Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Parent Tips to Defeat Summer Bullying - How to Protect Your Child During School Vacation


Guest Post 

by Jarrett Arthur
Family Safety Self-Defense Training Expert

Help Kids Avoid Bullying After School is Out

The school year might be winding down, but the chances that your child may encounter a bully are far from nearing a hiatus. Summertime is one of the main seasons when bullying is in full effect.
Summer should be a happy time for kids, MommyBlogExpert.com
Kids generally have much more free time to sit on their devices and interact on social media platforms. Cyberbullying is an enormous epidemic, and thousands of kids will soon have a few months of unadulterated screen time.

Non-academic summer activities such as camps, courses, and retreats, will bring together groups of kids that don’t know each other, leading to new cliques and challenges for social ranking. Both boys and suprisingly girls are equally affected by the bully problem in situations like those. 

Additionally, the disciplinary rules and expectations of the warmest season of the year tend to be less defined compared to school. Add the absence of professional teachers and other trained responsible adults, and an influx of young and untrained counselors, and there is the potential for big time bullying.
Image from Jarrett Arthur

Simple ideas to help defeat summertime bullies

1. Develop a written family anti-bullying plan: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Sit down with your kids and list as many different bullying scenarios as you can think of as a family. Then, go down that list and write up an action plan for each scenario.

2. Move computers to a visible, high traffic place in your home (i.e. kitchen). Any online activity or conversation your child is having should be appropriate to be viewed by everyone in the family. Keeping devices out of their rooms is important.

3. Monitor all internet activities on each of their devices. You should be very upfront with your kids that you will be checking all of their devices, activities, and conversations, both during announced and unannounced times. Remember to do check thoroughly! You should have all logins and passwords.

4. Pay attention to your own words and interactions. Most bullies learn how to bully at home. During the summer, your kids will most likely be spending more time around you. So, it’s important to check your negative and judgmental statements about other family members, friends, and coworkers.

The author, center, with her students, Image by Jarrett Arthur
Remember: The most powerful tool you have to keep your child safe is developing an open and easy line of communication. Avoid open-ended, nondescript questions such as, “How was your day?” and opt for more detail producing questions such as, “Who did you eat lunch with today? What was the most interesting conversation you had at lunch?”

Simply put, parents need to stay involved and be there in case your kids need help. If you do, the whole family increases the chances of having the happiest summer ever.

About the Author
Jarrett Arthur is passionate about helping others transform through self-defense training and education, with a particular focus on families, women, mothers and children. This is Jarrett's second guest post about parenting for MommyBlogExpert. Her first guest post, Spring Break Family Travel Safety Tips - 6 Simple Strategies to Maximize a Happy Vacation With Kids, appeared on MBE last month. 

FTC Disclosure:  Jarrett Arthur provided the content and some of the images for this post. However, no payment or other compensation was exchanged in connection with this post. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's home page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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