Bullying Myth #10: Parents are always their kids’ best defender

Charles Williams clinical psychologist says that too often he sees parents who dismiss their children’s reports of being teased and taunted. “You’d be surprised at how adults respond. They tell their kids to stop tattling or stop whining.” Teachers and other school leaders have also dismissed the problem, says Williams, often with tragic results.

Author John Mayer says the only way to stop bullying is for adults to play an active role and take complaints about bullying seriously. Parents need to set consequences when they see or hear about their own children’s aggression, including bullying among siblings. “Parents have to stop the behavior from the start,” he says. “They can’t tolerate it at home or with anyone in the family.”

As for parents of the victims, explain that “there is something wrong” with the child who is bullying their kids. Victims are suffering from regular abuse and their self-esteem has been chipped away, while their sense of powerlessness has sky-rocketed. They need all the reassurance they can get that this isn’t their fault — they didn’t cause the problem. “Make sure your child knows they are not the problem,” says Mayer. “They’re not damaged. The other kid is.”

Source: Great Kids!

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