It’s the one call that no parent wants to receive. The call from their child’s school and naming your angel a bully. We all want to believe that our kid is not the bully, but it does happen. Even in family’s that teach boundaries and respect. Why do they do it? What can you do?
Reasons For Bullying
There are several reasons why a child will turn to bullying. One of the most common reasons is when a child experiences bullying. At some point, they feel enough is enough. They will move into the mode of bullying them first. Kids who are popular will bully to maintain their status. Sometimes, children pick up social cues from reality television shows. Politics, media, and witnessing other kid’s bully, can also lead to encouraging bullying. We assume children can differentiate “normal” behavior from television shows. It isn’t always the case.
If You Get The Call
The first thing to do is to take a deep breath. Gather every detail about the situation. School officials won’t tell you who the other child. Let the school know you want to work with them for a positive outcome. You do need to take into consideration how your child is being treated at school. If this is a first-time incident, you will have an easier time dealing with this. If there have been issues leading up to this incident, those need to factor in. Sometimes children experience different punishment for the same “crime”. If this is the case, you will move to speaking with the school board for resolution.
Acknowledge The Events
You must sit down and have a frank discussion with your child. It is best if you are firm, but do not yell. Yelling will cause the child to tune you out and you won’t get anywhere. Begin with what happened but take the time to listen. Ask how they felt when everything was happening. Avoid blaming anyone and don’t counter the child if their story doesn’t match up with the school’s. Shift towards processing how they would’ve felt if it happened to them. How would they feel? Is this a respectful thing to do? Reinforce family values by reminding them that the family is respectful. Remind them that “we don’t treat people they way we wouldn’t want to be treated”.
Consequences Are A Must
When trying to reinforce the idea that bullying is wrong, consequences are necessary. Age-appropriate and something that teaches them a lesson is most helpful. Yes, you can take away the X-Box or television time. It shouldn’t end there. Have them write a paragraph on how it would feel if they were the victim. An apology letter or reading the Stop Bullying government website are helpful also.
Work With The School
Don’t forget to talk with school officials about the actions you are taking at home. Sometimes they will go easier on punishments if a family is taking an active effort. If they have any other requirements that the child must fulfill, make sure they do them.