Bullying Awareness: Tips for Parents

November 21 to 25 is Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. We all know that in today’s climate, being kind and respectful has never been more critical. As the days become shorter and as we look ahead to Advent and Christmas, this is a time when kindness can brighten the lives of those around us!

Join in the Bullying Awareness and Prevention conversation

We encourage staff across our system to join in the conversation about Bullying Awareness and Prevention on Twitter this week with the hashtag #ocsbSpeakOut. OCSB educators will use the hashtag to showcase what their students will learn throughout the week,

You can find a breakdown of what students will be discussing within our Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week blog.

Nurturing positive learning and home environments through a model of support

Parents and educators can play an active role in preventing bullying by modelling kindness, compassion and empathy for their children and students. We create a safe and caring environment that encourages dialogue by having honest conversations about how bullying negatively impacts youth. When young people feel supported, they are more open to talking about their feelings and reaching out to caring adults and their peers.

Empathy and patience create spaces where our children and students can build positive relationships and safely flourish.

How do I know if my child is being bullied?

According to the Crisis Prevention Institute, warning signs that a child is being bullied can include the following:

  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of interest in school
  • Loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Talk of self-harm

How can I support my child or youth if they are being bullied?

One positive word can change someone’s day. Asking open questions and discussing how school is going can help to uncover difficulties your youth might be experiencing.  

  • Be encouraging and flexible 
  • Praise them for being courageous to express their feelings
  • Model positive strategies of support, respect and kindness
  • Always listen and be present

You can contact your school Principal to learn about school mental health services such as School Mental Health Ontario, which offers free mental health services for families.

  • Please visit OPH’s Parenting in Ottawa mental health page for information about child and/or youth mental health agencies. If you have a youth in crisis, contact the Youth Services 24/7 Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 613-260-2360; if outside Ottawa, toll-free 1-877-377-7775.
  • Students and families can also contact Kids Help Phone, which offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868

Here are more parent resources that can help:

Share your #ocsbKindness tips online!

Share your tips and strategies to prevent bullying on social media using the hashtag #ocsbKindness. Parents can help provide a safe environment where young people are open to talking about their feelings and problems and receive peer support. 

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