No parent wants to hear that their child is being bullied at school. It is a helpless feeling when you know you cannot be there to protect your child, so it's important to know how to handle the situation properly. It's easy to jump to conclusions or overreact in matters involving our children, but it's also a problem to underreact when our kids come to us with a problem like this. Use these tips to help your child who is being bullied at school:
Bullying Tip #1: Communication Is Key
Sit your child down and gather as much information as possible in a calm manner. Talk to him/her about what interactions have taken place and what has already been done to prevent the bullying. Being rational is important, because you want your child to feel safe and secure talking to you about anything. Overreacting could cause the child to keep things inside.
Bullying Tip #2: Empathise with your child
Tell them you are sorry this is happening, because nobody deserves to be bullied. But don't blame the bully or encourage violence. Explain that the other child is doing something wrong, but that doesn't mean he/she is a bad person, and there is a chance that child is hurting inside or reacting to something that has happened to him/her. Talk to your child about possible solutions and ask what he/she would like to see happen.
Bullying Tip #3: Contact The School
Parents sometimes think they should stay out of the situation and let the kids work it out. If the bullying has already reached the point where your child felt compelled to come to you, it's probably time to step in. Sometimes bullying won't stop without the help of an adult. Be rational and calm when talking to the teacher or principal about the bullying. Calling with an accusatory tone may cause people to be defensive, as if you believe they have failed by not stopping the problem already. Express to the school that you wish to work together to stop the bullying, and that you are not necessarily calling just to get the other child in trouble.
Bullying Tip #4: Do Not Contact The Other Parents
It's usually best to let the school contact parent of the child who is bullying your child. This eliminates awkwardness between parents at future activities involving the children. Letting a school official be the middle-man allows you to continue relationships with other parents, and it also eliminates the possibility of a “back and forth” type conversation where each parent is accusing the other child of doing something . Chances are, the kids will move past this and may even be friends in the future, so keeping a good relationship between parents is ideal.
Bullying Tip #5: Help Your Child To Become Resilient To Bullying
It's important for kids to know that being bullied by another child isn't a result of something they have done, but rather the bullies issues and insecurities. Teach your child that no matter what someone says to or about him, he is a wonderful, talented person who deserves friends that are kind and fair. Don't let bullying or teasing define your child or teach them who to be, but rather let it teach them who NOT to be.