Over the past few years, parents, teachers, and even the government have finally taken one perennial school issue seriously: bullying. In 2012, the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 has been enacted into a law, and this is just in a country where 50 percent of students are experiencing bullying in one form. Despite having a strong stance against bullying and a law that should protect kids, a lot of students are still suffer from school bullying. As parents, what can you do to make sure that your kid lives in a bullying-free environment?
Ever since the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 has been signed into a law, there has been a tremendous shakeup in the country’s school system. Since then, schools came up with different measures to prevent or tackle bullying. While there has been positive action since then, we are still far from eradicating bullying in our schools.
Last year, the Department of Education recorded around 1,700 cases of bullying reported to the said government agency last year. While DepEd said that the decreasing numbers show the positive effects of anti-bullying systems used by schools, there is another front where bullying is being fought: the world wide web.
Unlike real-life school bullying, which can stop after school hours, cyberbullying is something that can happen at any time of the day. What makes it worse is that people can hide behind the veneer of anonymity offered by the internet–and this is a much scarier front for parents.
With these new challenges being faced by parents and teachers, how can you protect your kid from new forms of bullying?
Talk to your kids
Having a conversation with your kids should always be the first step in identifying if they have problems with school. However, you have to keep in mind that you should use a reassuring tone in your conversation. After all, your best interest is to help your kid overcome bullying.
Understand the Anti-Bullying Act
Know your child’s rights under the Anti-Bullying Act. Remember that this law exists to protect your kid from school bullying, including school-related activities such as school programs and other extensions where your kids are students. By understanding this law, you will know how the government can assure you that your kid is safe.
Teach your kid to stand up against bullying
Letting your kid know that bullying in any form is intolerable is the first step in creating a society with fewer bullies. Whether your child is experiencing harassment from bullies or witnessing other kids being bullied, teaching your kid to dare to stand up against bullying will send a message to others that bullying is wrong.
Tell them to speak up the moment they experience bullying
Most cases of bullying are prolonged because victims refuse to speak or take action, and this can do more harm to the victim. Instruct your kid to report instances of bullying to you and his teachers to end it before it even gets worse.
Limit your child’s online exposure
Online bullying is something that comes hand-in-hand with the prevalence of growing internet accessibility. Unfortunately, cyberbullying is something that’s harder to monitor. However, by limiting your child’s online access to simply a few games as well as educational websites, then you can prevent them from walking right into traps set by cyberbullies.
Know the anti-bullying measures taken by your school
While some schools are actively combatting bullying, others are a bit lenient when it comes to addressing school bullying. If you want to have peace of mind even if your kid’s out there at school for several hours, know the measures implemented by your school in their efforts against bullying. With this, you can know how much intervention you should do in case your child is bullied.
When push comes to shove, speak to the bullies
Sometimes, it’s not enough that your school has anti-bullying campaigns and that your kid is still experiencing bullying, it’s time to have a discussion with the perpetrators and their parents. Sometimes, all it takes is just one lengthy conversation to solve the issue once and for all. However, don’t forget to stay calm and rational at all times. Remember, bullying is a two-way street, and you should still listen to their side. Who knows, you might just resolve some of their internal issues.
Bullying still happens; that’s a fact. And despite the fact that the government and schools are working towards a bully-free society, you should still be vigilant to make sure that not only your child but other school kids as well will never again experience the harm caused by bullying.