We previously discussed the reasons why a child might resort to bullying and how to handle a child who bullies others. We also tackled two important facts:
- Bullying starts at home and is dealt with at home first
- A bully is a normal child who misbehaves and has to be given a chance to alter his behavior
We also mentioned that handling a bully should be a joint effort between the family and school. If the mother of a bully takes steps to redirect this behavior, how can she ensure that the school is cooperating as well?
Schools should take a firm but gentle approach with the bully, as well as monitor the situation closely. However, due to the pressure that the school is under from the bullied kids’ parents, some schools may take restrictive actions against the bully.
Rahet Bally’s Certified Positive Discipline Educator from Positive Discipline Association USA, Rana Hany, recommends the following for the bully’s parents:
The school MUST not shame your child
The school counselor should sit with the child privately and ask them about the reasons behind their behavior. The school shouldn’t by any means shame the child, especially publicly, or frame them for annoying the other children. Public humiliation and shaming will not solve anything.
Ensure that the child corrects his/her mistake
The school counselor should talk to the bullying child about the effect of this behavior on other kids and how it hurts. They should give the child a chance to reconsider the whole situation. Then, the counselor should ask the child to think of ways to undo the negative feelings – anger, sadness, fear – of the bullied kids. It could be in the form of a verbal apology, gift, sharing something, helping them with schoolwork or assignments, or whatever the child thinks of.
Cooperation with the school
It’s important to completely focus on the interests of your child without being offended or defensive. Accept that your child has misbehaved and that it’s not the end of the world. Understand that the school is under a lot of pressure from other parents. Offer to cooperate with them without grudges.
If you’ve been in a similar situation before, share your experience and how you dealt with it, so other parents can benefit as well.
- Parenting: How to Raise Compassionate and Kind-Hearted Children
- Parenting: How to Raise Independent and Responsible Children
- My Child Is a Bully. What Should I Do?