Posted by Josh Afram
Bullying is something most children grow up dealing with to some extent. Even though one party is being physically “hurt”, bullying is physically, mentally and emotionally painful for everyone involved. Bullying is a response to deeper issues within an individual. So…
What can parents do?
Get the whole story.
Could your child be instigating some of this? What type of bullying is it (physical, verbal, cyber, emotional, racial, or sexual)? These are questions parents can find out by simply talking to their child (Tip: Don’t provide answers for your child. Meaning, don’t fill in the blanks for them. Let them tell the story. If they are having trouble recalling, simply give them time to remember. When you interrupt with your own guess, they may take your answer and use it as part of the story even if it wasn’t). I would write down the story so if you need to refer to it later you have it. Include date and time information.
Encourage your child to tell the bully (if you deem it safe) to stop and to steer clear of the bully when it is not necessary for them to be together.
Talk to the Parent.
Call or talk at school with the parent of the bully. Let them know what is happening and ask them to speak with their child about ending their bullying. If your child has fault, please acknowledge it so the parent does not feel like their child is being attacked. It is human nature that we are more inclined to listen when we feel like the person talking is being fair in their evaluation.
Go to the PrincipalIf bullying persists, approach the principal and let him/her know the steps you have taken. It would help to bring the written story from step one so the principal has the whole picture.
***A disclaimer here is that if the bullying is causing serious harm, I suggest approaching the school immediately. Parents are ultimately the judges of how serious the situation is. If you feel uncomfortable or uncertain, go straight to the school.