It’s time for parents to get on board! If students are to understand how to reduce bullying in their school, parents need to be on board too. Bullying is a community problem, not just a school problem. The goal of this educational section of our website is to inform you, as parents, about different forms of bullying, the effects of bullying and how our behaviors can be part of the problem or part of the solution.
The following are resources to assist you:
- A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety
- 10 Tips for Parents
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- Bully Prevention Tips from Sesame Street
What Parents Can Do
My child is being bullied:
How do I deal with it? How do I talk with the child?
Be calm. Do not over-react. Be Supportive.
If your child has gone through a bullying experience, the first thing you have to do is give the confidence to your child. You need to listen to your child calmly, without over-reacting at all. Show them your full support and never let them feel alone.
You need to ensure that:
Your child knows that you are always with him/her.
The child is made aware that the fault is not theirs and you don’t blame them for whatever happened. Tell your child that no one deserves to be bullied ever.
The most important thing is your reaction. It is very important that you do not overreact. As a parent and a role model, it is imperative that you stay calm even through your child might be very upset. Children tend to pick up the reaction of their parents very quickly and respond accordingly.
A normal parent tends to react one of these ways:
Getting Angry: The most common reaction usually is anger. If you also immediately become angry and want to confront the teacher or the bully, what you are doing is displaying aggressive behavior similar to bullying.
React Passively: On the other hand you might react passively and put all the blame on the bully, which in normal circumstances would be considered perfectly reasonable behaviors; but in the present context it may make your child feel powerless.
No Reaction: If you do not show any reaction and brush your child’s concerns aside, you are implying that bullying is not important and would be a very negative reaction for the child’s self-esteem.
Therefore it becomes very important that you do not over-react and stay calm. This will help your child to calm down too.
How to support your child:
Share experiences so that they don’t feel alone.
To support your child, the most important thing that you need to do is letting your child know that you are on his side and will be with him to find out the best possible solution.
Another very important thing that helps the child is knowing the fact that they are not the only ones to have faced this negative experience. Hearing such thrue stories about the people they know closely makes it more believable for them that they are not the only ones to have gone through such a harrowing experience.
My child is being bullied, what action do I take?
Different types of bullying require different responses. If the bullying is a one-off incident, or involves mainly name calling, children may be able to handle it themselves. In case they express an interest to do so, by all means encourage them.
However, in case the bullying is serious or is really widespread in a particular school, club or on the bus, it is better to seek help from someone in authority.