If you suspect your child is being bullied or if you get evidence that he or she is, there are important and necessary steps to help. There are also things you can do to be proactive.
Have Open and Trusting Communication
Both you and your spouse should talk with your child and share your suspicions or evidence of bullying. Be sure to have him share and participate in the solutions. This is an opportunity for an important conversation about values, behaviors and your expectations.
Listen carefully, get the specifics, and find out more about his relationships. Stand behind your child 100% and be sure he is honest and understands the consequences of possible threats. If he is not honest, you have bigger problems to deal with immediately.
Talk with Other Parents and See a School Administrator
If you learn about something going on that involves students at his school, you might visit with a school administrator. Call the other parents, get their perspectives, and if their children are being bullied, encourage those parents to see the administrator.
Be Involved with Your Child’s Friends and Their Parents
It is imperative that you be involved with your child’s friends and know their parents. Know how everyone communicates his or her feelings and handles teasing. You know these things when you participate in your child’s activities and your home is a place where his friends hang out and are welcomed by you.
Teach Your Child How to Deal with Bullying Behaviors
Discuss strategies with your child to stop bullying by walking away, not communicating with the bully, and not getting physical. By helping him talk about differences and develop problem-solving skills, he will have building blocks for bullying prevention or management.
Build Your Child’s Self Esteem
Always find ways to develop your child’s self-esteem. Help him discover and cultivate his talents. Help him apply his strengths when he has challenges. These things will assure he finds true friends.
Encourage only positive friendships.