I’ve been blogging about bullying for ages, but it’s a complicated subject and I realised that you might be needing a quick summary on how to start tackling the issue. Please bear in mind that you will probably need to read my other blogs to get the background situation and examples, plus you will definitely need to read the Bullying Summary of the concepts.
So this is a ‘quick’ summary. With the proviso, that it is ‘quick’, not thorough, and there are different degrees of bullying, some of which are quickly resolved and some of which you might need some assistance with.Step 1 – Deal with your issues first so you can be objective
This is an emotional subject and you are likely to either be upset because you are remembering what it was like to be bullied yourself, feeling terribly protective, or really mortified because you feel guilty that your child has been doing the bullying. So in order for you to deal with this, you first need to be able to see the situation clearly.
Step 2 – Stand back and have a look at the Support/Challenge
If your child is being ‘bullied’, where is the support/ease/life going the way they like it? Where are they ‘popular’? Where are they getting their own way? Are they ‘over-protected’ somewhere?
If you child is the ‘bully’, where is the challenge/difficulty/unease in their lives? Are they feeling insecure, lacking in power, bored, or needing more freedom?
Step 3 – What are they getting from it on both sides?
What is your ‘bullied’ child getting from being bullied? Why do their so called ‘persecutors’ need to do it? What is your ‘bullying’ child getting from the bullying? What are their so called ‘victims’ getting from it? What do they all need to learn? What is it directing them to do or not do?
Step 4 – Devise a strategy
1) Where can you help to re-balance the support/challenge in your child’s life? Does the bully need something to give them more security, or more clear guidelines/boundaries, or for a parent to back off, or for a parent to stand up for themselves more? Does the bullied child need more responsibility at home, less spoiling, or more consistency and rules.
2) Help your child learn directly, what they have been learning indirectly. Now my son is nearly 4, so I can have chats with him, but I also need to use things like role playing with puppets to get the point across. If your child doesn’t understand chats, then you might want to look for a media that they will understand for example a story/book/film/TV program that will initiate a conversation. If they are bullying they may need to understand the consequences of their actions, either with a form of punishment or a look at how it will affect them detrimentally in the future. How can you teach them the social interaction lessons that they are learning from the episodes?
3) Involve the school Just because I don’t think that bullies are bad kids, doesn’t mean that I don’t think that the school should get involved. I don’t think that vilifying the bullies will help, or rescuing the bullied. However, clear signals an rules as to what is expected and allowed in behaviour at school is definitely necessary.
4) Create a plan of action & monitor it Remember you can’t remove bullying from your child’s life, but you can rejig where it displays. So create a plan of action, and then monitor it over a period of time to see where it is and isn’t working. Get in touch with me on my fan page or via my website if you require any assistance.