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What to do if your child is being bullied

Selena Dehne is a marketing and public relations manager for JIST Publishing, freelance writer and life-long Hoosier. She covers home, entertaining, and holiday topics for SheKnows.com and FabulousLiving.com. Selena has also published do...

Steps to stop bullying

According to StompOutBullying.com, one out of four children is bullied and up to 43 percent of children are bullied while online.

Girl being bullied at school

Because bullying is such a prevalent problem, it's essential for all adults to understand what bullying is, how to talk to about it and how to stop it. Armed with this knowledge, adults will be better prepared to take action and keep children safe.

On StopBullying.gov, adults can find a wealth of information about bullying. Here are several tips from StopBullying.gov that can help adults put an immediate stop to bullying.

How to stop bullying

Do:

  • Intervene immediately. It is OK to get another adult to help.
  • Separate the kids involved.
  • Make sure everyone is safe.
  • Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
  • Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
  • Model respectful behavior when you intervene.

Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Don't ignore it. Don't think kids can work it out without adult help.
  • Don't immediately try to sort out the facts.
  • Don't force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
  • Don't question the children involved in front of other kids.
  • Don't talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
  • Don't make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.

Get police help or medical attention immediately if:

  • A weapon is involved.
  • There are threats of serious physical injury.
  • There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
  • There is serious bodily harm.
  • There is sexual abuse.
  • Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property or services.

In addition to this advice, StopBullying.gov also features helpful information on bullying risk factors, the warning signs of bullying, the effects of bullying, how to prevent bullying, cyberbullying, how to support kids involved in bullying and much more.

The website also features a new section for kids. StopBullying.gov-kids features videos, games and information that teaches children how to treat others with respect, take action if they are being bullied, protect themselves from cyberbullying, stand up for others and get involved to stop bullying.

Just as it's important for adults to understand the prevalence of bullying and the dangers it poses, children should also be educated about the problem. This way, they can avoid becoming bullies themselves and will know exactly what to do if they or someone they know is being bullied.

For more information about bullying, adults can talk to counselors at mental health services, teachers, counselors and school administrators. Adults and young people can also access videos, stories, information and guidance at Pacer.org, the website for PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center. October is PACER's National Bullying Prevention Month, and in the next few weeks there should be even more resources and activities featured on the organization's website to further educate children and adults about bullying.

More on bullying

How to deal with bullying and special needs kids
Mean girls rule the school? Help your daughter deal
When the teacher is the bully

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