In order to wrap up this series on bullying, I want to address a couple of the things we as parents/adults should NOT do when a child is being bullied, as well as highlight the need to address the person doing the bullying.
What Not to Do
- Do not tell your child to ignore the bullying. While you may be good intentioned in telling them to do so, you may be inadvertently telling them that it isn't a big deal and that you are going to ignore it. Trying to ignore bullying can sometimes allow it to become more serious.
- Do not blame your child for being bullied. Do not assume that they did anything to provoke the child. This may lead them to think that they are doing something wrong and that they deserve to be bullied. Of course, you do want to make sure you get as much of the truth as possible, and this is best done by involving the school.
- Do not encourage your child to hurt the child who is bullying them. Your child may end up hurt, suspended, or expelled. Not to mention it just makes the problem worse.
- Do not contact the parents of the child who is bullying your child. It is best to go through an intermediary, such as the school if possible. Confronting the child's parents, especially when you yourself are emotionally charged, can serve to make matters worse.
- Do not demand or expect a solution on the spot. However, do follow-up and stay on top of the situation to make sure that it is being handled appropriately.
We need to do something to address the bullies themselves. We will need to figure out why they are lashing out at other children and help them resolve those issues. We need to send a message, and back it up, that this behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. This also means that we as adults need to look at how we act and whether or not we are setting a good example for our children and acting as good role models.
For additional resources on bullying check the U.S. Government's website.