Don't just stand there. Do something.
Discovering that your child is being bullied can be devastating. You may feel bewildered, scared, sad, guilty, angry, or helpless. You may even feel like a target yourself.
While it is important to recognize and acknowledge all those emotions, remember that feelings alone will not change the situation. The most effective thing you can do is focus on the issue and develop a plan.
Here are tools, strategies, and tips that can help you develop successful short-term and longer-term plans for protecting your child from bullying.
1. First, make sure that the issue is bullying and not routine childhood conflict.
It’s bullying if the action is hurtful, intentional, and repetitive, and there is a power imbalance between the children. Sometimes, children are afraid or embarrassed to talk about bullying. If you suspect your child may be a target of bullying, you may want to try these approaches to find out for sure.
Ask and listen:
Watch for signs, such as:
2. If your child is being bullied, you can take action at home to help your child learn how to respond more effectively.
Teach direct and indirect techniques for dealing with bullies. You may want to encourage your child to:
Encourage group involvement. Children who interact with peers are less likely to be bullied. You may want to help your child:
3. If your child is being bullied at school, you can work with teachers and administrators to create a safe environment.
Talk with teachers and administrators.
Be part of your child's school.
©2006 PACER Center. Reprinted with permission.