If you have ever been bullied, no doubt, you know its no walk in the park! Things sure have changed from when I was a kid. It’s gone from taking kids’ lunches to making kids feel like they don’t deserve space on the planet! I realize that many schools have a zero-tolerance for bullying policy, but even with that said;  bullies are still running rampant in schools across the country. I have been thinking about this, because anyone who knows me well, will tell you how I can’t stand bullies!

I feel like the school has a responsibility to keep children safe, but parents have a bigger responsibility in keeping children safe. Open discussions should take place often about what bullying is and how a child can protect himself/herself. It can be a family affair. Why not have a discussion about it and act out possible situations that may arise in school and other places as well? Parents would do well to have a  zero-tolerance for their own child(ren) being bullied!! The school can’t do it all. Parents should have real conversations on this topic, pulling out the truth of what is occurring at school.

Children many times feel embarrassed and don’t want to tell their parents what is going on, or they simply water down the incidents that have taken place. Children and teenagers are literally taking their own lives because of being bullied! This is serious and merits attention from administrators and parents alike. Parents would do well to take an active interest in finding out how each day went. You can’t assume because the first 3 days of the week went well, that the 4th one did too. Maybe your child didn’t get bullied on the 3rd day, perhaps he got bullied on the 4th day, but you failed to ask about how the day went.

Keep the conversation alive. Make it a priority to find out just what is going on at school. Parent’s often work during school hours, but showing up to volunteer as often as possible just might help the situation. (Perhaps even taking a day off, ) It is one thing for a bully to try to come after a child whose parents are never around, but they might think twice about bullying someone who’s mom is a regular around the campus! Get to know the names and faces of the other children, this will be helpful when your child says Donner tripped me today, you’re not guessing about what this child looks like or acts like.

If you have teenagers, it may be a little more difficult to draw them out. They are older and are more skilled at keeping secrets. Bullying is painful, and your teenager will likely exhibit behaviors you are not used to seeing. It is time to invade. The sooner you know what is going on, the sooner you can have some control over the situation. Anything that is allowed to go on for too long ends up worse off than the start! Bullying is no different. It is not the time to give Johnny space. He needs you! Likely you will be the rescuer he has been seeking during this confusing time in his life! Parents make a commitment today…0 tolerance for bullying my child!

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