MY CHILD IS BEING BULLIED. WHAT CAN I DO?
Watchwoman: No one special group has a lock on bullying. It occurs to all kinds of children every where and there is always a bully who thinks he/she has the right to bully and torture any one who doesn’t “fit the mold”. When I was in school (and that was a long time ago) I saw it happen to a least one student every year. My mother taught me that if someone were being bullied I should be extra nice to that person. I was. I recall sometimes that the only Valentine a bullied person got was from me. My heart still aches for those unfortunate people. And it’s still going on today. If you are a Christian, you should take up the part of the helpless, from the unborn, to the elderly, including the students in school who don’t “fit the mold”, to defend the “fatherless,” the Bible says, to whomever is downtrodden and teased. It is wrong not to defend the helpless or to just stand by and allow it to happen without taking up the part of the unfortunate ones. “Whatsoever you do to the least of My brethren, that you do unto Me.” (Words of Jesus in a song based upon the Words from the Holy Bible.)
[Matthew 25:35-40 KJV] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
▬ Donna Calvin
What Is Bullying?
Most kids have been teased by a sibling or a friend at some point. And it’s not usually harmful when done in a playful, friendly, and mutual way, and both kids find it funny. But when teasing becomes hurtful, unkind, and constant, it crosses the line into bullying and needs to stop.
Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extorting money and treasured possessions. Some kids bully by shunning others and spreading rumors about them. Others use email, chat rooms, instant messages, social networking websites, and text messages to taunt others or hurt their feelings.
It’s important to take bullying seriously and not just brush it off as something that kids have to “tough out.” The effects can be serious and affect kids’ sense of self-worth and future relationships. In severe cases, bullying has contributed to tragedies, such as school shootings.
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Making sure ‘back to school’ doesn’t mean ‘back to bullying’
Despite widespread efforts to deal with the problem, bullying is a persistent issue in schools, says Donna Henderson, a professor of counseling at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“The goal is to create a no-bullying environment for children. It’s hard because we live in a world that accepts violence, intimidation and power as currency in life,” Henderson said in a university news release.
Henderson offered tips for parents to prevent their children from becoming bullies or victims:
- Ask school officials and teachers about what they do to prevent bullying and hold schools accountable for their anti-bullying policies.
- Watch for warning signs in children at the start of the new school year, such as sudden changes in behavior and not eating.
- When you see bullying behavior, call it bullying and tell your children that it’s unacceptable behavior.
- Discuss bullying with your children. Use real situations, news stories, television programs and movies as opportunities to talk about bullying.
- Regularly ask children about bullying and address any problem immediately.
- If your child is being bullied, letting them know you understand and share their distress can help them feel better.
- Discuss and/or role play possible responses to bullying, such as walking away, not showing emotion, staying in groups to avoid being singled out, and confronting a bully.
- Do some self-assessment. If you use intimidation in your dealings with others, you may be setting a bullying example for your child. Or if you’re bullied by other adults and don’t put a stop to it, your child will believe that’s the way to respond to bullies.
The Nemours Foundation has more about bullying.