A. As a target of bullying;
B. As a Parent; and
C. I may be a bully – what should i do?
A. As a target of bullying
1. Defend Yourself Appropriately
. Tell them to stop
. Walk away
2. Tell someone about it immediately
. Trusted Adults. For example: parents, teachers, counselors, coaches & administrators.
. The offenders parents
. Campus police
. Keep a log.
. With your parents, immediately write a letter detailing the incident(s), i.e., who, what, when, and where the bullying took place.
Have your parents email this letter to the school official, and cc: ReportBullying@NVEEE.org.
. Within 48 hours follow-up with the administration.
. Do NOT post anything about the incident on social media sites.
4. Try to make friends with other students who share your interests.
5. Avoid situations where bullying can occur.
6. Do not resort to violence or carry any form of weapon. This will only escalate the conflict AND POSSIBLE LEGAL ACTION.
B. As a parent
Being a parent is never easy and many times your child may not want to tell you or even know how to bring up the subject of being targeted by bullying activities. That is why the first and most important step for you, as a parent, is to recognize the signs that your child may be being bullied.
Please reference this link for a list of warning signs and actions you can take to help your child.
Once you have recognized the signs the next step is to take action which should begin with an open dialogue about what is going on and why. Finally, it’s time to contact someone who can help, this could be a any number of people ranging from the parents of the child bullying your child, school officials, NVEEE, or a law enforcement officer if necessary.
Remember, a healthy dialogue to get all the facts straight is always the first step, begin with your child and then the school if necessary.
1. Communicate at home.
Let your child know you have concerns and remind them that you are there for them, here are some useful questions:
Do any of the kids at school pick on you or act overly aggressive?
Do you ever feel isolated like the other kids just won’t let you in?
What are the kids you hang out with like? how do they treat you, is it as an equal? Why do you hang out with them?
Does anyone at school bother you or make you mad? Why?
What about when you ride the bus do you sit with friends?
Do you have friends you sit with at lunch time regularly?
2. School staff aren’t just there to teach your kids, take the time to speak with them.
Make an appointment to speak with your child’s teachers. At the very least, try to speak with the teachers whose classes your child does the best, and the worst, at school to learn about who or what may be causing problems for your child.
Open up to the teachers, remember by questioning them you can learn more to help your child:
Ask a variety of your child’s teachers about your child’s interactions in class to get a clear picture of your child’s daily routine.
“Have you noticed or have you ever suspected that my child is bullying or being bullied by other students?”
“With whom does he or she spend free time?”
Test the teachers knowledge of bullying to ensure that they are not overlooking any activity that is properly classified as bullying.
C. I may be a bully – what should I do?
1. Acknowledge that you have bullied others.
2. Ask yourself – Do I want to continue being this kind of person? Is that the mark I want to leave on the world?
3. Make a list of reasons for why you want to change.
4. Make a list of all the people who have hurt or even insulted in your head.
If you thought someone’s shirt ugly, or you called them a horrible name in your head, and it was just a thought, INCLUDE THAT. You might not need to apologize verbally for that but you can forgive yourself and wipe the slate clean.
5. Apologize to the people you have hurt, bullied, harassed, or just said mean things about.
Share with them who you want to be moving forward, what changes you’ve made so far.
This may be the hardest step and you may need an NVEEE coach for this. It won’t happen overnight.
You may need to prepare for the people who will or will not accept your apology. So get guidance on the apologies you feel you need to make.
BUT MAKE THEM NOW! Don’t wait 10 years.
6. Befriend someone who was bullied, or who currently needs help recognizing that it’s not their fault.
7. Forgive yourself, and learn from your past behavior to change your future actions.
Let go of punishing yourself or having negative thoughts about what you created in the past or that is what you will be creating in your new future.