1. It doesn’t just happen to the “weird” kids. All it takes is someone with a chip on their shoulder finding someone else to take their issues out on. It isn’t just being different. Sometimes it can merely be a power trip. How they justify that is varied.
2. There is no singular advice that “fixes” bullying and no perfect way to go about it. Bullies are different shapes and sizes and personality types with very different backgrounds. What works with one might not with another. as a parent, you need to go with instinct and what you think will help your child feel safest.
3. There are options, but you have to be ready for the consequences of non-action vs. action vs. reaction. Give your child comfort and understanding. You know your child, help them know they are safe with you and that you want to help them be safe at school.
4. Teachers and faculty have to jump through a lot of hoops to resolve a situation and no one wants to label a child a “Bully.”
5. Labels are big no-nos now for both the bullied and the bully. You’ll have better luck not using words like “Picked on” or “Bullied” or “Tormented.” Instead when discussing the problem with both children and faculty, just explain the situation and ask questions. Calmly explain how you feel and listen to what they say, even if you don’t like it.
6. DOCUMENT. Bullying is hard to prove. Every scratch, scrape, and bruise you know is coming from a bully, document. Schools need “proof” now. Once you know there is a problem, record the time, place and situation, every time your child comes home crying or upset at name calling or being excluded, etc. Write down names of witnesses or if things happen at a certain time or place.
7. Communicate about what you want to do to help, and how it will happen with the victim. Give them options. Ask them if they want you to do that. You need their cooperation to get help. i.e. if you talk to school administration and want action and they see your child playing with the bully at recess like there isn’t a problem. Or they interview your child and your child says it wasn’t a big deal and they just want to go. It’s hard to work with.
8. Policies and legislation are different everywhere. So are the definitions of bullying. Do your homework and make sure your particular issue goes along with those guidelines the school has and DOCUMENT to support your claims. USE THE RIGHT CHAIN OF COMMAND.
9. While trying to make sense of the situation, a lot of victims start rationalizing how they deserve this treatment. Listen to your child. Make sure you don’t imply that they have a reason to be bullied, but ask if they think there is. Those thoughts can be dangerous. It will help your child in the long run, to know where their mind is. Remind them that everyone has worth and a right to be safe and free of harm and ridicule.
10. Get advice. There is a horrible issue today about keeping quiet about these things. You don’t want your child to fight the battle alone, and there’s no reason for you to do so either. So many people have dealt with this that can give you expert advice and even those who offer extreme suggestions can be learned from.
- Mom Makes Bully Daughter Wear Ugly Clothes as Punishment (newsfixnow.com)
- Zero Tolerance… (embracingthemadness.wordpress.com)
- Bully Forced to Wear Thrift Store Dress as Punishment (ktla.com)
- Random – Stop Bullying! (girlinsneakers.wordpress.com)