Nothing is quite more devastating as a parent than watching your child be bullied or not accepted. This is an issue that many children and parents deal with throughout their educational career. What is even worse is that many parents go through just as much trauma as their children do. It is very hard for a parent to sit and watch their child come home from school night after night and listen to how they have been mistreated.
When parents let their children go out into the big wide world they often have high hopes of their children being accepted and embraced but unfortunately, this is often not the case. It is difficult for parents to come to the realization that their child is either the “bullier” or the child being bullied. We know that both children are hurting in some way but how do parents help them to learn how to be a better friend or teach them to cope?
During my career in education as a teacher, I have studied school-based bullying. I have sat across from a mother and father whose child has experienced bullying and I have also had to have difficult discussions with parents whose child is doing the bullying and mistreating others. While I will tell you that you cannot prevent or completely control what your child does or the difficulties that they will encounter, we can be the voice of reason and guide them towards the proper paths of how to respond to the circumstances and people that they encounter.
When it comes to the topic of bullying, parents can assist their children in several ways. For instance, to capitalize on children avoiding negative interactions with peers in the first place, parents can encourage a child’s emotional and interpersonal skills and most importantly support positive peer relationships. When bullying does happen, and we know that it will, parents can stand up for their child’s protection and demand that immediate action take place in rectifying the situation by the responsible adults in charge. It is important to note that the issue of bullying must be addressed by parents, teachers, administrators, and community members in order for awareness to be spread and consistently implemented.