An Indirect Approach to Prevent Bullying

For Parents

If your child won’t discuss the problem, try this indirect approach. Sometimes parents and teachers hear about the bullying from another source. When they confront the child, they may encounter denial, negation or minimization of the bullying. It can sound like this: ‘I am used to being teased’ or ‘I just try and forget it is happening’ or ‘I don’t mind’ or ‘He started it’. Most children don’t like upsetting their parents or involving teachers, so don’t listen to the first layer of denial. Discuss with your child the dangers of being bullied and the importance of doing something constructive.

Be aware that children of all ages are exposed to nasty swear words at most primary and secondary schools: the worst words, e.g. the ‘f ‘word, are used in Year One in the best private schools! Many children are too scared or embarrassed to tell adults about the toxic swearwords they receive – ‘How could I tell my parents that he told me to “get fucked” when I’m not allowed to swear at home?’ Question her: ‘Has anyone said or done anything else that makes you feel very bad, but you are not sure if you are allowed to tell me?’ Give your child permission to talk about these bad words, even though she is not normally allowed. Unless exposed, these words may continue to wound your child for years to come.
Ask your child:

‘What are the words used to tease children at your school?’
‘What are the nasty things children do to other children?’
‘What do the other children do while it is happening?’
‘What do you do?’
‘Do the teachers know, and what do they do?’
And then (after a pause):
‘Has this ever happened to you?’
‘How often does it happen in a day, a week or a month?’
‘Where does it happen – class, corridor, yard, on the way to school?’
‘What do your friends do?’
‘Does the school know you are very scared every day?’
Parents as social coach

We know that some shy children can blossom into social beings, while others remain socially inept or handicapped, more likely to bully or be bullied. The psychologist, school counselor or a caring teacher can see a child for only a few hours each week. But you, as the parent, have far more time to coach your child and build his social and emotional resilience. You provide the early social learning environment for your children. This is later adapted and modified by other social experiences at school and elsewhere.

One day someone enterprising will create a social survival skills program which can be directly installed into a child’s brain. Meanwhile, help your child trash his negative beliefs and replace them with respectful, assertive, self-protective behaviors. All the skills in this book are practiced every day, everywhere, by confident, popular children. If you don’t believe me, then just check with your child how the sociable, popular kids would react in a similar situation.

By: Francis David

This entry was posted in Learning Disabilities and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>