ONE THING MUST BE MADE ABSOLUTELY
clear when an attempt is being made to resolve a bullying situation—the victim of bullying must be guaranteed effective protection. Close follow-up is needed until the danger of new attempts at bullying has passed. Teachers and school administrators have a special responsibility to safeguard the victim at school. The bullied student must be able to trust that the adults are both willing and capable of providing the help he or she needs. If bullying problems are taken up in class in a rushed or casual manner, without ensuring that the victim is given solid protection against further harassment, the situation will almost always become worse. In order to provide the bullied student with sufficient security, close cooperation and frequent exchange of information is usually needed between the school and the student's family.
Having a child who is bullied means seeing your child become an outcast, frozen out, and completely isolated. Most of what you read is about bullies and victims who are boys. Bullying is also found among girls, but it is not so obvious from the outside. It is not usually a matter of damaged clothes or bruised arms and legs. Bullying among girls bypasses physical pain and goes right into the soul. Bullying among girls is less concrete or visible.
How can I as a mother, accuse the girls bullying my 14-year-old daughter for having stopped phoning, for not saying hello, for speaking badly of her behind her back, for changing places in the classroom, for always commenting on and making fun of what she says, etc. Nothing they do (or don't do) is against the rules.
As a mother, I have a great sense of grief and helplessness in the face of what my daughter has to go through. In desperation, I have tried to talk to the mothers of two of my daughter's previous friends. It wasn't particularly helpful; some parents just can't accept that their children are criticized by outsiders. They defend their children at any cost, no matter how ridiculous this may be.
I wouldn't wish the grief and helplessness I feel on any parents, but I wish you and your children could actually feel just for a short time what my daughter and our family have had to live with for the last 6 months or so. Then perhaps you would understand.
Signed: Despairing Mother
What Can You Do If Your Child Is A Victim?
bullying would probably develop quite normally if they did not have to face aggressive fellow students. An essential part of counter-acting bullying in school is to stop or change the bullies' and their accomplices' behavior. The parents of children who are victims of bullying should not view bullying as an unavoidable part of growing up.
At the same time, it is also clear that many victims of bullying are unsure of themselves and somewhat anxious by nature, with relatively low self-confidence and few or no friends. So in some cases, it may be sensible for you to try to help your child adapt better to school life and other environments—maybe regardless of the actual bullying situation.
THE PARENTS OF CHILDREN WHO ARE VICTIMS OF BULLYING SHOULD NOT VIEW BULLYING AS AN UNAVOIDABLE PART OF GROWING UP.
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