As part of National Bullying Awareness Week – November 13-19, and National Crime Prevention and Public Safety Month, HRM Partners in Policing are offering information to educate parents on recognizing bullying and what they can do if their child is being bullied.
Your child may be a victim of bullying if he/she:
– Doesn’t want to go to school or participate in extra-curricular activities.
– Appears overly anxious, fearful, unhappy or irritable.
– Exhibits low self-esteem and makes negative comments about him/herself.
– Complains of headaches and stomach aches.
– Has lower interest and performance in school.
– Is missing belongings, needs money, reports being hungry after school.
– Has injuries, bruising, damaged clothing and belongings.
– Has trouble sleeping.
– Expresses threats to hurt himself/herself or others.
What you can do if your child is being bullied:
– Listen and be supportive – take bullying seriously!
– Reassure your child that it isn’t his/her fault and that they don’t have to face the situation alone.
– Ask how they’ve been dealing with the bullying and talk about what actions you can both take to solve the problem.
– Discourage your child from retaliating.
– Promise to consult your child before taking any action but don’t promise to keep it a secret. It’s difficult to address bullying anonymously.
– Arrange to meet your child if the bullying is happening on the way to/from school.
– Help your child develop a list of trusted adults they can phone or go to for help.
– Contact your child’s school. Visit www.hrsb.ns.ca for more information on how Halifax Regional School Board is working to make HRM schools safer.
– Contact the Halifax Regional Police Bullying Hotline – Phone: 490-7283, Text: 233-SAVE or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advice for children who are being bullied:
– Ignore the person who is bullying you.
– If someone starts engaging in bullying behaviour, ask them to stop and walk away if the behaviour continues.
– Don’t retaliate or try to get revenge. Becoming a bully yourself is not the solution.
– Report bullying to a trusted adult.
– Talk to family members, friends and trusted adults about the situation so you don’t feel alone.
Visit www.halifax.ca/Police/Programs/bullying, www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/youth-jeune/bully and www.bullyingawarenessweek.org for more information on bullying.