In my last post, I discussed warning signs that your child might be bullied. In this post, I'd like to begin outlining steps parents can take if they discover that their child is in fact being bullied.
First of all, don't blame your child. If your child tells you that he is being bullied, don't ask him what he did to aggravate the bully. Doing so will only close the doors of communication between you and your child as well as make him feel like he is the one in the wrong.
Second, talk to your child about the bullying. Gather as much information from your child as you can. Listen to them as they tell you what happened. Try to find out who is doing the bullying, what they are doing, where it is occurring, and who else might have witnessed the event(s). This information will be useful in dealing with the bullying.
In our office, I don't recommend parents encourage physical retaliation. Saying something like, "Well just hit him back" won't likely solve the situation and may cause your child to get in trouble as well.
Another common mistake parents make is calling the bully's parents. This idea is unlikely to solve the situation and may only make matters worse for your child. Check back next week for more strategies on how to handle your child being bullied.