Pink Shirt Day is on February 24th and an opportunity to teach kids to work together and treat others with dignity and respect.
February 24th is Pink Shirt Day this year, and for 2021, the Pink Shirt Day group is focused on teaching kids to work together and treat others with dignity and respect. While schools have activities that they include for Pink Shirt Day, parents should be prepared to support discussions about bullying at home, as children may not feel comfortable confiding with others about their experiences at school.
Remind your child that you are there to support them if they need to talk – about anything.
It can be hard to offer specific advice, as there are different forms that bullying can take. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach that works equally well on both, say, cyberbullying and physical bullying (eg. pushing and shoving). The ages of the kids involved can make it more complicated, too. But the first step is always letting your child know that if they’re encountering a situation that makes them uncomfortable, they can always reach out to you.
Be sure to:
- Listen seriously and thank your child for trusting you.
- Remind them that they are not alone in being bullied, that it’s unfortunately quite common.
- Let your child know that it is the bully who is at fault – bullying is not theirs.
- Tell your child that you will work on the problem together.
Assess your child’s self-esteem.
Tween and teen years can be especially hard on a child’s self-esteem, which is unfortunate, as a child with a more robust sense of self-esteem is more likely to take a bully in stride. Take note of how your child talks about him or herself. Do negative words like “stupid” or “weak” or “ugly” come up? If so, these may be echoes of words others have said to them.
Be sure to help your child take positive actions that make them feel more confident in themselves and their abilities. Try to start conversations about why they may think one thing or another. Remind them that things like growth-spurt awkwardness passes. And if a child’s grades are suffering, that might be a good indicator that they could use a little extra help with schoolwork.
Additional and/or professional assistance may be an option to explore, and that may change depending on what your child needs a boost in. It could be in the form of a teacher or tutor spending a little one-on-one time, a support network of friends and family, or even a therapist.
Seek out more resources to help.
If your child is being bullied at school, be sure to try to work with the school on solutions to resolve it and find more assistance based on your child’s needs.
There are many online resources, including bullying-specific articles such as How to Stop Cyberbullying: 18 Tips for Parents and Kids. Also be sure to visit Support for Parents & Teachers — Pink Shirt Day.
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