A natural parental instinct is to protect your child. Especially when it comes to the issue of bullying. Nobody ever wants to see their child in physical or emotional pain. It is one of the worst feelings for a parent to experience. So, what is a parent to do if their child is getting severely bullied at school?
First, talk to your child. Find out what is going on. Kids are naturally secretive and may not be forthcoming with their situation. You might have to pry a little to get them to fess up. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon for victims of bullying to hide their pain. They might feel ashamed, helpless, depressed, and frustrated. Be a caring parent, not a friend, when opening the lines of communication with your child on this issue. When your child is in pain, he or she needs unconditional love, security, strength, wisdom, guidance and a strong foundation that only you, their parent, can provide.
Second, visit the school and find out what they (teachers, principal, counselor, superintendent) might know about the situation. If they are not aware your child is being bullied, make them aware. This may or may not solve the problem. I know many parents who have taken this step and found the situation did not get resolved in a timely manner, was not taken seriously or not handled at all, leaving them frustrated with no other option than to homeschool.
A lot of parents are now opting to homeschool their children due to the school system’s repeated failure to stop the bullying of their child. Many parents see homeschooling as the best solution to the problem. Sometimes this action solves the problem. But many times there is one key area that gets overlooked. The emotional damage already done to the child by the bully before their homeschooling lessons even begin.
Removing your child from a bullying situation does not mean the pain the bully caused disappears. This very important issue should be addressed in order to avoid it festering within your child and leading to damaging self-esteem issues, amongst other problems down the road.
As a parent, you have every right to monitor your child’s computer and phone activity in order to protect them, while at the same time respecting their privacy. Protection and privacy have a fine line that sometimes needs to be crossed for the right reason, like bullying.
The bottom-line, homeschooling can be a good thing to help resolve bullying problems, especially if the school fails to do so. But, at the same time, it can also raise other problems because of social-isolation, an inability to develop coping mechanisms to handle bullying issues and not dealing with the emotional fall-out which still exists even though the child was removed from the immediate bullying situation.
Being a parent in today’s society is no easy task . Neither is being a kid. Talk to your children and keep in touch with what is happening in their lives whether you choose home schooling as the solution to your child’s bullying issue or not. Hug them. Tell them often that you love them and that you are there for them no matter what. A child being bullied needs that support and assurance in order to help overcome the damage done to their self-esteem because of bullying. By being there for them, you can help turn your child’s negative feelings about themselves into positive feelings. Big Hugs!!!