So, in a world where bullies exist without logic and people you love are hurt and sometimes changed forever because of it, what do you do. I have come across plenty of people, in various age groups who simply believe that bullying is not an issue and it is being blown all out of proportion. You would be hard pressed to convince me of that. I lived through it forty years ago and it deeply effected me. I spent years dealing with the aftermath alone. It effected my self esteem and how I handled the people in my life for years.
So what can we do? First and foremost, spend time with your child. Help them talk about how this makes them feel and constantly reassure them. If for any reason you feel like you are not getting through to them, get them counseling. There is no shame in that. We as parents need to recognize when something is beyond our abilities. Your child comes first. Besides myself, two of our children went to counseling because of bullying.
As a former Board Member for a school district, I can tell you that it is very frustrating to deal with schools regarding this issue. In my opinion, schools in general have mishandled bullying. Number one, the legal definition of bullying states that the "event" must have happened multiple times. I heartily disagree. Once is enough for me. Why should any child feel unsafe at school. If it happens just once, there is a good chance that your child will start looking over his or her shoulder all the time, waiting for the second "event".
Schools now want a report filed. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it starts a paper trail at the very least. The problem with it is that a lot of administrators don't believe in it and/or don't even know that the form exists. As a Board Member/President I was to receive a report every six months. One time, there were no incidences. REALLY? Six months later, we suddenly had 26 incidences. The other problem I see with the reports is that it basically perpetuates the idea of "Victims". They encourage people to "tattle" but then offer no solution.
In my experience it is rare to find an administrator or a staff member who believes that bullying is real and is willing to do more than just accept a report. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and be a hardcore advocate for your child.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!