What to Do When the Schoolyard Bully is Harassing Your Child
A schoolyard bully is something no one should have to deal with, and competent schools staffed with intelligent teachers and principals are implementing no-tolerance policies when it comes to bullying and harassment. Unfortunately, teachers and other school staff aren’t always observant or ready to step in when needed. With the new school season upon us, here are some tips to help you should your child become the victim of this year’s schoolyard bully.
Never Blame Your Child
First and foremost, make sure you handle the situation properly when your child tells you about the bullying. Never ask your child what he or she “did” to entice the schoolyard bully. Just quietly listen to what your child is telling you, and try not to let your child see if you’re upset. Being calm and supportive is key.
Don’t Ignore It
Some parents feel the need to tell their child to ignore the schoolyard bully or to try to befriend the harassing child. Neither of these ideas are good ones.
First of all, ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away and that’s not a tactic you want to teach your child. Secondly, having your children befriend bullies means they begin hanging around those people and they may start to develop undesirable characteristics because of it.
Violence is Not the Answer
It may be tempting to tell your child to fight back, but it’s not the right answer. Not only does it teach your child that situations can be resolved with violence, but it puts your child at risk of being suspended or even expelled.
Demand Answers and Results
So how do you handle the problem? Call the school and explain to a teacher and/or the principal what is going on and that it is not acceptable. Demand results and if your school is one of the few slower ones that have not yet implemented a no-tolerance policy, advice them they need to do so.
A no-tolerance schoolyard bully policy is the best way to avoid school tragedies, and smart schools know that.