Photo credit: Jennifer Aline Graham
Bullying is something many professionals, parents, and educators try to figure out before something negative happens. No one wants to see a child emotionally, mentally, or physically hurt. However, no matter how much effort you put in, whether you’re a parent or teacher, there’s always another parent or teacher not putting in the same effort you are.
And that’s a hard pill to swallow.
I, like most parents, fear for my children. I fear how others will treat them and I fear how they will treat others. I do my best to portray positive behavior and appropriate actions, but the world is a big place and little minds absorb absolutely everything. That thought itself is terrifying.
But we can’t attack this topic with fear – we must attack it with hope. We must be hopeful that all we do for the youth in our lives is worth it. We must hope that others are guiding their little ones through positive practices. We must hope that our children are absorbing at least a few of the words we say.
Four Ways to Provide Positive Practices Against Bullying
Photo credit: Jessica Sugg
- “Preach that it’s cool to be kind.”
“Bullying is never okay. I preach that it’s cool to be kind and that if someone is unkind to you, you can walk away without engaging. I’ve told Lucas, my son, that some people just aren’t very nice and that we don’t need to be friends with them. We don’t like the way that feels and we want to make sure we don’t make others feel that way.” – Stephanie Newman, mother of three and secondary education student
- “Zero Tolerance.”
“We teach what bullying is, the different types, give examples, and role play. We have zero tolerance policy and we discuss who they can talk to.” Renee’ Saraceni – mother of two and special education teacher
- “Complete a lot of reinforcing activities.”
“I read a lot of books to my first graders about friendship and kindness and we complete a lot of reinforcing activities regarding what it means to be a good friend. I discuss it constantly, and we talk about how we should say something if we see something. If I have a kiddo who is having difficulty, I constantly reinforce how important they are to the world. I have a zero-tolerance policy in my classroom. I tell the kids be kind or be quiet and if you can be anything in the world, be kind.” – Nicole Bauer, mom of one and third grade teacher
- “See something, say something.”
“We teach ‘see something, say something’ and ‘other people matter’ at school, I teach my kids that if you find yourself looking at someone for a long time, the right thing to do is say hi and learn more about them.” – Erin Israel Paris, mother of two and guidance counselor
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.
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