The new school year is an opportunity for parents and teachers to put fresh emphasis on bullying prevention by supporting the development of healthy social groups and friendships.
Here are some daily tips for getting the school year off to a good start. These “press the reset button” ground rules also work well at the start of a new semester or outside school hours – for after-school teams or group activities. They work at home, too – anytime you want to clear the air and start fresh.
We’ll post a new tip each day, adding to our bullying prevention “toolkit”. Check back daily!
Click here for all Bullying Prevention Tips.
20 Tips For Bully-Free Schools – Tip #8
Help Kids Fit In & Make Friends.
Teach children how to nurture friendships. Some kids learn social skills early, others later. Adults can support this skill acquisition, especially for slow starters. Read books together and discuss the “care and keeping of friends.” The American Girls series has a great set of books targeted at pre-teen girls about friendship dilemmas, sticky situations, teen drama – use them as discussion starters, for boys too! Boys and girls need to know one another as friends and school colleagues long before the dating years.
Fitting in can be helped by clothing, hair, and accessories. Parents, make sure kids have some, but not all, of the clothes, backpacks, and hats worn by their peer group. Dressing a bit like your friends (while still preserving your individuality – and your budget) protects kids from bullying, but adults and kids must find a balance.