- What was one good thing that happened today? Any bad things?
- What is lunchtime like at your school? Who do you sit with? What do you talk about?
- If applicable, what is it like to ride the school bus?
- When it comes time for some direct talk about bullies, you might want to consider the following conversation starters:
- What does “bullying” mean to you?
- Describe what kids who bully are like. Why do you think people bully?
- Who are the adults you trust most when it comes to things like bullying?
- Have you ever felt scared to go to school because you were afraid of bullying?
- What ways have you tried to change it?
- What do you think parents can do to help stop bullying?
- Have you or your friends left other kids out on purpose? Do you think that was bullying? Why or why not?
- What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
- Do you ever see kids at your school being bullied by other kids? How does it make you feel?
- Have you ever tried to help someone who is being bullied? What happened? What would you do if it happens again?
In spite of our best efforts, our children, especially our teenagers, don’t always tell us about their lives.
“Once your child enters middle school years,
the real dangers begin…”
We suggest that these important communications occur early in school life and that they continue throughout your kids’ secondary school career.
Younger children are more likely to enjoy storytelling about their day. Get a pulse on their activities. Let your child know that you are interested and actively paying attention to what is going on in his or her life.
Teenagers often require a more subtle touch. They typically resist too much parental supervision in general and inquiry in particular. But these conversations are critical and the earlier they start the better. Once your child enters middle school years, and even before, the real dangers begin as the New American Bully begins to use social media and network with older, more physically developed kids.
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.
Jon Siebels, Talk with Your Children and Teenagers about Bullying
the Guitarist of Eve 6, in his blog on the Huffington Post, “School Bullying: To End It, We Must Change Our Culture.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-siebels.