Finding out that your child is suffering is probably the hardest part of being a parent. Here are six ways you can help your child learn how to get a bully to stop while empowering your child at the same time.
1) This is something your child has to learn to deal with. There are bad people in the world and if you protect them from this reality, you are not preparing them to cope in the real world. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t teach your child how to get a bully to stop. Quite the contrary. It just means you are playing a supporting role to your child. You can’t fix this for them, but you can help them fix it and learn important coping skills at the same time.
2) Learn what it is you are supposed to be teaching them! Most parents weren’t taught how to stop a bully so they don’t know what exactly the skills are they should be teaching their child. A super parent doesn’t let their ignorance stop them. They learn what they need to learn so that they can teach it to their child. (This website can help and provides a behavioral science based approach – learn it, teach it to your child and share this material with others – please!)
3) Be patient. Getting a bully to stop is a process that takes time. You need to encourage and support your child through this process. They may be scared to start, and they will probably want to give up before they complete what needs to be done. Allowing your child to learn these skills means allowing them to learn it at their pace. You need to support and encourage them and keep on them to keep learning, Keep offering to teach them how to get a bully to stop and eventually they will take you up on your offer.
4) Help your child create a strategy. While you should be helping teach them what to do to get a bully to stop, the child needs to be in control of the strategy. What are they comfortable doing. What do they want you to do and what do they want to be responsible for themselves. What do they plan to do if their bully verbally abuses them? What are they going to do if their bully threatens them? What are they going to do if they are assaulted? Your child has to make these decisions for themselves, with their help. Because if they haven’t decided to do it, they won’t do it.
5) Be the liaison your child needs you to be with the school. While you cannot and should not be placing yourself between your child and their bully, you can enlist the support of the school to help keep your child safe. Communicate with the school and keep communicating with them until the problem is solved (if you need help on how to do this effectively – check out the free – how to talk to your child’s school about bullying program – https://bullyvaccineproject.com/how-to-talk-to-your-childs-school-so-they-will-actually-listen-and-help/)
6) And finally, keep watching your child. Bullying is traumatic and if your child is not coping well, consider getting them professional mental health care. Learning how to cope and deal with stress doesn’t come naturally to many people. Finding a professional to help you help your child is a super thing to do.