As a parent, discovering that your child has been targeted by a bully could be shocking. You may experience an entire range of emotions including anger, fear, pain, confusion, and maybe even embarrassment. But regardless of what you are feeling, overcoming bullying requires immediate action on your part as a parent. Bullying is not something that goes away on its own or something that kids can always work out. Even if you are not sure of what to do, your participation in the situation is crucial to a positive outcome. Bullying affects up to 75 percent of kids at some point between kindergarten and 12th grade. Most of those kids will be OK in the end, but 10–20 percent of kids will be chronically bullied and at risk for poor physical and mental health outcomes, such as physical ailments, depression, anxiety, aggression and, in extreme cases, suicide, as well as lower graduation rates and lower career placement. Here are some steps and strategies to discuss with your #naturalhairbeauty that could help improve their situation and or make them feel better about addressing a bully:
• Create a safe place for your #nhb to communicate with you freely.
Make sure she feels comfortable sharing her issues with you. This not only encourages future conversations but also helps build a stronger relationship between the two of you. Also, ask questions in a calm manner gathering as many details as you can. Applaud your #naturalhairbeauties courage in telling you about the incident.
• Make a commitment to help her solve her issue.
It’s always a good idea to ask for your #nhbs opinion before you go straight to teachers or administrators. She may be afraid of retaliation, and you need to be sensitive to this concern when addressing the issue. If there is a fear of retaliation, you will need to be discreet in talking with school authorities and be sure they will do the same.
• Get involved with her school.
If there is a bullying incident, make a request, in writing, to your child’s school counselor and/or principal, respectfully asking for an investigation. Emphasize that your goal is to see that your child feels safe at school. Ask the principal and guidance counselor about how this will be accomplished. Can your child have a new class schedule or a new locker assignment? In other words, what steps can the school take to ensure your child’s safety?
After that, schedule a meeting with everyone who might be important in the incident and ask questions, make specific requests of the school, and leave the meeting with a written plan saying exactly what is going to be done. Schedule a follow-up meeting about a month later.
• Don’t be afraid to consider counseling.
Bullying can affect your child in a number of ways and regaining self-confidence is a process that may require outside intervention. A counselor also can assess your #nhb for depression. Even if you suspect your child is fine, never underestimate the power of bullying. Kids have taken drastic measures to escape the pain it causes including committing suicide without ever admitting the hurt they were feeling.