If a child is the victim of bullying, the worst thing that an adult can do is nothing. I have heard
many times adults assert that kids need to work it out amongst themselves. I have asked adults
who propose this solution that if they were the ones being bullied, or sexually harassed at work
by a bully, if they would try to continue to “work it out” with someone who didn’t care, or go to
their supervisors? Often times when incidents of extreme bullying continue, adults, and
supervisors need to get involved.
What can adults/parents do in cases of child bullying? Parents and adults need to intervene
immediately, get all of the facts and then act for the benefit of their child. They can help victims
of bullying by doing the following:
1) Listen carefully and talk to your kids about life at school, especially if there is a marked
change in mood or attitude.
2) Talk to their children about their options in dealing with the bully. They can try to ignore the
bully, be forthright and up front with the bully. They might also encourage their child to go to
their teachers for help.
3) Parents might role play some of the options to improve the child’s self-confidence. Parents
might try to teach their children to walk more confidently. Also, they might enroll their child in
self-defense courses or other sports that promote self-esteem building.
4) Parents should ask their children what kinds of other help they might need. They might need
to speak to a counsellor.
5) Parents need to remind their children of the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”.
Research shows that bullying falls out of favour as children progress through junior high school.
It is estimated in the USA that 20% of children attending school are frightened throughout their
school day! If you know that your child or any child is being bullied, you need to get involved
and help be a difference maker!