Did you know that research shows that remarkable things happen when parents spend just 15 minutes a day listening and talking with their children? In fact, researchers have found that despite a child's comments and facial expressions, kids really do look to their parents for advice and help with difficult situations and choices.
Not surprisingly then, the most important thing parents can do to prevent bullying is to have a conversation with their children. For instance, talk to your kids about what types of bullying they are seeing at school. And then empower them to be effective bystanders. Discuss ideas on what they can do if they witness bullying. And most importantly, build their self-esteem, resiliency, assertiveness and their social skills so that they don't become targets of bullying themselves.
But if you are like most parents, you struggle with knowing how to do that. Because let's face it, getting kids to open up about bullying is often easier said than done. In fact, research shows that most victims of bullying never tell anyone what they are experiencing. Even bystanders to bullying often keep quiet about what they see.
For this reason, PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center has joined forces with Green Giant to give parents an avenue for starting a conversation about bullying. Their campaign, called Raise A Giant, encourages parents to take a proactive role in bullying prevention.
According to Julie Hertzog, director of PACER's bullying prevention center, the campaign involves inviting parents to write an open letter to their children about bullying on the Raise A Giant website.
"One child can make a big difference in a school," says Hertzog. "The hope is that the letter writing will not only open up those valuable face-to-face conversations between parents and kids, but it also will inspire them to think about bullying in a different way."
According to Hertzog, kids often don't know what to do when they are confronted by bullying, but if parents empower them to find their "inner giant," they often will. But it all starts with a conversation. To get started on your letter writing, be sure to visit Raise A Giant.
And if you need more ideas on how to start a conversation with your child about bullying, check out 6 Ways to Start a Conversation About Bullying. Remember, when it comes to bullying prevention, we all play a role in preventing it. So don't miss your opportunity to talk about bullying.
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