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:
Don’t let this happen to you!Here a few things that YOU can do to make sure that you are not the BUTT of the joke!
A tried and true way to win friends is to make people laugh. A good joke is a good start, but telling a joke well takes skill. You can learn by following this advice:
- Don't Ignore it.
Never advise a child to ignore bullying behavior, and never blame the child by suggesting that he or she provoked it.
- If your child is bullied - get all the details.
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.
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.
- Don't respond with a "knee-jerk" reaction.
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.
- Keep it civil.
Never encourage physical retaliation. (Admittedly, this may be a hard thing for parent to do.)
- Respond appropriately - and keep your cool.
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.
- Allow the "system" to work.
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.
Remember YOU are the adult.
As you work to resolve any bullying problem your child may have, remember that your child will be watching how YOU handle this situation. Set the example.