With the benefit of experience and hindsight here are 6 warning signs to save you these painful pitfalls…
1. If you or your child are offered a solution from a teacher or principal saying, “sometimes you have to learn to stand up for yourself,” remember your child is not the only victim of bullying here, you are too. Don’t take it! It’s not a good enough solution!
2. If your child is starting to miss days from school and this is totally out of character for them be sure to listen to your intuition. Reflect on it. Seek advice and act on it. You might like to read Bullying & Beyond…17. Stand up, speak up!
3. If well meaning friends knock your intuition and fail to see your child’s mental health warning signs, please, don’t act on their advice to “drag them out of bed and kick them in the butt, straight into school.” You know your child better than any concerned friend. Your child is unable to voice their upset, they are showing you instead…see the signs!
4. If a teacher tells you at a parent teacher meeting that “sure we all say things” please read between the lines. They are not admitting the full truth of what was said and your child is too hurt to tell you. Please don’t hold back, immediately ask what they mean! Remind them that their words have the power to empower your child or the power to destroy your child’s last threads of confidence.
5. If your child is physically and psychologically assault and if they are offered the ‘wise’ advice by a principal to ‘build a high wall & put it all behind you’. Remember this experience is traumatic! It has denied your child the right to respect. Demand to see the school’s anti-bullying policy. Look for evidence of their bully free zone where high walls won’t be need.
5. If a person in authority says teachers will be more sympathetic say “I’d prefer empathy thank you,” children need a school that operates from a place of empathy not sympathy.
6. And finally, if you are told your child needs to be more resilient…stand your ground, look the advice giver in the eye, thank them for their suggestion but leave them in no doubt that your child has been too resilient for too long in an environment that has no obvious signs of safe boundaries or a bully free zone. And then ask them how resilient they’d be in the same environment!
Now you’re taking ownership, using your voice and making progress… to ree-create your life beyond bullying!
Has bullying affected you or your children? What painful pitfalls did you experience? What did you learn from it?
Mindfully Marie xx