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• Clothing, electronics or other belongings missing or damaged
• Seeming anxious or sad after being on social media
• Changes in eating habits, whether lack of appetite, binge eating, or not eating lunch at school
• Self-harm or talk of suicide
Signs that might indicate your child is a bully include:
• Hanging out with other kids who are aggressive or bully others
• Not taking responsibility for their own actions
• Excludes certain kids from activities
• Frequently getting into trouble at school
• Expresses intolerance toward kids who are
different
• Makes fun of other kids
• Brings home items such as electronics, clothes,
or money
• Hurts animals
• Has experienced or witnessed domestic violence
• Is overly concerned about being popular
How to prevent or put a stop to bullying
First and foremost, talk to your kids about bullying, so they understand what it is and that it’s unacceptable. Make sure your kids understand its imperative they tell an adult if they or someone they know is being bullied.
Monitor your kids’ activity online including their social media. There are many reasons to do this for your child’s safety. To ensure your child is neither being bullied nor acting like a bully is one more big reason.
Model the kind of behavior you expect from your kids. When kids overhear their parents talking negatively about people because of their weight or joking about someone who’s different, kids tend to
model this behavior and are more likely to take it to an extreme.
Teach your kids to stand up for themselves. If your child remains passive, a bully will up the ante and gradually become more abusive. But, if your child assertively and unemotionally stands up to the bully, the bully will realize she won’t get away with the behavior. On the other hand, if a bully knows he’s getting under your child’s skin, the bully will persist. Your child should maintain eye contact, stay calm, maintain appropriate distance, and use the bully’s name while addressing the bully.
Here are some examples of what your child can say:
• You’re being a bully, Kyle. Knock it off.
• Okay. Whatever, Sara.
• I’m sure you think you’re hilarious, Joey, but
really, you’re not.
• Amanda, do you really think I care? • Nice try, Christa.
Notice all of these are simple, direct, unemotional responses that let the bully know she isn’t getting under your child’s skin. Your child should practice one or two of these or come up with his or her
own ideas that feel comfortable. The idea is to not say anything that gives the bully power, such as a compliment, or that indicates it bothers your child.
If your child is being bullied, also talk to your child’s teachers, school administrators, bus driver, and others who can help stop the abusive behavior. Make sure your school has a plan in place to protect your child, and if it isn’t doing enough, contact the district superintendent. If your child has been threatened, contact the police immediately. Finally, if the bullying doesn’t cease, proceed by filing charges through your school board and the local police department.
 Anti-Bullying Resources
• StopBullying.gov provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk and how you can prevent and respond to bullying. For specific Alaska anti-bullying laws and policies, visit stopbullying.gov/resources/laws/alaska.
• The Cyberbullying Research Center provides up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes and conse- quences of cyberbullying among adolescents. cyberbullying.us
• The Alaska Internet Circle of Safety is a resource for adults who would like to teach their children to be responsible online citizens. akla.org/safety
• Well-written stories with bullying as a theme can be useful tools for parents trying to help their kids deal with bullying. For a list of age-specific books, visit: pacer.org/bullying/resources/book-club.asp
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