Sometimes things are overwhelming and you just need to have a Bullying action plan to make your life a little easier. I hope this step by step plan helps.
My first concern is always with the safety of the children involved. There are crisis situations being reported almost daily about bullying crossing the line. If your child has been assaulted or is experiencing serious threats please call the police. If the bully was bluffing that is fine...better safe than sorry. Otherwise you can follow these action steps to help your child.
First, talk to your child. Get the who, what, why and when and how often.
This may not be easy. If it has been awhile since you have connected with your child you may need communication tips. Once you have connected you can get all the details you need from your child. You must be persistant, patient and understanding. Your child may be feeling ashamed, scared or worse. There are reasons he kept the bullying secret. Talking to your child about bullying and getting the details will lead you to the second step.
Second, take a look at what has been happening and if your child is able decide on some solutions together.
You may want to consider the the level of bullying to help determine most appropriate solutions. Discuss the levels of bullying (You can use this website as a resource) to make some decisions about the types of solutions that will best fit you and your child. Make sure you keep in mind you are doing this "with" your child not "for" them or "to" them
Third, go through the problem solving process with your child. Decide, together on a solution or several solutions. Respect their wishes but explain to them you cannot leave them in harms way.
Bullying needs to be addressed. It will not go away if simply ignored. Think of it as an opportunity to teach your child about problem solving and build character while allowing the bully to do the same.
Fourth, put the solutions you agreed upon into action. This may mean your child does something differently, or you may need to advocate for them or even police involvement.
Fifth, follow up with your child. Determine if the solution/s is/are working. If the bullying continues you will need to go back to the third step and start the problem solving process again.
REMEMBER: Sometimes the solutions will not work. The bullying may escalate. Your child will be less likely to seek help if this is the case and so you need to stay involved.
This is a very key point for the success of this action plan and worth repeating. Sometimes the intervention or the solutions you try just make the bullying worse. Your child will be less likely to tell anyone the second time round for fear of even more retaliation.
You can return to this action plan to deal with bullying as often as is necessary. Keep seeking out support and solutions until the bullying stops. Don't get sidetracked by nasty misleading bullying beliefs. Make sure you include your child in the process as this will help them regain control of their lives and mitigate any long term effects.
More information about bullying
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