Problem Solving to help a bullied child is an important solution to bullying. As parents we need to strive to give the bullied child control over her life, support and guidance which has a huge impact on minimizing possible long term effects of bullying.
Ok, so you are doing great…you got your child talking about bullying and now they need help to figure out what to do about it…
Remembering you are problem solving to help a bullied child and not doing it for them. Collaborate with your child through the process of problem solving to help a bullied child to come up with options that feel right for your child.
Some good advice I read in the Family Virtues Guide by Linda Kavelin Popov with Dan Popov Ph.D and John Kavelin: “Don’t Tell ASK"
If you keep this simple phrase in mind it will keep you from making common mistakes.
Helping a bullied child problem solve involves allowing your child to make decisions. Thus getting some control back into their lives. Instead of telling your child what to do about the bullying…Ask your child…What do you think you need to stop the bullying?
Start problem solving to help a bullied child by brainstorming solutions. By the way this is the way to solve any problem…It works for everything…
A word (or two) from your Coach. Keep in mind this process can be used for any problem you face. The steps never change. Good decisions result from being active with problem solving and getting to be pro-active instead of re-active.
All the Best, Cheers Vicki
Step One: Brainstorm Possible Solutions
Sit down with your child and just start coming up with solutions. Ideas you have read, heard about, researched or suggested. Now is not the time to evaluate, judge or criticize. You just want a great list of ideas that might help deal with bullying.
Your list may look like this:
Child: Lets move to the moon
Child: I could avoid him on the way home
Adult: Could you use a different street to get home?
Child: I could get counselling.
Adult: mmhmmm, what else?
Child: Stop going to dance
Child: I could go to karate class
Adult: Maybe working on learning to protect yourself would help?
Child: Just do what they say so they leave me alone
Adult: Would it help if we moved you to another school?
Child: One of the other kids told a teacher
Adult: What else have other kids done that helped?
Child: I could ask my friends to help
Child: I could stand up to the bully
Child: You could talk to the teacher
Just write all the ideas…good bad or indifferent does not matter. This will help the child see he is not alone in this and there are many options and choices…Even if moving to the moon is not feasible.
Keep going till you don’t have any more ideas…Notice the adult:
· sometimes encourages more ideas from the kid…
· sometimes just says mmmhmmm and
· sometimes offers suggestions to help the child think up more ideas.
If your child can’t come up with any solutions read this together…Then make a list.
Step Two: Choose the top 3 to Evaluate
Next go through and evaluate the top options/solutions for dealing with bullying.
What is realistic? What would work? What might work if you adjust it? Has your child used any of the strategies in the past that have worked? What would make things worse?
Remember all these questions have to be answered by your child. You can offer guidance but in the end your child needs to feel good about the choices.
Step Three: Consider the Benefits/Consequences of each option
Pick the top three. Consider the long and short term benefits and consequences. So you go through the process and decide:
Because the bullying happens after school on the way home your child is going to
Option #1: Take a different route home
Option #2: Get assertiveness training.
Option #3: Get a ride from parents
Step Four: Take Action
Now it is time to try out your action plan. As Nike says “JUST DO IT”
Step Five: Evaluate the Results
So you try out the plan. It turns out taking the bus won’t work as your child has to walk by the bully to get to the bus. Get a ride from parents did not work because the parents work full time and could not always make themselves available. You made some calls in your community and discovered a great Assertiveness training program your child will join but it does not start for several weeks. Ok, so first round nothing worked out. This is a beginning. What are the next best choices.
Step Six: Repeat the Process until you get the results you want
Keep repeating until something works. Perhaps creating time to spend with your child every week. Having your child take the bus. Tell the school and request support for you child to over come this issue….There are always options. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.
The important thing is your are giving your child control over his /her life. You are guiding them through the process of problem solving to help a bullied child without doing it for them. They are deciding. You are letting your child know they are not alone and there are options. There are always solutions and sometimes just going through the process of problem solving to help a bullied child is the best option..