Sep 03, 2021

Whenever I speak to adults around the country about bullying and mental health, one of things I try to point out is that all adults and specifically parents have a significant role in eradicating bullying from schools.

First of all, parents really need to understand the possible devastating impact bullying can have on a person’s life. And then, it is very important for them not to downplay the impact being felt by their children. It is not appropriate to tell the children (who are being bullied) that “these things happen”, or “we just need to learn to accept it”, or “we need to learn to fight back”, or “just suck it up”, etc, etc. Instead it is very important for the kids to know that their parents totally understand what they are going through and are trying their best to support them.

The next thing they need to do is to try and work with the school staff to make sure the school is doing their utmost to stop this. Most schools these days have put together systems and processes to try to eliminate bullying. So parents should not hesitate at all to go to the school staff and tell them about what’s happening and ask them to try and stop the bullying. Most schools will likely cooperate and do their best to improve the situation.

Parents of children who are doing the bullying, also have a significant responsibility in this matter. If they find out (primarily from schools) that their child is acting out as a bully in the school, they should not just ignore the matter. They also should not just punish the child. In most cases the bully child is likely dealing with some other difficult issues in his or her own life and is acting out as a bully in school. It is necessary to talk to the child in a supportive manner to try and figure out what’s going on with him or her. And often, it might be very useful to get the child to see a therapist.

In summary, parents have a significant role in minimizing bullying in schools and they must do their part.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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