“Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down,
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down…
Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down…”
For many kids the fear of facing a bully is a scary predicament. Bullies are often portrayed as bigger and tougher than most kids and even if they are not they are certainly more aggressive. It is estimated that 6 million boys and 4 million girls are involved in fights every year on school grounds and many are physically threatened and a large number of students are also robbed. Whats a child to do? Well, here are some ways you or your child can deal with a bully some conventional and some not so much.
First, contact the school and alert them to the problem once you become aware of the issue. Talking to a teacher or principal who, in turn, can have a sit down with the bully may end things right then and there. If the situation appears serious where your child could be in serious harm, contact the police. At the very least if anything else should occur involving your child and the bully there will be a record of you enlisting the schools and/or authorities help.
Second, you may want to try and contact the bullies parents. This could go in either direction though as some parents take a nonchalant approach to such behavior and some will even be hostile or belligerent for even suggesting that their little Johnny could no way, shape or form be anything other than a precious angel. But other responsible parents will inform their bullying son/daughter to cut the crap. This is worth trying but again be aware many bullies flourish from not having much parental supervision.
Third, confront the bully themselves. I am not talking about hunting them down and threating them. When I was in junior high their was a kid, Frank, who was kind of what you would call a dork and their was another kid, Neal, who was of the popular type and they were both at my bus stop in the morning and Neal would constantly harass Frank about whatever he could think of. It never got physical but it was a daily verbal beat down. One day, Frank does not make it to the bus top but Frank’s mom does and she is angry. She lays into Neal and lets him know that if she hears about something like this again that next time she won’t be so calm…and she does this in front of about 8 other people. Neal, still just a kid himself, is embarrassed (and probably scared out of his mind) and, as far as I know, never messes with Frank again.
Forth, as a last option, encourage your child to stand-up to the bully. The scariest option by far for your child is this one because by standing up to the bully will most certainly end up in someone getting their butt whooped. As the intro of this article starts sometimes you have to stand your ground…no matter how scary it can be. Many bullies, after such an altercation, win or lose, will realize that their ‘target’ is not so weak anymore and thats what bullies target…weak kids. As a parent, if you are contemplating this route you may want to make sure your child is somewhat prepared for such a confrontation and know that even, if he should get in trouble at school, that you support him/her.
In ending, be alert as to what is going on in your child’s life. All children are different and some can handle bullies on their own and others cannot. If your child ASKS for your help you must make yourself available to help them. Bullying, verbal and physical, can leave children to become remote and unsocial so look for the signs and react quickly…your child’s happiness and well-being may depend on it.