Kids need their parents to be advocates when they are going through a bullying situation. Your child isn’t going to figure this out or resolve the issue on their own. It can be incredibly stressful for parents trying to help with bullying, but it’s even more stressful for your child and they need your support.
And this is truly a time when you need to step up, and you need to be an advocate for your kid with the school, and you need to give your child the skills to deal with bullies by bully proofing them.
The school may have no idea that your child is actually being bullied. You need to report the bullying to the school and you need to start with your child’s teacher. Start documenting everything that happened and start tracking bullying incidents as they occur.
Teachers are so busy and kids usually tease and bully when the teacher isn’t around, and some kids have extremely manipulative and sneaky behavior. And it’s a little astounding, I’m often shocked by how sneaky some of these kids can actually be.
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You need to be your child’s advocate with the school
The school will have a process when it comes to bullying. And the school has an obligation to follow that process to get the bullying to stop and ensure that your child is in a safe situation.
But I wouldn’t just depend on the school, you have to be the advocate and you have to be the person following up and making sure the bullying stops.
And bullying is also bully proofing our kids ourselves as parents because nobody is going to do this for you. And bully proofing a lot of it is actually life skills. Even though you’re going through this horrible situation that you didn’t sign up for, and you didn’t plan for, you have a great opportunity to teach your child some skills that they can use for life.
Four ways to be your child’s advocate when they are being bullied
- Start with teaching your child verbal self defense, it’s just one of the best things you can do for your kid if they’re being publicly humiliated or teased. And that’s something parents can do very, very quickly.
- The second thing parents can do is teach their children how to stay safe at school, especially if they feel physically in danger with a bully.
- Prepare your child for the bully. Think in advance of some things that the bully might do. And think of some ways that you can help your child prepare for that situation, how would they respond? What will your child do if they’re going to be sitting alone at lunch? What’s their plan B?
- Check in daily with your child to monitor the bullying. Find out what’s going on? What happened that day? Did the bully say anything to them, and keep a record of all that information because you may need that information to report to the school.
Be an advocate by removing your child from a bullying situation
If worse comes to worse, you may need to remove your child from an unworkable situation at a school.
In the workplace bullying isn’t tolerated but for some reason it still seems to be tolerated in many schools. Removing your child could be the best possible option but I would try a few other things first, like working with the school and bully proofing your child yourself.
No family wants to go through a bullying situation. It is really hard. It’s hard for the parent and it’s hard for the child, but there are solutions that you can try that will help.
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