8 ways to banish bullying
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- 1. 8 Ways to Banish Bullying
2. How to Learn What's Going On
3. How to Learn What's Going On
Support your child.
While the mere thought of someone else's child bullying yours might be enough to make you see red, it's important to remain calm.
Don't interrogate your child and don't hijack her electronics -- or her life, for that matter.
Instead, tell her, in an easy and relaxed manner, that you've noticed this change. Ask if anything is up.
Don't push her to talk until she's ready.
Kristin*, the mother of a 12-year old bullying victim learned this firsthand: "I found the more that I prodded my son for details, the less he would tell me."
So you've stayed calm and casual, but your child still hasn't opened up to you. What now?
Try approaching someone else who is close to your child, like a sibling or a nanny. Express your concerns and ask if your child has told him or her anything.
Sometimes a kid wants to protect their parents from bad news and from worrying, so they'll tell someone else
When all else fails, approach your child very directly. Explain why you're worried and ask that your child talk to another trusted adult, if they refuse to speak to you.
5. Take a deep breath
Your encouragement to open up will most likely encourage him to come to you with his story.
The situation may upset you, but it is vital that you don't get too emotional.
Show your child that this is a safe space.
If you become very angry or distressed, your child will feel overwhelmed -- if his parent can't handle this, how can he?
6. How to Handle a Bullying Situation
Bullying can knock over your child's budding self-esteem and confidence.
It's important to show that bullying is -- unfortunately -- a normal experience.
Point to famous and respected role models who have survived teasing, taunting, and worse.
Share your own stories. Watch Mean Girls or The Breakfast Club.
Read a book like The Hundred Dresses.
8. Create a plan together
Rather than taking matters into your own hands, sit down with your child -- even at a very young one -- and decide what steps to take together.
You don't want your child to feel that he has lost control of the situation.
Remember that your child likely fears the bully and probably doesn't want to end up face-to-face with him, even with teachers present.
Teachers can monitor the situation and discipline as they see fit -- without ever revealing your child as the one who "tattled.
If you are worried for his safety or if the situation seems more serious than he's letting on, do feel free to approach the school yourself.
9. Make new friends
Find an extracurricular activity for your child outside of school or go to a new playground, where he can meet new people who haven't seen him bullied at school.
Befriending other kids will help boost his self-confidence, and just hanging out with kids who don't know about his situation will help him to forget about it -- if only for a couple of hours.
10. Attack on all fronts
What if the school isn't doing enough? Get the police involved. They probably won't put the bully in jail, but they can monitor the situation through increased a presence in your neighborhood and help you obtain a restraining order.
If that seems extreme, try meeting with the parents of the bully. Arrange to meet for coffee.
If not, ask the school to help arrange a meeting on neutral territory.
Otherwise: Get other parents involved. Put it on the agenda of town meetings and school board discussions.
11. Don't let your kid attack the bully
Dont become part of the problem
In schools today, when kids get involved in any physical altercation, they can face consequences even if they didn't start it.
Furthermore, the bully might lie to administrators about who started the fight and why. It's better to avoid that situation altogether. Always try to use words first - and not angry ones.
12. Talk to other moms
Seeing your child hurt and upset will hurt and upset you, so do remember take some time for yourself.
Have a mom's night out.
Start a discussion on an online parenting forum, like one of our groups.
Consider taking yourself to a counselor, or going to one as a family.
Go away for a weekend together and refrain from mentioning the situation even once.
Know that you'll live that way again.
13. Learn More
September 21, 2011
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