If you’re a Phoenix family, you’ve already got this one pretty well covered! Anytime young people gather in one place, though, it’s important to keep an eye out for bullying, peer pressure, and other interpersonal conflicts. This applies not just to schools, but to clubs, sports teams, church groups, and any other group to which your adolescent belongs. Here are a few things you can do to help make sure those environments are safe for your adolescents.
- Talk with your kids. Ask them about their friends. Ask them what it’s like for them in the library, in the locker room, on the bus, etc., and keep talking about it, even if they don’t seem anxious to respond.
- If you find out that bullying is going on at school or in any other organization, report it.
- If you find out that your own child is bullying or being bullied, do not react with visible anger, fear, or disappointment. These reactions stress out your child and make them less likely to communicate openly with you. Begin by listening carefully and respectfully to your child’s point of view. Then work together to come up with a plan going forward.
RECOMMENDED READING: Safe Places to Learn: 21 Lessons to Help Students Promote a Caring School Climate by Paul Sulley
Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, known as Developmental Assets, that help adolescents to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Visit us here every Wednesday to read about different ways that you, your family, and your community can take action to help equip our young people develop resilience and achieve success in life.