*Originally posted on Defying Shadows Blog.*
With the start of a new school year, I thought this would be a good time to re-post this.
This is a subject that has to be talked about. I wish it wasn’t, but that’s not the reality we live in. Bullying. It’s something our kids are going to deal with at some point, either they’ll they be the victim or a friend. It stinks, just plain stinks and I won’t sugar-coat it at all. It can do so much damage to a child, self-esteem, anxiety, panic attacks and so much more.
My oldest was a victim of this, and at times still, has trouble with social anxiety due to it. It broke my heart to watch my baby go through this. Another student threatened her and her friend, saying she was going to come to school and cut them. Now, let me tell you, my child wasn’t the type to cause problems or get into fights. She’d be the first to walk away from a fight. A straight A student, friendly to everyone.
We did all we could in our power to get this handled, but the school did nothing. They actually blamed my child for being scared. Yeah, my hubby and I didn’t handle that well at all. It not only happened once but twice within 3 days. The school refused to do anything, including the school board, so in our case, we pulled her out and homeschooled along with my other kiddos. For us, it was what we had to do to know that they’d be safe while learning. Not everyone has to do that or needs to, each situation is different.
Let’s take a look at what should be done if your child gets bullied.
First and foremost, talk with your child. Ask what happened. Give them time to tell you and don’t rush. They might be scared and that is very common. Don’t brush your child off that it’s nothing.
Praise them for opening up and telling you what happened.
Go and talk to the Principal right then or if it is late the next morning. Always go to them first, so that they know this is going on and can handle it. If you must go even higher until the situation is taken care of.
Hold your anger. Teach your child that it won’t make the situation better. It’s natural to get upset by the bully, but that’s what bullies thrive on. It makes them feel more powerful. Practice not reacting by crying or looking red or upset. It takes a lot of practice, but it’s a useful skill for keeping off of a bully’s radar. Sometimes kids find it useful to practice “cool down” strategies such as counting to 10, writing down their angry words, taking deep breaths, or walking away. Sometimes the best thing to do is to teach kids to wear a “poker face” until they are clear of any danger (smiling or laughing may provoke the bully).
Avoid the bully and use the buddy system. Have your child stay away from the person the best they. Tell them, if they bother them to go straight to a teacher or the principal and let them know what happened.
Act brave, walk away, and ignore the bully.Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop, then walk away. Practice ways to ignore the hurtful remarks, like acting uninterested or texting someone on your cell phone. By ignoring the bully, you’re showing that you don’t care. Eventually, the bully will probably get bored with trying to bother you.
Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Help to restore the confidence they had. Keep positive and tell them to hand with others who are nice and friendly.
These are a few things that you can do to help your child and to teach them for dealing with a bully. Some of the tips came from Kids Health. http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/bullies.html