It is not your fault!
There was a bullying case in my children’s school. Although the school showed a very professional approach, it made me think! How would I react when my child would be involved in bullying? That’s when I started to read through the Internet. And I can tell you that the Internet is full of information on bullying to the point of being overwhelming. Knowing that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution I try to share my internet-research in a nutshell, focusing on the part of being bullied.
How to tell if your child is bullied?
In general, any behavior out of the normal should be looked at to find out why. Be aware if your child is:
- Being more quiet than normal
- Has difficulty sleeping and has frequent nightmares
- Has grades going down
- Is obsessed about social networking and checking text messages.
Try to engage your child in conversations to find out more!
let the child know ‘You are not alone’
How to react if your child is bullied?
It is very hard for parents to deal with the fact that their own child is being hurt. Their own emotions might force them to overreact.
- It is absolutely important to get the emotions down to a level that allows you to listen and communicate well with your child.
- Let the child know it’s not his or her fault. Children feel shame and confusion and ask ‘why me?’
- It is important to let the child know ‘You are not alone’
- Introduce your child to the school counselor and explain the counselor’s duty to confidentiality
- Be aware that children might prefer to use terms like ‘drama’, ‘mean gossip’, ‘pranks’ and ‘arguments’ instead of bullying.
- Provide Internet security. Here is a very informative link on how to do that.
Some practical advice for children and adults
- Don’t respond or retaliate!
- Block the bully so that he or she can’t send you messages online.
- Delete messages from bullies without reading them.
- Report to the content provider. The most popular webpages like facebook, google and Youtube make it easy to report cyberbullying.
- If they don’t stop, collect evidence! Save and print the messages.
- Talk to close friends. Bullies try to isolate their victim. It can help to talk the situation over with a friend and have a group of supporters stand behind you.
- Involve police if bullying is extreme.
Children feel shame and confusion and ask ‘why me?’
Most important! Develop an action plan TOGETHER!
Most children don’t tell their parents about being bullied. One of the reasons is that they are afraid their parents’ intervention will make things worse. So if your child comes to you feel lucky he or she trusts you.
- It is important to involve your child instead of taking over yourself.
- Collect more facts by talking with your child about the situation.
- Work out a plan of action together.
I am usually happy if people like my posts, smile and feel that they have learned something new. With this one however, I would be happy if you would share it.
I found these two webpages offering help anonymously as well as contact numbers.