The number of bulling cases and physical abuses, as well as mental torture among peers in school environment are increasing on a very uncomfortable scale. We are all aware of the unacceptable bullying incidents that are taking place in our communities and the challenges our children are facing. My heart goes out to the families facing disappointment by their school systems that do end up failing when it is about taking vital measures against prevention sometimes.
I want to take this opportunity to share some guidelines for the parents on how they can prep their children to be ready for any bully that shows up.
1. We need parents to stand with their children and show up for them when they have suffered bullying/trauma; because, children need to know they have a strong support system. Many parents ask their kids to “ignore” the situation and let their children feel helpless. Children should always feel their backs are strong, and parents are on their side; also, parents need to trust their children when they open up about hurt or harm.
2. We need children to have the courage to stand up and voice! Many children cannot push against the bully and allow misbehavior to happen; why? Because, we do not teach them to “defend” themselves, be resilient, instead we ask them to “ignore, accept, and let it go.” There is a keen difference between, letting little things slide, and accepting hurtful abuse.
3. We are raising our kids to be “submissive.” Before they even voice and share, poor children are doubting themselves 1st, “am I the one at fault?” Let’s face it, more children are suffering gaslighting at home; this is training their mind to have self-doubt.
First, be an involved parent. Do take part in your children’s school activities and introduce yourself to other parents and teachers. Second, form friendships, and get to know other parents; this will give you insight into the friends and company your children will be spending most of their day with. Please, stay away from judgment, only friendly manners of ethics and communication. Positive relationships prevent bullying and create a support system where parents and children look out for each other.
Yes, bullying needs to stop. Schools need to take more significant measures. But before that, our children need to learn how to “stand up” and “speak up” without fear of getting in trouble.
Teach your children never to throw the 1st punch or slap; never be the 1st to make skin contact with the bully or troll.
Ask your children to go to the nearest teacher/ person of authority when facing a bully or abusive situation. This is not tattling; this is looking out for self and others.
If there is no response from the authoritative adults in the school, children can demand to have their parents called to the school or text their parents themselves.
If your child comes home sad, mad, and quiet, then parents need to investigate and ask the child what the matter is? Build the trust with your child that makes it easy for them to open up.
If your child shares an experience of physical or mental abuse, then parents need to take “immediate actions.”
Demand meeting with the “bully’s parents” through school; if the school refuses (which happens often), ask for updates and school’s course of action and progress. Keep contact information of school district officials as well.
Also, keep PTA-published student/Parent directories that have parent contact information. This comes very handily if you need to connect with the parents personally.
Lazy parents who blame their children instead of calling out the bully, bully their children at home themselves as well; this is when we have children who are growing up and developing in two ways:
A) The children who are struggle to stand up and defend themselves, allowing and accepting abuse. They are growing up with parents or family who gaslight and bully; so, bullying becomes an acceptable behavior.
B) The Children turn into the bullies themselves. Their anger vents out in form of aggressive behavior on someone weaker and someone they can have power over. Sometimes, making someone feel bad feels incredible, and the bully needs to feel that power that comes with spreading fear because, in the bully’s life, fear is powerful.
So, parents, be the pillar for your children. Watch how you communicate and behave with them; remember to always stand with your children.
Having said that, if you find out your children are suffering in any form, sometimes even teachers are not all that innocent, call the abuser out and work with the appropriate authority.
1st and foremost, your child needs to know that you have their back.
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Nida Jawed Certified Life Coach
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