As children across the country are starting school, we take care to make sure they’re equipped with the needed supplies and clothes that fit. Let’s be sure to equip them with the tools to help prevent bullying. If not stopped, bullying results in real and lasting mental health effects. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. It is a repeated behavior that can take the form of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. It is often based on the imbalance of power such as physical strength, popularity, or holding hurtful information. In fact, many children and adolescents are hesitant to talk about being bullied or to acknowledge that they are bullying others.
Responding quickly and consistently to bullying behavior sends the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. Stopbullying.gov and LookUp’s Bullying Topic Page has information on bullying prevention, including
- warning signs of bullying;
- the roles young people play;
- how racial, ethnic, and minority groups are affected by bullying;
- conversation starters for parents to talk to their children when bullying is most likely to occur;
- cyberbullying; and
- media guidelines for accurately providing coverage on bullying.
Research shows that parents and caregivers who spend at least 15 minutes a day talking with their child can build the foundation for a strong relationship and help prevent bullying.
The time you spend will help boost your children’s confidence and build effective strategies for facing bullying—whether children are being bullied, engaging in bullying, or witnessing bullying.
Take a few minutes and “check in,” by asking about school, their friends, and any challenges they face. The free SAMHSA app, KnowBullying, has simple conversation starters to begin a discussion with your child.
No matter the situation, there is always hope. There are ways to stop bullying and to engage everyone in the effort to build safe and supportive environments, at home, at school, and in communities. Together, we can take action toward erasing bullying from our nation.
#StartTheConversation #SilenceTheStigma #LookUpIndiana
Start the Conversation
If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of distress, please reach out to a mental health professional or get confidential, free support and text LOOKUP to 494949.
If you live in Indiana and need help finding a behavioral health provider, visit Find Help or call (800) 284-8439.