Bully-Proof: What to Do If Your Child is Being Picked On

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Bully-Proof: What to Do If Your Child is Being Picked On

When you first have kids, you like to think that you will always be there to protect them from any negative situations that may arise. But when they start school, that is a big part of the day where you can’t be there to supervise them.

Some school issues are minor and can be dealt with in a single conversation while others are more serious and may require an education lawyer. Bullying is certainly one of the trickiest problems to handle, but it is something that a lot of kids go through at one time or another (I did!). Here are a few steps to take if your child is going through a bullying problem:

Listen to Your Child: The first thing to do is to listen to your child about what has been going on. Sometimes, they won’t come to you directly, but you should look out for any signs of emotional distress, like becoming particularly quiet and withdrawn. When you are listening to them, try to avoid becoming too emotional, but instead you should try to calmly reassure them that this is not their fault. Of course, some action needs to be taken but you need to think about the right thing to do before rushing in headfirst.

Things to Avoid: The reaction that most kids dread is that you go immediately to speak to the head teacher or the bully’s parents. And you should also avoid telling them to hit or call names back as this can cause the problem to quickly escalate. And definitely avoid dismissing the experience as just something they have to go through when they are growing up. School should be a safe haven for kids, not somewhere that they dread going because of being bullied.

Helping Your Kids Deal with the Issue: Many bullies are looking to draw a reaction out of the kids they pick on, so try to encourage your child to appear confident even if they don’t feel it. If your child gives the impression that they aren’t bothered by what is being said, the bullies are more likely to get tired of it and move on. Encouraging your kids to join some social or sporting activities can help to boost their confidence when they are at school.

Getting Support From the School: If the issue continues, it may be time to get support from the school. The anti-bullying policy varies from place to place, so you should look up what your child’s school is before taking action. You should always make an appointment with the teacher you want to see rather than turning up unexpectedly. Find out how they think is best to proceed and make sure to follow this up to see how successful they have been.

Dealing With Your Own Feelings: You will probably have a whole range of emotions going through your system, so you should try talking with people who are close to you and get advice from a range of different sources. If you know parents whose kids have also gone through this issue, they may be a good place to start.

A child’s education is so important and a bully standing in the way of that is something that should never be tolerated!

Featured Image By: Pexels

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6 responses »

  1. My husband’s nephew was being bullied, he has ADHD and struggles at school. Adding bullying into the mixture has not helped, it amazes me how cruel 8 year old kids can be and how little help the school provides.

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  2. I read with interest your comments regarding the bullying situation. It has become such a serious problem within the educational system and out on the street in the last few decades.

    As a parent of a fourteen-year-old son who was the victim of serious bullying, I had to endure and deal with some of the experience that you have shared here and more. On consultation with teachers, the principal and school board officials of my son’s high school, I received a host of varied perspectives on how I should deal with the situation as it related to my youngest son.

    My son, at the time that the bullying began to occur in his case, was to a fair extent vulnerable to the goon mentality that often manifests in the minds of those who, for any number of reasons to suit their own purpose. He was raised in a comfortable and loving home environment and taught to respect others as he would want that same respect in return. He was slight of build, not particularly athletic and wore that vulnerability where it was clearly evident to those inclined to inflict harm and humiliation.

    His mother and I were not aware of the situation for several months, during which time the incidents of provocation increased in frequency and severity. There were no apparent or visible physical signs of harm and my son, presumably out for fear of repercussions. He refrained from sharing any information regarding the situation with his mother and me and did not seek any advice from us regarding the worsening problem.

    One day his mother called me in complete distress, confiding in me as much as she knew (precious little) and was most agitated that our son had been gone for four days and nights without any phone call home. This was apparently an intermittent situation and the school officials were now contacting his mother about his lengthy absence from classes without a note from ourselves or a doctor.

    My son’s mother had been raised in a loving home environment such as my own, raised in the countryside and had not been exposed to this kind of situation during her own years in the educational system. I, on the other hand, had been exposed to plenty of bullying situations over the years having been raised in an urban center where life was much different.

    My comments are lengthy and I will conclude this post by noting that given my son’s situation of absence and the impending suspension from school by the school board, at that time permanently and that no other school board would take my son in, and the fact that we were fearing the worst for his personal safety, I took the matter into my own hands after speaking first with the local police department whose hands were evidently tied.

    I had learned that in order for my son to deal with the bullying situation, he had turned to the toughest group/gang in the school. That fully resolved any threat that my son had been living with but once you hang with the gang you walk the walk and do the talk. He was getting into something way over his head and they were all being watched very closely by the police for illegal activities that would ultimately get them all, including our son, into serious legal trouble.

    I phoned the top two guys in the gang and insisted on knowing where my son was. I was verbally accosted by both with abusive, vile and hostile language. I then promised them that if my phone did not ring within fifteen minutes with my son calling me back, I would deal with them as I felt necessary.

    My son was with the head of the gang at their family home. I paid an immediate visit to pick him up. While there I had a firm but respectful conversation with the gang leader’s parents, who were both in tears out of fear. The attitude coming from their son became angered and physically threatening to me. I cautioned that he was never to go near my son again and that if any harm or trouble came to my son, I would deal with the situation myself, with or without police assistance.

    One last threat from the young man prompted me to suggest we finish that conversation out in the parking lot where his parents did not have to seem what was about to happen. I assured him he would not walk out of that situation without medical assistance.

    I do not in any way condone violence and may well have handled the situation differently at another time. We were desperate for our own son’s safety and well being where none could be promised by legal authorities. I was raised in the midst of those kind of thugs and knew exactly how to handle them. They only understand one language.

    I wholeheartedly support all you have said here and hope no-one reading this, as a parent or student themselves, will fall victim to this type of merciless predatory antagonization and harmful, threatening bullying.

    I returned my son to his mother but first asked my son to talk to me. I assured him I would seek out every available means to protect his interests and get him out of the headlock he had fallen victim to through this gang of thugs who were now ‘protecting’ him while using him to commit criminal acts. He could not speak at all, obviously terrified of his situation.

    As a parent doing what I felt was strictly in the best interest of my son, I then asked my son to make a choice between the gang whom he considered his ‘friends’ and his own family. In closing, my son, not surprisingly, elected to remain close to his ‘friends’. He was terminated from attending to finish highschool with that school board due to continued absences. He never went back to school again.

    Fortunately for my son, the family of the head gang member moved their family, and their thug son, to the remote northern area of our province where he was raised in an area much more conducive no the normalcy of family life and continued education. My son soon developed a long-term relationship with a young lady. They have had a child together and plan to marry. I have not heard from nor seen my son for sixteen years now.

    I pray that my decisions regarding his bullying situation were in most if not all respects the right ones at that time. I realised that my actions may well have put him at undue risk yet as a parent I could never, ever have lived with myself if I ignored a volatile situation only to see my son’s life compromised in the worst possible way.

    I offer these comments of my own experience as food for thought and perhaps comment by yourself and/or your readers. I stand by my convictions on the matter and feel no need to comment further or in response to the thoughts or feelings of others.

    My son is alive today. Police had serious reservations that he would have been ‘taken out’ but the gang he was hanging with, not by my intervention necessarily, which they cautioned against, but because of their own internal order.

    Sixteen years later, my son will marry soon. They have a second child on the way and are living together happily. He is alive and as far as I am aware without further threat or provocation. He may look over his shoulders frequently but he is ok and has a life he can be proud of.

    I was also the victim of bullying in my high school years. I stood up to those who threatened and physically harmed me for their own amusement. The bullying quickly stopped and no-one bothered me again. I am not suggesting my actions as the best answer to it all…but I too am still standing, am a career professional, law abiding and respectful member of the community.

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  3. Pingback: EducHate – Why Does Your Kid Hate School (& How Can You Fix It)? | lifewithlilred

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