Today let's talk about how we can help kids keep themselves safe when they are being bullied.
Safety: Sometimes physical safety is an issue in bullying cases and sometimes it's not. Even when the bullying is of a verbal nature, it is important to help children learn ways to keep themselves safe, because sadly what starts out as verbal can escalate into physical aggression.
The main things I talk to kids about when it comes to safety are: 1) try to stay in groups when walking to and from school and during unstructured parts of the day, 2) have a safe adult that you can turn to when you feel unsafe or are being threatened and don't be afraid to tell, and 3) if you are physically attacked, protect yourself until you can escape.
The bullying with my nephew became physical on at least one occasion I am aware of when he was walking home from school and was jumped by his bully. My nephew tried to call his cousin, but the bully took his phone from him and threw it. As a result of this incident, my nephew is no longer allowed to walk home by himself and my 15 year old niece and her friends now have to follow him home.
If your child is being bullied and threatened, you just might have to find a way to make sure someone can go home with them, even if it means you have to leave work to pick them up. It may be inconvenient at times, but safety is what is most important.
For additional resources on bullying check the U.S. Government's website.