Patented Q & A Database


The children at school bully my son to the point where he is afraid to go out at recess.


Mark Viator Replied: Being bullied can really cause someone to feel afraid. I truly feel for your son. One important aspect to recognize is that your son has talked to you about this happening to him. Help him to understand that these bullies are doing this because they do not like themselves - not him. Most bullying occurs because of feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem. While it is important for him not to feel that any of this is his fault, please re-assure him that it is all right to seek help. Instruct him on how to seek the help of a teacher, school counselor, or principal. Many schools have adopted policies about bullying, and you should go to the school to discuss this situation with the administration. Finally, encourage your son to keep going out to recess, to play with his friends, to ignore, as much as possible, the bullies, and to keep being himself. By facing this fear, he will send a powerful message to the bullies, as well as himself, that he is strong inside.
Posted On 2004-04-04 20:45:19
Harry Panjwani Replied: The seriousness of this problem has been grossly underestimated and we too often hide behind "boys will be boys." Getting good grades in school, participation in sports, gaining physical strength and self defense courses like Karate can do wonders for self-esteem. There are other less physical activities that also enhance self-esteem such as participation in a school play, whether in front of or behind the scenes. Children that often face rejection may become bullies so you may want to try to be nice to those children who may not feel good about themselves. The bully is looking for a response in front of others; so don't let him be successful. Make sure the teacher is aware and on the lookout. You may want to suggest programs such as "open circle" where students role play various situations. It is worth emphasizing that a child who is a bully, by his actions is really reflecting how he feels about himself.
Posted On 2004-04-04 20:35:24
Rhonda Clements Replied: Discuss your child's fears with his teacher. Many schools have written policies that prohibit bullying behavior. Unfortunately bullying behaviors are common to all playgrounds. These children seek attention by intimidating other children. Reinforce that your child should not tolerate this type of behavior, and he has a right to report this type of behavior to the playground monitor. Also tell your child to avoid these children on the playground, and to develop his own group of friends. If avoidance is not possible, contact your child's principal and make it clear that it is his/her responsibility to provide all children with a safe and enjoyment play environment. If necessary, talk with other parents whose children may have experienced the same hostile behavior.
Posted On 2004-04-04 19:52:01
Sally Goldberg, Ph.D. Replied: Teach your child skills to avoid being bullied. Talk to your child about this school situation. Listen carefully and communicate well with him so that you both will be able to truly understand the situation. Being able to understand it is the first step toward being able to solve it. Once you both know what is causing the other children to bully your son, try to eliminate the cause. Work with him on developing strategies for changing. Let him know you are a warm, positive, and supportive partner. That will give him needed strength and encouragement to help him work through the problem.
Posted On 2004-04-04 19:46:43
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