Education Subsidies are available to assist with the costs of bullying prevention programs which can be featured in your school. Parent Council groups in Ontario often have education subsidies available to them in the form of parent reaching out grants, otherwise known as PRO Grants. Pro Grants can be used for purposes that benefit the whole school and particularly parents. What could be more beneficial to parents in the school, than events and activities to help them learn how to deal with bullying that may involve their children? Schools today teach children how to deal with bullying and most schools feature programs, activities, and curriculum-based learning all geared toward teaching children bullying reduction strategies. Up to now, one of the missing links has often been the parent piece. Parents need to be on the same page as children when it comes to bullying prevention. What are some of the things parents need to know?
1/ Cyber-bullying guidance
2/ How to be proactive & prevent bullying
3/ How to guide children in case bullying incidents occur
When we present our parent programs in schools, one of the first things we point out is related to internet safety. Parents need to be aware that the computer at home should be located in a central place where everyone goes like the kitchen or family room. Young children should grow up with the idea that Internet usage should be open, and freely shared with each other. It should not be a secretive activity. Another thing we point out is how to provide guidance to children if they do run into a problem online. We need to help our children remain open and trusting, so that if something happens online which is negative, they will share it with us as parents. Keeping communication as open as possible when he children are young is a great first step to helping them when they are older.
How to be proactive and prevent bullying:
Teach your children to walk with confidence. Help your child build strong self-esteem so that they will be sending the message to others, that they are not available as a bullying target. Teach your children to report bullying. Help your children understand that after school it is important to share what has happened during the days’ events. If children get used to sharing their daily activities with family when they are young, there is a much higher chance that they will continue to feel free to share when they are older. Studies have shown that problems occur in children who try to keep all of their frustrations inside.
How to guide children in case of bullying incidents:
If a bullying incident happens, step in immediately to stop the behavior from continuing. Be clear about the facts and understand the difference being telling and tattling. Consult with the teacher, vice-principal or principal. Remain calm, keep an open mind and be discreet. If things don’t improve, meet with the principal again and make a written plan. Be sure to contact police if a bullying incident involves criminal behavior such as sexual assault or the use of a weapon. Check with your school to see if education subsidies have been used to sponsor parent workshops on bullying prevention.
Pro Grants are worthwhile education subsidies that have made many anti-bullying activities a reality in Ontario schools. Parents have told us on numerous occasions that they have benefited from workshops and bullying prevention seminars such as our ‘Stand Up – Keep Your Kids’ evening session.
Bruce Langford presents anti-bullying sessions in schools and workplaces to counter bullying and increase respect