I spent 16 years in the education system working with troubled youth and one year in a very expensive private school.
The number one thing I learned is kids are kids and parents need help.
I thought it was just my children that didn't come with the owner’s manual but when I became a teacher I realized none of them did and each one is different.
This very important role of being a parent can be confusing and difficult. Just when you think you have it figured out; it changes. Every parent wants the best for their child.
I would say every person at a school wants to help shape the future and make your student the best possible version they can be. Sometimes they just get tired and confused.
I spent 15 years developing a program that will empower participants so they are bully proof for life. It has been tested in one of the most difficult populations and it works every single time.
But it is not an instant change. What do you do if your child is being bullied at school? How do you handle it?
I spent some time interviewing principals and counseling staff to find out how they handle bullies in their schools. I know some schools still subscribe to Zero Tolerance but it does NOT work. Luckily all the schools I talked to let each case stand on its own. This lets the best course of action be taken for all involved. Which allows for the best outcome.
I got some tips to help parents and caregivers ask for help from the school if you're experiencing bullying at school.
1. Take it to a teacher, counselor, or administrator as soon as you suspect your child is being bullied. It you don't seek help you won't get help. Some parents wait to go to the school and try to handle it on their own. The problem with this is timing.
If you're not able to stop it, by the time you involve the school it might have escalated. You, as the parent, want swift and immediate punishment but the school is just getting involved. In your mind your situation is terror alert level 4 and the school is at level one. They need to gather information and perform their due diligence. They are not saying you're miss informed. They just need to gather the facts and that can take a few days.
2. Let go of the punishment the offender will receive. I know as a parent of the victim you want the offender punished. Your child has felt pain at the words or hands of the bully and you want the bully to feel pain back. Believe me the bully is in pain.
Hurt people hurt people. Happy people make happy people. You don't know what is going on the home of the perpetrator but the school can find out that information and do something about it.
3. Keep a record. It will help the school if you keep track of dates, times, and the names of students involved. This includes bystanders. The administration will interview the students and get the whole picture.
4. Empower your child to believe in themselves and not let others decide their value. I do an interactive exercise in my presentations that show how easy it is to peel the label off someone else tries to put on you. You don't have to listen to what others are saying.
I believe four out of four students are bullied at some point. I spent many years understanding what the difference was between the one in four that is devastated and the three in four that shake it off.
The difference is a high level of personal value. When I decide my value, strangers don't have any say. You, as the parent or caregiver, and friends are the ones that affect personal value. To impact another person, they must like you and value your opinion.
5. "Aren't you glad I don't believe that." The most powerful words you can speak to your child when they tell you the names they have been called. Just that one little line lets the child know you think something else and they can as well.
My mission is to end the effects of bullying. I am a parent. I have been bullied. You can survive and thrive if you know what to do. Our country can no longer pay the price of low personal value with the lives of our citizens. Learn how to empower yourself and your family against the effects of negativity.
Jeanie Cisco-Meth was a high school educator for over 15 years. Her program is accredited by the Utah State Office of Education, American Probation and Parole Association, and Utah Valley University. She now travels speaking on stages helping people
Feature Image: AP Photo
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