One of the first things we should observe is our children’s relationship with their friends.
If you don’t see any interaction with classmates or neighborhood kids, this could be an open message that your child is struggling socially.
If your child does have frequent interaction with friends, part of your discussion with him or her should include the suggestion to step up for those kids who seem isolated.
Suggest to your child that he or she might have lunch with the kid who sits alone in the cafeteria. Reducing this social isolation is a strong antidote to bullying. If you’re told that such an action may be in violation of unspoken clique rules, it’s also time to include that notion that your kid may be in the wrong clique as part of the talk.
Research tells us that children really do look to parents and caregivers for advice and help on tough decisions. Sometimes spending 15 minutes a day talking can reassure kids that they can talk to their parents if they have a problem.
Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.
Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.
Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades.