If you stop long enough to think about bullying you probably have horrifying flashbacks to something you’ve experienced. It’s one thing for us as adults to remember those difficult encounters, but another one entirely to think about someone picking on our own kid.
When our child experiences bullying, we’re ready for the gloves to come off because, let’s face it, nobody messes with MY child! We also know fighting our children’s battles doesn’t help them in the long run. They need to experience difficulty, so how do we figure out when to step in and when to let them handle it?
Check out this incredible video that will equip you to begin the dialogue with your child about bullying.
The BIGGEST help we can be as parents is to develop a plan for dealing with a bully. Dealing with a bully is somewhat progressive in nature, so let’s view these in steps.
STEP 1-Tell the person bullying to STOP and walk away. Saying to them, “Don’t talk to me that way,” and walking away takes away their sense of power.
STEP 2-Confront the bully. Talk through a basic script that your child can use in confronting. “It’s not OK for you to treat me this way, and I won’t let it happen. If you don’t stop I will tell an adult.”
STEP 3-It’s time to get an adult involved. If it’s happening at school explain the situation to the teacher, if it’s on the bus speak with the bus driver, if it’s on a sports team talk with the coach, if it’s a neighbor speak with the child’s parents.
STEP 4-Next you involve that person’s direct supervisor. If the soccer coach doesn’t stop the bullying, it’s time for the league supervisor to get involved. If the school teacher isn’t stepping in, it’s time to speak with a principal.
The biggest assurance you can give your child is that God has equipped them to deal with this. 2 Timothy 1:7 says For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
Memorize this verse with your child so they have the reminder that God has given them the power to deal with a bully.
What about your family? Have you dealt with this already? What worked and what didn’t? We’d love to have your feedback on this issue as we all work together to parent well!