It’s the news that no parent wants to hear. Your child has been engaging in bullying behavior. It is difficult for any parent to accept that their loving child is being less than kind to others. It’s important to remember at times like these that children who demonstrate bullying behavior are not terrible people with uncertain futures. Rather they are children, growing and learning, who will occasionally make bad choices and face unpleasant consequences. Your reaction to the situation will, to great degree, help determine whether or not this becomes a learning experience that prompts behavior change.
Most importantly, try to remain open and seek to collaborate with school faculty and staff. Wonderful parents and loving families can still produce children who are behaving inappropriately, and it is not a reflection on you or your family if such a situation arises. When parents and school faculty/staff work together to send a clear message that the bullying behavior must stop, children do make changes.
There are some things you can do at home to help resolve the problem and to ensure that your child becomes wiser and kinder as a result. Make it very clear to your child that bullying behavior is not ok, and that you are taking it very seriously. Set some firm family rules for behavior. Praise your child when he or she complies with those rules and administer logical consequences when he or she does not. For example, logical consequences for bullying behavior might be limitations on the use of technology for non-academic activities or on your child’s participation in preferred activities, especially if that’s where the behavior took place.
Keep close tabs on who your child is friends with and how they spend their time together. Don’t be afraid to check your child’s texts and emails to ensure they are in line with your family’s values. Spend quality time together and seek to emphasize your child’s strengths by involving them in positive activities. Help them to understand that their needs and wants are valid, and so are those of others. Seek to find healthy, appropriate ways of ensuring their emotional and social needs are met.
This kind of situation can be overwhelming and frightening for parents. At Shorecrest, we encourage parents to reach out for help from the faculty and staff if you’re at a loss as to how best to respond. Together we can help all children become productive and empathetic members of our community.
Social-emotional support, character education, and the Core Values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Knowledge and Compassion are embedded into all facets of the Shorecrest curriculum. Visit our campus to learn more.