially if the bullied child is already facing mental health issues.
According to a study published in February of this year by the journal PLOS ONE, being a victim of bullying can be associated with mental distress and suicide attempts in teens. School bullying is a common problem, with research estimating that as many as 30% of American youth suffer. Being bullied may have a lasting effect on students’ well -being, health, and social adjustment. Examples of this may be cyberbullying, social bullying, and bullying based on race and sexual orientation. Hurtful sexual jokes and comments correlate significantly to mental distress and suicide attempts.
Are parents legally responsible if their kid is a bully? One would have to look at their state’s laws. Across the country, 47 states do have some parental liability laws according to Love Our Children USA. In those states, parents may be held responsible for negligent or intentional acts as well as crimes of their children. The best way to avoid liability for your child’s actions is to talk to them about the dangers of bullying.
The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of youth suicide through educational and awareness programs that equip young people, educators, and parents with the tools and resources to help identify and assist at-risk youth. The Parent Resource Program sponsored by The Jason Foundation is a valuable website for parents. The site provides information, tools, and resources to help parents identify if their child is at risk. Please visit prp.jasonfoundation.com