October is around the corner, and we wanted to get an early start on an important topic. National Bullying Prevention Month is recognized to remind everyone—students, educators, parents, and community members—that bullying in all forms is not just “a childhood rite of passage.” Bullying can cause any number of serious problems, from school avoidance and drop in grades, to loss of self-esteem and even depression.
Cyberbullying can exacerbate these issues; imagine hearing those schoolyard taunts (and worse) around the clock, your ability to escape nonexistent. The same technology that allows you to order a pizza off your smartphone also allows bullies 24/7 access to their targets.
It’s time to eradicate bullying.
As a parent, the most important step is to create a good example for your kids. Your child probably already knows what bullying is, but do they know what resources are available to them if they’re being bullied? Do they know what steps they can take to avoid being a bystander? You can start a conversation with Bystander Revolution’s videos that approach all sides of bullying.
It’s also important to consider if your child is mature enough to have an online presence. Do they understand how their words could hurt someone else or know how to appropriately respond if someone said something hurtful to them?
As a member of your community, remember that bullying isn’t just a feature of childhood. Take notice if there’s a friend or coworker who always seems to be the punchline of a joke and encourage appropriate parties to change their language. Work on becoming an “upstander,” or a person who intervenes in a positive way after observing an incident.
No one likes a bully. Take a few minutes to help end bullying and improve your community climate this October.