Tips to Handle Bullying
Unfortunately bullying exists in your child’s world, but
there are ways you can help. As a dad to 7 kids between the ages 11 months and
27 years old, I’ve learned the dos and don’ts of handling schoolyard bullying.
Do: Teach your child the best ways to handle a bullying
situation. If your own child is being bullied, teach them the best method is
not to provoke a fight, but to simply and calmly (as hard as it might be) walk
away and find the nearest adult (teacher or principal) who can help you. If
your child is not the person being bullied but rather is witness to another
child being bullied they can help by alerting a teacher or principal and being
a kind and empathetic friend to the child being bullied.
Don’t: As a dad it’s hard not to want to fight a battle for
your child (figuratively speaking), but do not overstep your boundaries. You
could possibly make it worse for your child. If you’re a concerned parent call
the school and talk with a principal or teacher and tell them the severity of
the bullying situation. They’ll take the necessary measure to better watch the
bully and give out consequences based on future actions.
Do: Talk! A lot! Talk to your child as much as possible
about what’s going on at school, with their friends and their overall lives –
you’ll be surprised by the things you’ll learn. Use the opportunity to build
your child’s self-esteem as being a victim of bullying can often make a child
feel puny. Discuss ways in which your child succeeds in school and at home and
the things that make your child really happy. Be their rock. Build upon their
strengths by giving them defense mechanisms like talking calmly, making jokes
Don’t: Do nothing. Doing nothing does not work. And as a
parent it’s your responsibility to do something to help your child in any
situation. Be sure your moves are calculated, as your child will likely be
watching and learning from your way of handling the situation.
Handling bullying can be hard, but there are ways in which
parents should help by getting involved and teaching their children the best
ways to handle situations. It’s important to be on the lookout for signs of
bullying, and to handle each situation delicately and with dignity, as your
child will be watching and learning from you.
Bottom line: teach your child to be a kind and empathetic
human being who looks out for others and knows how to react and handle a
bullying situation should they ever be caught in one.
Good luck and happy parenting!