If you find out that your child may have been bullied, your first reaction may be to confront them and demand to know why they didn’t tell you. Before you talk with your child, consider these potential reasons why your child may have kept the information to themselves.
-They are ashamed of being bullied.
-They are afraid of retaliation if they tell an adult what’s happening.
-They don’t think that anyone can help them.
-They have bought into the lie that bullying is just a part of growing up.
-They believe that adults are part of that lie and they minimize bullying.
-They believe that tattling on their peers is not “cool”.
If you teach your child to approach difficulties as problems to be solved, they will be more likely to come to you to ask for help. They will know that they can count on your help to be instructive and constructive. Here are the messages that your child needs to hear.
-I hear you and I believe you. You are not alone.
-It is NOT your fault.
-There are things we can do.
Here are the things you don’t want to do
.-Don’t minimize, rationalize or explain away the bully behavior.
-Don’t rush in to solve the problem-unless, of course, your child is in immediate danger.
-Don’t tell your child to ignore the bully behavior.
-Don’t tell your child to fight back or confront the child who is bullying them alone.