My Child is Being Bullied, What Can I Do?
When your child is being bullied, parents naturally have a range of emotional responses that boil to the surface. To be an effective advocate for your child, it is important that you acknowledge your emotions, then redirect your focus on developing an action plan to help the situation. Check out this resource on creating an action plan.
1. Talk with your child
Be prepared to listen without judgment - let them tell their story and learn as much as possible about the situation. Ask how long the behavior has been happening, who has been involved, if they have reported it to an adult at school, and what steps have been taken. Read these tips on how to talk with your child about bullying
2. Support and empower your child
Empower your child to create an action plan to help stop the bullying, and talk with them about intervention strategies. Creating a plan that works with your child's strengths and abilities helps to build self-confidence and resilience.
Behaviors to Avoid:
- Telling your child to stand up to the bully - this implies it's your child's responsibility to handle the situation. Instead, brainstorm options with your child about what you can do as a team to respond to the situation.
- Taking matters into your own hands - most parents first reaction is to try fix the situation and remove their child from harm; however, when a child tells a parent about bullying, they are looking for the parent to guide them to a solution that makes them feel empowered. They want to be involved in the process of determining the steps to take.
3. Document everything
Along with writing down a plan and the steps that you have or will plan to take, keep written documentation of all incidences and responses. This information will be helpful for building administrators or law enforcement. Check out this resource on Record Keeping and Bullying
4. Think through who else should be involved
Within your action plan should be a strategy for how to involve others that can help your child. Think through how you will involve the principal, any of your student's teachers, bus drivers, or another adult who your child trusts at school.