How early should you talk to your kids about bullying?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about when and how to talk to your child about bullying, here’s what you need to know about the basics. According to the Education Development Center’s Prevent Bullying initiative, bullying is a form of emotional or physical abuse that has three defining characteristics. 1. Intentional– a bully intends to hurt someone. 2. Repeated– a bully often targets the same victim consistently. 3. Power Imbalance– a bully will select victims based on who they perceive as vulnerable. This can be based on social or physical characteristics. Parents can help by discussing healthy strategies for responding to bullying such as removing themselves from the situation and talking to a trusted adult about what happened. One of the most important ways parents can prevent bullying is to encourage their children to actively defend someone who’s being bullied. When children witness bullying and do nothing, it sends the message that harmful and destructive behavior towards another person will be tolerated. The bottom line? The first step to keeping your child safe, whether in-person or online, is making sure they know the issue

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