Parents

SAFELine is an effective way for adults or young people to identify and seek help for students that may be giving off “early warning” signs of trouble.  When a student is in need of support, SAFELine staff will work quickly to network with school professionals, law enforcement, parents, and other community resources to amend the crisis through counseling and referrals. Through this process, we hope to prevent suicides, assaults, abuse, bullying, and other crises faced by youth.

Did you know that you can block the use of Facebook, texts, and phone calls? Take control of your children’s social networking by calling your cell phone or internet providers today and learn about these use monitoring tools.  There are also a wide range of spyware that can be installed on your computer that can help you track the websites your child visits.

Know the warning signs your child is giving off.

You might not always know what is going on with your child. They may be too embarrassed to tell you, or maybe they are trying to seem grown-up by trying to deal with the problem by themselves.  Talk to them. Let them know you will listen without judgment.   NEVER tell your child to ignore the problem!

Look for:

  • Changes in behaviors- is sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home.
  • Complaints of physical ailments increases- such as headaches or stomachaches.
  • Changes in sleeping habits- either having trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams.
  • Changes in appetite- either loss of it or increased eating- especially junk food.
  • Loss of interest in school or grades that begin to slide.
  • Increased sensitivity, appearing anxious or suffering from low self-esteem.
  • Decreased social time or alienating  friends.
  • Unexplained cuts, bruises, or scratches.
  • Talk of self-harm, hopelessness, or that the world would be ‘better off’ without him/her

If your child is being bullied:

  • Be supportive, get information; don’t ignore it.
  • Don’t blame the child by asking if he or she provoked it, or by asking why he or she hasn’t told you before.
  • Get as many facts as you can; find out when and where events occurred, and if there were witnesses.
  • Praise your child for coming to you with a difficult truth and reassure them you will try to help.
  • Do not encourage your child to use physical tactics to retaliate; it could just get him or her into trouble.
  • Try to monitor your own emotions; this teaches your child to manage their situation with control.
  • Provide the facts to your school personnel, keep talking until the school addresses the problem, then talk regularly to ensure the bullying stops.
  • Do not contact the parents of the bullying child, as it may only further escalate the situation.
  • Encourage your child to build self-esteem through joining groups and activities. Your child’s teachers may have some ideas on what would be good matches for your child’s interests and peers.
  • Encourage your child to have a plan for where to go and who to talk to if a bullying situation arises, and teach your child how to identify high risk situations
  • If your child is dealing with a special need or circumstance, he or she may be more at risk, for instance, if he is hyperactive or has a learning disability. If this is the case, a counselor or special education teacher may be able to help the child fit in better with peers. Regardless of your child’s special needs, bullying is never acceptable.
  • Practice what you preach. Finding ways to promote a healthy and safe family life will give your child the break needed from problems with peers.

Other websites that are great resources:

http://www.usdish.com/teen-internet-safety#cyberbullying