The first bell is days away for most school districts around Western Washington. Students maybe feeling a mix of emotions before the start of the new school year. Educators say it’s a good time to talk to your kids about bullying and anxiety.
Angela Bogan, Dearborn Park International School principal in Seattle, recommends parents try three simple things.
Listen – Let your child explain what’s happening to them at school.
Empower – Empower your child to make friends and speak up, instead of being a bystander.
Communicate – Talk to a teacher or school counselor immediately if you notice changes in your kid, especially if your child claims to be sick often.
“Instead of asking ‘how was your day at school?’ tell me three things that happened in school today. Give your child an open-ended question as opposed to a yes-no question, so you’re able to dig deeper into how their day went,” said Bogan.
Administrators say they’re on the lookout and parents should be too for subtle forms of bullying, for example a student not having anyone to sit with at lunch or no one to play with at recess. Also, cyber-bullying is a serious issue where parents should beware of what their child is doing online and set rules on technology use.