Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Recently a mother of a 13 year old boy wrote to me to inquire about a situation her son is facing at school with bullying and cruel comments. I included the response in this blog because I know that many children are facing difficult situations like these and are not sure what to do about it.
Parents become frustrated in trying to protect their children but sometimes find they are not getting the cooperation from schools and teachers as much as they would like. I have encountered this numerous times and hear the frustration of parents facing these circumstances. While my first recommendation is to work with the school teachers, counselors and administration, it may not always yield the desired results.
There are a broad range of responses from schools and school teachers regarding bullying. I have encountered schools who take bullying quite seriously and are well equipped to take positive action. Other times, I have seen teachers turn a blind eye to bullying behavior under the misguided notion that, "Boys will be boys." Worse yet, I have encountered teachers who are manipulative bullies themselves who believe on a gut level that "the kid is getting what he deserves" or "needs to toughen up". In any event, the school nor the teacher will ever be the child's parent. Your child needs you to help him learn how to deal with this situation so he can be equipped to properly manage it for the rest of his life. But this isn't something he should do alone.
Our 5 step how to handle a bully process uses a multi-faceted approach that treats the targeted child (the bullied), the bullying behavior (the "bully" or "bullies"), the social environment fostering and tolerating the bullying behavior, the policies of the school, as well as the parents of the involved children.
Good communication and a little knowledge with role playing can go a long way in handling bullying problems. Don't give up! Keep trying to work with the school, coaches, teachers, counselors and the administration - your child is worth it. There is hope and some great options available. I hope this advice to a concerned mother on How To Handle Bullying in School is some assistance and encouragement to mothers (and fathers) and their children suffering from bullying.