The findings of a recent study completed at University of Texas-Arlington “reveal that students attending schools [with] bullying prevention programs are more likely to have experienced peer victimization, compared to those attending schools without bullying prevention.”
I think this reflects less on the Prevention Programs themselves and more on the other factors that play into bullying.
One of the most pertinent findings is that adult involvement is a big factor in reducing victimization. The implications are that programs alone, security measures alone, policies alone will not protect children from being victims of bullying and abuse. Children and teens need guidance and support from parents, teachers and other adults as well as healthy peer relationships to reduce risk.
The Kidpower article How to Get Kids to Talk About Bullying, Child Abuse, and Other Dangers Kids are Safer When Adults Really Listen offers effective tips on how to stay connected to your children and more informed about their lives.
Protecting children from abuse, bullying, and other dangers can feel overwhelming for adults, and anxiety can make it hard to listen calmly when children come to us with problems. Be sure that the children in your life know that you will listen and help them if they have a problem with anyone, no matter what your relationship is with this person.
A lot of times children don’t tell because they don’t want to upset or worry the important adults in their lives. Without direct, ongoing encouragement, some children will withhold information that is crucial to their personal safety, and adults won’t get the information they need to help their children stay safe.
“If you are distracted and busy, children are likely to try to solve their problems themselves, especially as they get older and especially if they think they might have done something that will make you mad at them. If you give lectures or get irritated when children try to talk to you about small issues, they are likely to get in the habit of not telling you about potentially big problems. Child safety is harder to protect when we don’t know about the real situations our children are facing.”
Adult leadership is often needed to intervene in a powerful and respectful way to address bullying behavior in the moment. See this article: Kidpower Strategies for Keeping Your Children Safe.