Anyone can be the victim of bullying. That’s why it is so important for parents and children to work together to prevent it.
According to Beverly Anderson, executive director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers, with locations in Downtown Milwaukee, Milwaukee’s southside, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “The best way to address bullying is to prevent it.”
In order to do so, Anderson recommends the following:
Be Active in your Children’s Lives
Look for warning signs such as injuries, missing or damaged property, and avoidance of certain people or situations. Communicate with your children openly and regularly. This can help establish relationships in which your children feel comfortable talking with you.
Anderson says, “A good way to get a conversation started is to ask your children how their day was and if they have any concerns.”
Talk and Listen
Talk with your children about what bullying is and how they can safely ask for help. Teach your children the correct way to stand up to a bully.
“Encourage your children to say ‘stop’ in a confident manner and walk away,” says Anderson.
It’s also important to find out exactly what is happening. Listen carefully. Sometimes the perceived bully is actually the victim acting in self-defense. It’s also possible that the bully is suffering from a mental illness or an emotional issue. Ask questions and be sure to get both sides of the story.
Set a good example. It’s important for children to see you treating others respectfully, so they will to do the same and not become bullies themselves. Make sure your children are engaged in meaningful activities. This builds confidence and also allows them to engage in something productive. If you notice bullying, stop it right away. Do not wait for your children to handle it or for it to blow over.
“Bullying is a serious matter,” says Anderson. “It can cause physical, mental, and emotional damage. However, with these tips in mind, it can often be prevented and handled in a way that benefits both the victim and the bully.”
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized and nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, and in Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070 or visit the agency’s website at www.ebenezerchildcare.com.