If Your Child Has Been Bullied
Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether your child has been bullied. It takes a lot of courage for a child to admit that he/she is being bullied. We as parents should: Remain calm and be reassuring about what is happening and how it if affecting them. Listen to them carefully regarding: What happened to them Who hurt them Where it happened Has this happened before? When? Did they report it to their teacher or the school principal? If so, who did they talk to? Praise your child for telling you and let them know that you feel honored that they were comfortable with confiding in you. Encourage your child to tell a teacher and yourself if and when it happens again. Arrange to visit your child's teacher so you can discuss the problem and ask how to resolve the problem.
Approaching your Child's Teacher
Our paternal instincts come into play when we are made aware of the fact that our children are being hurt.We want to protect them to the end! The first step is to approach the teacher. There is a non-problematic way to accomplish this:
Remain calm and collected
May not be aware that your child is experiencing the bullying
Could have possibly already heard a different version of the same situation.
Tell the teacher in as much detail as you can about the incident and remember to give:
The names of all the other children that were present perpetrators and witnesses
Details of when it happened
Details of where it happened
Ask to know what action the school intends to take
Ask if there is anything you can do to help resolve the situation
Keep communicating with the school on the progression of the problem.
Helping the School Deal with Bullying We as parents can play a huge role in helping schools deal with the bullying problem: Watch for signs that your child is involved, as either the 'Bully' or the 'victim' Play on your instincts Always contact the school immediately if you have a concern...communicate!!! Siblings and other family members may be the first to notice a problem Teach and encourage family members to refrain from using bullying behavior at home or anywhere else. Remember S.A.C.K. (Simple Acts of Care and Kindness) Teach family members how to end difficult situations without aggressive Behavior or violence. "See...I'm Being Bullied, what can I do?" Contact your school and discuss their "Anti-bullying policy". If there isn't one, ask if you could help to develop one.
Advice and Guidance for Parents Watch for the signs of bullying. Take an active interest in the child's social life. Discuss friendships, how playtime is spent and the journey to and from school. If you think your child is being bullied inform the school immediately, asking for an interview with the child's teacher, principal or a staff person identified to deal with the incident. Always take a witness with you to all meetings pertaining to bullying situations. Do not feel intimidated by the school community, they are only human beings. Keep a written record if the bullying persists. It will be painful but it will provide supportive evidence regarding WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN. When you speak with your child's teacher, devise a strategy to help your child with support inside and outside of school. If the bullying problem occurs outside of school, contact the police. The police will contact the bully's parents, informing them of the legal consequences of their behavior occurring again. Do not encourage your child to hit back! It will only make matters worse and has been known to give your child the label BULLY. That behavior could be contrary to their nature. Encourage your child to recruit friends. A child who has friends is less likely to be bullied.
Your child is not clumsy, but states they come home 'bruised' and 'dirty' a lot because they 'fell down' at school.
Your child is always 'starving' when they get home and say it's because they have been 'sharing' their lunch with someone.
Your child runs to the bathroom immediately upon coming home because 'they don't want to take the time to go at school'.
Your child doesn't want to go to school in the morning anymore.
Your child isn't as attentive at home.
Your child isn't feeling well in the morning and wants to stay home.
What should you do when your child 'witnesses' bullying?
Parents should tell their children to:
Stand up to bullies. If enough people stand up to a bully, eventually the bully will be forced to change.
Support friends who are being bullied. Report the incident to an adult. Explain the difference between reporting and tattling.
Encourage them to 'speak up'..."Stop teasing like that! You're being mean and we don't like it!" Create a distraction..."Hey, it's your turn. Kick the ball!"
Assess the situation. In a dangerous situation, they should protect themselves and others by getting help
What should you do when YOUR child is being bullied?
Tell them it is NOT their fault! Help them find a safe route to and from School and show them where they can go for help. Encourage them to travel with friends.
Using fists as protection against bullying is NOT effective because Someone may get hurt or the situation may get worse. They need to 'use their heads'. Think of different responses and pick one that will Help them out of the situation.
Stand up to bullies. Be confident and look bullies in the eye! Attempt Talking about the problem; speaking in a calm and clear voice to Identify the behavior they don't like and what to do instead.
Walk away from the bully, towards friends or an adult that can help.
Bullies want a reaction; it makes them feel in control. Ignore them.
Sometimes it's possible to make things better with a joke or asking a question "Tell me what I did wrong and I'll apologize."
Talk to them about ways to handle the situation. Ask if you can help. If not, wait a few days then ask again.
Step in if is appears dangerous.
Inform the school staff if there is a problem. Keep records of dates, times and names of those involved.
What Should you do if your child IS the bully?
Talk with your child about a non-aggressive way to resolve any conflict.
Ask the school principal or counselor for information on conflict management
Spend some quality time with your child, doing things they enjoy doing
Monitor their TV habits. What are they watching? What games are they playing?
Always know where your child is and who they are playing with
Encourage them to resolve a bad situation in the home, in a positive manner
Talk with your child's teacher and ask is there is a course of action that can be taken
Bring up bullying at PTA meetings
Frequently ask your children is they are being 'bothered'
Tell them NOT to hit back, if hit
Make sure YOU are not bullying your OWN children!!
I'm being bullied, what can I do?
Ignoring the bully may be helpful. Bullies are looking for a reaction from you.
Walk away when they approach you
Have a saying that you can repeat in your head when the bully approaches you.
Build a wall around you. It may be helpful to build an invisible wall around you. Any verbal abuse then just bounces off the wall.
Bullies can be pretty scary, picturing them looking silly may help to make them less for a problem for you.
It can be hard to remember all your good points when someone is doing their best to be negative. Try to think of all the things you do well and that you are a valuable person. Think of how bad the bully must be feeling may also help you to stay positive.
Hang around other people.
You may be safer if you stay in groups.
Bullies usually pick on people that they think are weaker than they are. Stand up to them!
Tell them to leave you alone
Turn around and be nice to them
Use good humor
Use positive self-talk. "I know I'm better than that, I don't have to pick on other people to know that I'm good."
Your friends accept you for who you are.
Keep out of their way.
You may have to travel a different way to get to school or avoid where they hang out. This is looking after yourself to make sure you are a happier person.
Tell someone else.
To stop the bullying it can be helpful to tell someone that you are being bullied. This may seem scary at first, however, telling someone can lighten your load and help you work out how to solve the problem. Friends, teachers, school counselors or parents may be helpful people to tell. If you feel more comfortable take a friend with you to chat with these people.