Does your child avoid going to the bathroom at her school? Has he become listless, unexcited by activities that used to enthrall him? Has she become more isolated, engaging in negative self-talk? Does he get upset after receiving phone calls, texts, or using social media? If the warning bells are ringing, your child may be a victim of bullying. Bullying is a huge issue in traditional schools, and the reason many parents seek out online schools like Christa McAuliffe Academy of Arts and Sciences. For our community members who have dealt with or know someone who is dealing with bullying in any form, we’d like to offer nine steps you can take to help your child, as gleaned from Janet Lehman, parent of a bullied child and author of the article: “Is Your Child Being Bullied? Nine Steps You Can Take as a Parent”.
First, Lehman councils, “Listen to what your child has to say.” She notes that though you will feel reactive-- and rightfully so-- try to remain calm. Children are often scared to share bullying experiences, and will be reluctant to continue doing so if they fear they’ll upset you.
Second, Lehman says: “If you were bullied as a child, try not to personalize what is happening.” Keep the focus on remaining productive and proactive as much as possible, hard as it may be. Your child will be in a vulnerable state, and needs a cool, calm ear to listen.
Third, “Don’t retaliate against the bully or his family.” This can make things worse for your child, and won’t teach him how to confidently deal with the situation on his own.
Fourth, Lehman advises, “Coach your child on how to react.” Give her several witty non-confrontational comebacks to practice. Bullies thrive off reactions, so providing one that won’t satisfy them takes the fun out if it. Additionally, the act of being prepared will give her more confidence in her ability to handle the bullying.
Fifth, if your child attends a traditional school, “Find a teacher or administrator at your child’s school who will help.” Bullying is an all-hands-on-deck problem, so be sure your child’s support network is aware and ready to step in when necessary.
Sixth, Lehman says, “Take your child’s side.” Your child’s confidence is likely at a very low point. Knowing he has parents who will support him and back him up will help build back that confidence.
Seventh, “Get support.” No, not just for your child; for you, too. Knowing your child is being bullied can be heartbreaking. Talking to friends and councilors who’ve had experience with it can be an essential step to releasing your own emotions so you don’t transfer them to your child.
Eighth, “Teach your child to name what’s happening.” Lehman says: “For younger kids, it’s important to be able to name what’s happening as ‘bullying.’ For a child who’s feeling picked on, it’s empowering to be able to really name it. They’re teaching a lot about bullying prevention in school these days and ‘bully’ is such a negative word that it’s good for your child to be able to attach it to the behavior. This is truly empowering for many children and can work with older kids, as well.”
Finally, “Find something your child is really good at doing.” Your child’s confidence and image of self-worth has likely been shattered from this experience. Putting her in a situation where she will succeed and thrive will help rebuild her self-image and give you a plethora of opportunities to praise her personal genius.
We hope you found this information helpful and invite you to share it with anyone who might benefit. Here at CMASAS, we are honored to teach students from all walks of life, and are committed to empowering and celebrating the unique genius of every individual, just as they are.
>>> You can read Lehman's full article here: https://goo.gl/vauqN2 <<<