While Social Distancing, Flatten the Curve on Bullying
Face it, social distancing is difficult. If you don’t want to stay home, think about your kids! They are cut off from their friends and favorite after school activities. They are being transitioned to home-based learning and lots of family time. The only contact they have with others is through a device. A hug from a friend, hanging out at the mall, and cheering during a pep rally are obsolete, at the moment. School dances, proms, sporting events, competitions, and graduations have been canceled. They feel like they have been grounded, but they haven’t misbehaved.
For the child that has been bullied, they feel even more isolated because they are cut off from support. Of course, some children are happy to be home so they can escape the bullying.
For the child doing the bullying, that may have been a cry for help and now they can’t escape. Some bullies will resort to bullying their siblings if the parents don’t put a stop to it.
Be an Ambassador for Change while Social Distancing. Here are ways to Flatten the Curve on Bullying:
- Take the time to talk to your children about ways they can use texting and social media to connect with children that struggle to fit in. Teach them to be a friend!
- If your child seems to be feeling isolated, browse the internet for positive age-appropriate online communities for them to join based on what they like.
- Have them start a chain of positive and uplifting texts that are sent daily or weekly.
- For the little ones, arrange virtual play dates with other children. They can use social media to chat, play word games, and watch educational programs together. But be mindful and use virtual play dates responsibly. This is not the opportunity to showcase online hate.
- If the teacher is reaching out to you and your child, let your child talk to their teacher. Ask the teacher for ways to help your child not feel so alone and disconnected. If you have a mental health provider, ask them for resources to help your child as well as what you can do to help them at home.