Podcast Session # 9 – They Only Bully the Strong
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
The Parent or Caregiver Response:
- You have to have an actual relationship with your child. You have to listen. You have to talk. You have to ask for help.
- Teach your child that their body is sovereign.
- Have a routine daily check-in that includes asking questions about being assaulted or harassed. Don’t take avoidance for an answer.
- Upon knowledge of incident, act fast, act swift, and act in charge of the outcome.
- Get names and as much information possible about location of event. There’s cameras now.
- Don’t call, don’t send a note, don’t talk to the teacher. Show up. Your physical presence, in the middle of a work day, means much more.
- Talk to principal, school counselor, and police officer or resource officer. Do not take no for an answer. Or another appointment.
- If your child was touched in any way, file a police report. Even if there is resistance, do it. It’s your right. Have your child talk to the officer, they are amazing at this. Do this before ever talking to the school. Get the officers card with the report number on it and have it ready to hand to the principal.
- Point out every single moment where the situation is normalized or diminished in conversation.
- Remain in a constant state of escalation. This problem only be solved face to face. STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT THIS, and off the phone as much as possible.
- Make sure that you get the most credentialed person directly involved and ultimately deal with them. This is a licensed professional, either in mental health or social work, at or above graduate level. School faculty are not equipped in any way to actually deal with this problem, other than administratively. They may think they are but they aren’t. Things have gotten worse for a reason.
- Do not stop or settle until you are satisfied as a parent. Only you know what this means.
How to be ready:
- Manage your character
- Manage the character of your home
- Deepen the relationship with your child
- Check your preparedness
- Check your willingness to act
- Check your determination to pursue resolve
How to advocate for your child:
- Avoid the term Bullying, its normalized at this point. It’s assault and harassment. Period.
- Understand that academic and administrative faculty cannot solve this problem. They are consumed with managing their response. It’s why the problem is growing in frequency and severity. You are the solution, so assemble your team, starting with your child.
- Pursue the matter with determination and resolve. Act patient but move swiftly. Be firm but never rude, aggressive, or accusatory.
How to encourage your child:
- Listen to your child.
- Teach them to listen to themselves.
- Help them find a trusted adult at school. Encourage that relationship.
- Make their life at school a topic of daily conversation.
- Stand up for others. In unity, there is more of us than them.
- Make sure you’re not a bully.
- Make sure your child is not a bully.
Teach your child to:
- Listen to themselves.
- Listen to others.
- Befriend a trusted adult.
- Talk about feelings, worries, and stressors.
- Ask for help.
- Be aware of their own behavior.
- Stand up for others.
- Follow the plan.
- Be aware of your environment.
- Know your rights.
- Avoid situations, locations, and people that trigger bullying.
- De-escalate through communication, distance, adult involvement, self-defense and distance.
- Report specifics.
- Contact parent.