Tell a friend
University of Colorado at
Boulder Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence:
Bullying Prevention Tips
Protecting Boys from Bullying
Socialization of School Age Children:
Acceptance and Rejection
Bullying Intervention Strategies That Work
Bullying in Public Schools
When You're Told There's Nothing They Can Do to Help Your
appears to be going fine with your child at school.
His or her grades are looking pretty good so far this year,
and there's enthusiasm about beginning each new school day.
You're feeling pretty optimistic about a great year for your
child and then out of the blue ... the tone begins to
change. Stomach aches in the mornings, calls from
school with complaints of headaches, stomach aches, and a
variety of other ailments, all requiring they leave school
immediately. You watch as the illness begins to become
a chronic situation and you schedule the doctor
appointments week after week because something has to be
child's physical health with a pediatrician or family physician should
always be your first step, however once you are able to determine that there
is no real medical problem, turn your sites to what's happening to your
child at school. Many times children avoid coming to parents
with difficulties at school for many reasons, ranging from fear of reprisals
for something they perhaps have done wrong, to bullying issues, or
difficulties with class work and even teachers. If you suspect
underlying issues affecting your child's willingness to attend school, then
you'll find the challenge has just begun.
Now what? You
have to encourage your child to let you help. Consider sharing a story
with them about situations you or one of your classmates encountered at
school that involved bullying, or class work challenges and yes, even
problems with teachers and how those many situations made you feel.
Let them know that you've shared some of those experiences and share with
them what your outcome of those situations were.
One of the
hardest things for parents to remember is how scary school can be.
Juggling an expected classroom performance with the unpredictable, and in
today's world, the potentially dangerous student body is an overwhelming
prospect. What parents have to nurture is a unshakeable level of trust
held by their children in the knowledge that regardless of whatever the
problem may be, their parents will battle through the hard times with them
standing toe to toe.
challenge is to make absolutely sure you live up to that level of trust.
It's sometimes difficult for parents and students to accept the fact that
when there's nothing ventured, there is usually nothing gained.
Bullies and difficulties with students can be overcome without your child
ever having to face a confrontation, and academic challenges, regardless of
it's nature, can be overcome with significant collaborative effort
from parents, students, and teachers. The key is parental
intervention, and the commitment to making sure that your child is allowed
to tackle their academic challenges and socialization issues at school in
the appropriate educational atmosphere.
Imagine what your life
would be like if
all you had to look forward to each day was torment from
your co-workers or piers. Imagine being shoved,
laughed at, called names, hit, and your belongings are
stolen from you or damaged while everyone chuckles in the
background. Imagine your self esteem and sense of
self worth being whittled away to nothing while you know
there is no other option available to you but to endure.
Imagine the dread each new day would bring if this
description fit your daily existence. This is a
situation we would never tolerate as adults, however many
of our children live through this very scenario every
single day they attend school.
administrators of our schools tell us, "We'll do what we can but we can't
watch them every hour of the day." So you walk away
feeling heartbroken, believing that there is nothing you can do to protect your
child. This is a story that's told entirely too often time and time
again within our public school systems nationwide.
What Parents Can Do...
Just as we would
never tolerate this situation in our workplaces, we
have to stand up and let our voices be heard for our
children. First and foremost we must look at
the ramifications of bullying on our children. Bob
Chase, President of the National Education
Association, in his speech in March of this year
zeros in on the root of the problem. "To
eliminate bullying, first we
must agree not to tolerate it
Mr. Chase goes on to say, "Bullying
exacts a terrible toll on children. First their school work suffers,
their physical and mental health suffers, and the scars can last a lifetime.
silent about your experience.
Bring the issue up at your local PTA meetings.
Your child is probably not the only child suffering at
the hands of a bully. Because we feel thwarted
when we're seeking help, we tend to accept defeat.
Our children can't afford for us to forfeit the fight
when their physical safety is at risk. Furthermore
it in unconscionable that any child should
have to, or be expected to endure this kind of