Having been bullied my whole life even to this day at the age of 25 it’s easier for me to see the signs in others and try and give them points on how to deal with there bullies. However as an adult it becomes a little harder, as everyone has the idea that you are a grown up and should be able to handle it. This is not the case for everyone and certainly not children.
Bullying, whether it is verbal, physical, emotional or Internet-based (cyberbullying), can have devastating effects on a child’s self-esteem and can cause depression, anxiety, loneliness and even thoughts of suicide. Therefore, if you know that your child is being bullied, it is imperative to act quickly. Here are some tips on how to respond to the child and deal with the source of the problem:
• Never advise a child to ignore bullying behaviour, and never blame the child by suggesting that he or she provoked it.
• Get your child to tell you precisely what happened, where it happened, when it happened and who was involved. Also, establish whether anyone witnessed the incident(s).
• Praise your child for telling you about the bullying, and let the child know that it is not his or her fault. Never suggest that your child handled the situation badly.
• Explain that you will think about how to deal with the situation and will let him or her know how you intend to handle it.
• Never encourage physical retaliation.
• Contact your child’s teacher or the principal and unemotionally explain the details of the incident(s). The school has an obligation to deal with the matter effectively, but explain that you want to work with them to put a stop to the bullying. Never contact the bully’s parents directly.
• Keep a record of any meetings that you have with the school, and if the situation continues, escalate the matter to the school superintendent or the school board.
Even with all these options sometimes it can not be dealt with within the schools and law enforcement may need to get involved. It is important that if it comes to this to be calm about it and make sure you remind your child that it is never their fault or that what the bully is saying or doing is justified.
Until next time remember where there is magic…. Miracles Await