Not only do they provide information about a child’s day, emotions and moods and friends but, moreover, the questions show that his or her parents are interested in his or her day and school. The questions may also act as ice breakers for talking about possible problems with friends.
- Next time, when you ask e.g. about the school day, don’t settle with the normal short “Fine” or “ok” but make sure you have time to talk about the day.
- In addition to words, listen also to the tone of voice, intonation, emotions, watch expressions, gestures and body language. You do not want to have an interrogation but interaction where you both talk about your day.
- Ask questions which cannot be answered shortly by one word, yes or no.
- If your child is being bullied, comfort him or her and listen to what happened. If bullying takes place at day care, school or on the way to or from school, you should talk about it to the day care staff, teachers and the headmaster. You can also talk about bullying with the parents of the child who has been bullying your son or daughter. Intervention and agreement very often stops such behaviour.
- If the child seems to be continuously reluctant to go to day care or school and he or she has often stomach ache or other physical ailments, possible bullying should be discussed.
- If bullying has continued for a long time and the child is upset or anxious, school nurse, school counsellor or school psychologist should be contacted.
The child may be too intimidated and not willing to tell about bullying taking place on the Internet or social media thinking that he or she will be denied all Internet access. On the Internet, one can also find friends with similar interests. Parents should know what their children do on the Internet, which sites they visit and with whom they are in touch with. Risks relating to Internet use should be discussed with children and advice given regarding such basics as how much to tell about oneself or others and what not to tell on Internet chats. Parents should ask their children from time to time, if there have been any incidents of bullying or if they know about somebody else having been bullied.