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Michelle K. Demaray
Northern Illinois University

Michelle’s Tips:

Watch for Warning Signs
Torn/damaged clothing or belongings
Physical injuries
Somatic symptoms/Physical ailments
School avoidance
Social withdrawal
Low self esteem
Loss of appetite
Bad dreams/trouble sleeping
Long and illogical routes to school

Practice Open Communication with your Children
According to the Indicators of School Crime and Safety Survey, an adult is only notified in about 40% of bullying incidents.
Parents should encourage their children to discuss both their positive and negative school experiences.
Open discussions about bullying and what it is may help students feel more comfortable coming to their parents for support and advice when they experience victimization.

Communicate Bullying Concerns with the School
It is important to remain calm and rational when dealing with bullying.
Family and school collaboration has been related to reductions in bullying behaviors.
Focus on resolving the issue rather than punishing the bully.

Share and Practice Strategies to Deal with Bullying
Giving them ideas or strategies to handle being bullied and practicing these strategies can help students feel more confident in their ability to handle being bullied.
Getting adult help, using humor, avoiding the situation, and practicing assertion techniques are some strategies that can be useful for students dealing with bullying.

Help Children Build Empathy for Others who are Different
Empathy building can help to promote defending behavior.
Some ways to promote empathy:
Being aware of bullying behavior and what it is
Understanding how bullying can hurt everyone
“Put yourself in their shoes” discussions
Practicing perspective taking skills

Monitor your Child’s Online Activities
Knowing what types of websites your child is visiting and online communications between their peers is important.
Even though this may seem like an invasion of privacy in the view of the child, an open discussion about the importance of keeping your child safe and establishing clear rules can help alleviate this issue.