For part 1 of this series on bullying, click here. Now we pick up at point two about dealing with bulling issues:
Remember that bullying is a process of shaming, and so your child will likely be embarrassed when it happens. When they see that or accidentally see inappropriate material online, they need to know that they can come to you and be safe.
The concept of the family as a team also guides your children for how to care for one another whenever they are away from home. A team cares for one another. A team encourages and spurs one another forward. Team members put each other first. In this way, we teach our children what an appropriate level of responsibility for one another is.
But what do I do if my child is already being bullied?
The points above are never too late to implement into your home. If you have found out that your child is being bullied, take these two steps as a part of deciding what is best to do.
Remove the shame –Bullying is, at its core, shaming another person in order to gain control. The assumption for a child is that if you were more popular or better at sports you would not have been bullied. This simply is not true.
Therefore as a parent you remove the shame from your child. Show your child respect by listening to all that they tell you about what happened. Listen first, and hold the talking for after they are finished.
Once your child is finished, remind them that it is not their fault that they were bullied. Praise your child for who they are, and speak identity into them. Be specific on this. Remind your child who they are. And especially if your child is resistant to this type of praise, find creative ways to speak this truth to them over the next several days.
Whenever possible, make a unanimous decision about what to do. Make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what is going to be said or done. Be open to your child’s feedback, and set a date that the three of you will talk again in the near future to follow-up. This allows for adjustments to be made and gives your child another chance to naturally share about what is going on.
Josh Berger can be reached and scheduled with for training, teaching, or counseling at Alethia Counseling Center – Houston. For more resources on anti-bullying advocacy, visit NAPAB.org.
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I believe we all need a safe place to explore the issues that may be preventing us from experiencing a full and satisfying life. My greatest reward as a therapist is helping my clients examine ways to make the changes in their lives that will allow them to look forward to the future with hope. I am a bilingual (Spanish-English) LPC.
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