How do I know if my child is attracting bullying
Posted: May 17, 2019
How do I know if my child is attracting bullying?
By Master Christopher Rappold
It can be embarrassing and awkward to find out, but sometimes we can all be the source of what is bringing on our problems. To figure out whether this applies to you, communication is the key: communication with your child, communication with the teacher and communication with the other parents. It’s important that you keep informed. Ask your child questions beyond, “How was school?” Probe to see how they speak to others and how they react to situations. When they share something that happened in their day, follow up with specific questions that will reveal their behaviors and perceptions of events.
I was called in a few years ago to work with a specific student. The situation was that the child was feeling ostracized from his classmates. Understandably, both his mom and dad were concerned as any good parents would be. When I met with the child, he complained about being left out and picked on. No one wanted to play with him. When I spoke with the teacher I heard a completely different story. As it turns out many of the children really liked him and had extended a hand of friendship to him, but the boy would behave inappropriately, doing things like laughing at his friends, having bad table manners at lunch and running to tell a teacher every time something didn’t go his way. Sadly, over time, he wore out his welcome with his classmates.
To his parent’s credit, when this was brought to their attention the parents went to work on helping their son improve his behavior and see how this was at the root of the troubles he was having. Magically, as his social skills improved the “bullying” went away.
When meeting with teachers, ask questions beyond academics. Include questions like, “How does my daughter do socializing with other children?” or "Have you noticed any social situations that my son may need to handle better?” As a parent you need to gain insight into how your child behaves when you’re not around.
When you are talking to parents or are going to a function where parents will be, be sure to listen twice as much as you talk. This is a great opportunity to hear other perceptions that are floating around. It may give you some information that you can later gently bring up to your child.
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