Don’t make this mistake when helping your child cope with bullying
We all mean well, but sometimes, as parents, we make mistakes. Often out of ignorance. We don’t mean to, but we don’t know better. And sometimes our mistakes make things worse. This is especially true if the problem we are trying to solve is bullying.
This may seem odd, but I see a lot of parents, whose children are being bullied, put the responsibility of getting the bullying to stop, onto someone else, that someone else being the teacher or principal or administrator of the school. I’m not saying teachers and principals aren’t responsible; it’s just that they aren’t the only people who are.
The other way parents deflect responsibility is by putting the responsibility for the bullying kid onto the bully’s parents. Bad parents cause bad bullying. Nothing you can do about that. And again, I’m not saying that the parents of the bully aren’t responsible for how their child acts. It’s just that making them responsible for protecting YOUR child isn’t likely to work.
It’s your child!
Like it or not, you are going to have to take responsibility for helping your child AND that means doing a bit of work. Is it inconvenient? Yes. It is heart breaking? Yes. Is it difficult to do? Yes. That’s why most parents shift the blame onto other people. Because then the suffering of their child isn’t their own fault. It’s someone else’s.
But the real problem is that most parents don’t know how to get bullies to stop themselves. This is why they try to make other people responsibility for what is happening to their child. They feel helpless because they don’t know what to do. And rather than feel helpless, they shift the blame and the responsibility onto someone else.
Don’t do this!
If your child is being bullied, don’t give this problem to someone else to solve. This isn’t someone else’s problem. It’s yours. You are the parent.
Your first step is to educate yourself on what actually works to get bullies to stop. And what works is behavioral training in the form of operant conditioning. All good bullying programs teach these techniques in some form. What you need to know is the entire process from start to finish of what it takes to get a bully to stop. What are the step by step actions you and your child need to take to get this problem to stop.
- You as the parent need to actively teach these skills to your child and you need to keep teaching them and being their cheerleader as they encounter resistance – which they will as that is a normal part of the extinction process you are teaching them.
- You as the parent need to act as your child’s advocate with the school, the teachers and the administrators and school bus drivers etc.
- And you as the parent need to maintain the documentation that may be required if the bullying situation is not easily resolved.
I realize that learning your child is a victim of bullying is scary and heartbreaking. But don’t let your fears prevent you from doing what you need to protect your child. I developed this site so that parents would have the resources they need to learn what actually works. How to work with the school effectively and how to teach their children the all-important skills of how to get an aggressive bully to leave them alone!
You aren’t in this alone, but you will be if you try to make this someone else’s problem. Please take advantage of the resources this website offers and learn how to stop bullies effectively.