“Bullies and their victims know no boundaries.” – Chris Boyd, MSW
Bullying is a real problem for many kids. Your child could be a bully or the victim of one. Bullies intentionally hit, shove, mock, intimidate or make threats against other children. “Even little kids can bully bigger children,” says CTC Social Worker Andrea Pleshe-Sims. “Be sure to take conversations with your child about bullies seriously.” Bullying can happen anywhere – at school, on the playground, in after-school clubs, online, and even in text messages.
Many children are ashamed to talk to their parents or teachers about bullies because they think it might make things worse. Helping your child confide in an adult is an important first step. “Communicate with your child at their level. Whenever you see a teachable moment, take the time to talk to your child about bullying,” says CTC Social Worker Chris Boyd.   Clips on YouTube, television scenes, drawing pictures, or stories about other children or from books can be good conversation starters.
If you discover your child is being bullied at school, or is the school bully, there are steps to help.  Reassure your child that school space is a safe place for all children.  Let the school know what is happening. Talk to the teacher. The conversation should bring awareness to the situation. The school cannot help resolve the issue if they are not aware it is happening. If the situation persists, talk to the principal.
It is very important not to be aggressive; show your concern in a calm manner. Be sure you are focused on solving the problem, not seeking revenge or retribution.
CTC’s social workers help children make friends, deal with bullies, and organize their feelings. We specialize in working with children with special needs. Contact our office (616-559-1054) to learn more about our social work services and how we can help.