Information for Parents
KEEPING YOUR CHILD SAFE
Teach children they have the right to say, "No"; their body is their own.
Teach children to recognize different types of comfortable and uncomfortable touches.
Teach children to tell someone they trust, if an uncomfortable touch has - or almost - occurred. Help children identify those people.
Teach children to trust their own feelings about what is comfortable and uncomfortable.
Help children discover where their resources are: family, teachers, principals, counselors, trusted friends, etc.
Review often the three problem solving rules:
No - Say "NO" in a big voice.
Go - Get away to a safe place.
Tell - Tell an adult you trust.
HELPING YOUR CHILD COPE WITH WORRIES
As a parent, you can't always protect your child completely from worry or stress, nor should you. The following hints may help you help your child cope with worry or stress.
Gradually expose your child to problems. Avoid over-protecting your child. Tell your child the truth about situations in age-appropriate ways.
Resist the urge to rescue your child. Allow your child to solve his/her own problems starting with simple ones and then more complex ones. Allow him/her to experience the negative consequences and uncomfortable emotions that accompany problems. For example, don't try to immediately replace a lost or deceased pet to keep a child from feeling sad.
Teach healthy self-talk. Encourage your child to say things to him/herself that are optimistic, rational, and self-encouraging.
Teach your child to allow him/herself adequate time for recovery from periods of over-stress. Many children feel a let down after a big event. Teach your child to tune in to what his/her body is saying and take rest when needed.
Teach your child to filter stressors. Have your child ask him/herself, "Is this worth worrying about?" "Is it really important?"
HELPING PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN FROM CYBERBULLYING
Cyberbullying occurs when children and youth use technology such as text messaging, Internet sites and cellphones to bully others. Drs. Robin Kowalski, Susan Limber and Patricia Agatson, authors of the Olweus cyberbullying prevention curricula, suggest these ideas to help protect your child from becoming involved in bullying situations as well as ways to get help.
Keep Tabs on Technology - While placing your home computer(s) in open access areas can be helpful, it is important to remember that kids can access the Internet from a variety of sources including mobile phones, an IPod touch, and handheld gaming devices. Tell your children you may review their online communications at any time - especially if there is reason for concern. Consider installing parental control monitoring and/or filtering programs on your computer(s), but don't rely solely on these tools. Blocking or filtering content works well for younger children. Monitoring and discussion works best for tweens and teens.
Communication is the Key - Talk regularly with your children about online activities - specifically cyberbullying - and encourage your children to tell you immediately if they become the victim of cyberbullying, cyber-stalking, or other illegal or troublesome online behaviors. Encourage your children to tell you if they are aware of others who may be targeted by such behavior, and make sure your children understand cyberbullying is unacceptable behavior that will have consequences if they take part in it.
When Dealing with Cyberbullying - Tell your children not to respond if they are cyberbullied but to tell an adult immediately and to save all messages. Contact the school if you suspect the school district's Internet system is being used for these purposes. Inform the principal and school counselor about any cyberbullying situations, especially if the children involved attend the same school.
The Rules of the "Superhighway" Can Help - Try to identify the individual doing the bullying. Even if the person is anonymous there are ways to identify people through Internet service providers. Sending inappropriate language may violate the "terms and conditions" of e-mail services and Internet providers. Contact the Internet providers, Web sites, and/or cell phone companies to get help in blocking the perpetrator or removing offensive content.
Contact Law Enforcement - Cyberbullying is criminal if it includes threats of violence, extortion, obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages, or stalking. If any of these are present, it is time to contact the police department for assistance.
Information from the American School Counselor Association
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