If your child was bullied, how did you handle it?
A blog in The New York Times (October 31, 2013) in the Booming section, asked parents to write in about how they responded when they learned that their child was bullied. Parents are always torn between jumping in and taking action or finding a way to let their child handle it themselves.
More often then not, parents don’t know that their kid is on the bullied end of recess. I remember when I was 12 years old, I had several kids in my apartment complex push me around.
I was humiliated and angry. I never spoke to my parents about any of it. I plotted revenge, which fortunately, I never had the opportunity to exact.
Physical aggression is one form of bullying. But the more common kind is social and emotional. The author of the blog describes having her three best friends simply stop talking to her, for no obvious reason. Exclusion is a painful weapon that cuts out the hearts of early adolescents. It’s cruel.
Now cyber bullying is even more common. Posting nasty rumors on Facebook or sending around doctored up photos have resulted in teenage suicide. It’s almost too awful for parents to imagine.
Parents hope that school officials will intervene. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes their involvement makes things worse for the child—which is what our children fear. What we want is for schools to foster a culture of acceptance and empathy, which will result in less bullying.
Please share how you handled this issue when you discovered that your child was bullied. We can learn from each other.