Bullying and Your Role as a Parent

Looking back at my youth, there are many things I wish I had the courage to do differently.
There are many things I wished my parents handled in a different way as well.

But how can I blame them.
Parenting class 101 doesn’t exist.
They didn’t have the resource of internet to seek advice on.
Many topics were a taboo.

People claim that mental health issues and anxiety are something you are born with.
Isn’t that easy, blaming the genetic influences?

We often tend to forget that bad previous experiences can have a mayor impact on how a child will grow into an adult.
Bad experiences which weren’t necessary.
Actions with which could have been stopped by parents, teachers, adults.

Bullying

The most horrific act that people just let happen.
Maybe because they are afraid of their own reputation.
Maybe because they simply don’t have the energy to do something about.
Maybe because they secretly enjoy to see someone else suffering.

I was bullied throughout most my high school years.
Teachers witnessed it.
They choose to first put the blame on me.
Until my parents revolted, they choose to “help me”.
They send me to the school mental health person to find out what was wrong with me.
Let’s blame it on the victim, shall we?

I remember the first excitement of transferring from primary to secondary school.
Growing up in a small town, there was only one school.
My parents quickly decided this was the one I was going to spend the next couple of years on.
It would make it easier for them since I was only a 10 minute bike ride away.

Of course they had a talk with the teachers.
And they were helpful to show off  important stuff like expensive school books and their wonderfully large new canteen.
Never ever has anyone ever spread a word about the school policy against bullying.
My parents never even assumed that kind of cruelty would take place either.

Until it did happen.
My parents were supportive, always.
But they took the “wrong” actions.
Calling the principal with an emotional outburst behind my back didn’t help my situation.
But again, how were they supposed to know how to handle this.

These taboo topics are slowly getting more attention in the media.

Netflix’ popular series 13 reasons why is dealing with several bullying topics and how teenagers, parents and teachers have different ways of responding to it.

Season 1
shows how the main character, Hannah,  decided to take her own life after no one had picked up on the signals she was sending for being bullied.

Season 2 
shows how Hannah’s mother tries her hardest to win the trial against the zero safety measures of the school.

While watching I couldn’t help but thinking “Couldn’t this have been prevented?”

Not just the bullying.
Not just the insufficient communication with her daughter.
But what about the dialogue with the school?
And how about the school seeking the dialogue with parents?

I stumbled upon a great article about “Bullying and your Role as a Parent”.
Source/original article from: Hogan Injury

It gives excellent guidelines on how to act when you notice your child is being bullied in a calm matter.
About informing yourself into school policies against harassment.
They offer consultation for parents who’s children are struggling with these experiences at shcool.

It warms my heart reading an article like this.
Struggling with bullying feels like an extremely lonely process, but firms like Hogan Injury show that you most certainly do not stand alone.

21 thoughts on “Bullying and Your Role as a Parent

  1. High school is like a cemetery or like celebration.It can bury you or make you famous.I also had lousy class in high school so no wonder why i don’t have a contact with them.In elementary school we had one bully in our class who made problems to everyone.Yes sometimes situations were ended with calling parents, but eventually bullying never stopped.Some our friends supported his actions because they were “popular” kids, so nobody said nothing to a teachers or someone else.Anyway problems stopped after finishing elementary school but mental wounds stayed.

    Advice for parents, best thing to do when you have problems with bullies is to send a kid to martial arts.It is useful,it is healthy and it build big self esteem which you loose during bullying.Best thing ! Things in Serbia are very hard, minors have permission to do what ever they want,in basically they can bully even grown ups and you can’t do nothing to them.Sad but true 😦 .

  2. My parents actually send me to karate lessons. I never had to use self defense, but it did make me calm and made me feel stronger.

    I agree with you. Unfortunately it has never been a celebration for me. All the issues I experienced there, resemble on the person I am today. One with huge anxiety.

    I love to see more attention to it on WordPress as well 🙂

  3. Bullying is cruel but admit it. It’ll keep hapenning no matter what anyone does. It’s been happening for long and nothing has changed. It’s with the way kids see the adults treating those who are different. Being different is not always good. Only a handful of students are strong to get over it but most kids are deeply affected by it.

  4. I understand you completely.After high school i started working out that mad me very stronger person than i was during high school.Only if someone could told me to workout before, than my high school be much better.Wish i can show them how stronger i am now 🙂 .

  5. There is many things I would like to show to those bullies.
    I’m sure both of us are better off than they are. At least as a person 🙂

  6. It certainly isn’t easy, but at least having a dialogue about it might help. Or at least knowing that you’re not the only one.

    I have never met anyone who was strong enough to get over bullying. And if I did seem like that, it was probably an act. Sadly.

  7. Great post, important topic and a big nightmare for me now as a parent. I agree with you when you say that the blame is always put on the victim. Like “why do they bully you. What is wrong with you”. The series 13 reasons why was great as it started more and open conversation. I wonder how many kids suffer in silence. And how we can encourage kids to report if they see someone get bullied.

  8. Bullying can be as stressful for a parent as for a child. But the child must open up to the parent.
    Although I don’t agree 100% how it’s presented in 13 reason why, They do touch all the common topics! Media plays an important part in making people aware and help to reduce bullying.
    I truely hope your kids will be OK school because it’s a mean world out there!

  9. My parents were both clueless and also hampered by a totally indifferent education authority and a school that considered a good day to be one where an ambulance was not called. I am still very bitter about my school years.

  10. My kids are still very young. I don’t know what it will look like when they are a bit older. Them being bullied and them turning into bullies are both very real possibilities that I need to prepare for. Like some said my parents were clueless as well so I try to stay more present. The balance between present and not ”helicoptering” is difficult to maintain though.

  11. So were mine, but I should have opened up a bit more. But I never felt encouraged to be completely honest either.

    The bitterness will never leave me either. Luckily writing a blog like this helps a lot. Hopefully it helps others reading it!

  12. Staying present is a very good idea! Kids keep too many things to themselves unfortunately.
    But society and friends play such a huge role in how kids will become. It’s nearly impossible for parents to control everything.
    It’s a challenge for sure!

  13. That is so true. Bullying doesn’t suddenly disappear when we become adults, sadly.
    I was bullied at work and somehow believed telling my story to HR would help. It made everything worse.

    Love the article. Pretty much says it all!

  14. I have similar thoughts about the mistakes my parents made parenting me. I do feel the weight of how their mistakes influenced me but at the same time, they come from a different generation. Things like books on child rearing and what to do when your child exhibits anxiety around people didn’t exist for them. To think about the what-ifs had they had those resources is hard to imagine. I don’t know if things could have been different. During my years in school, it was just hard when I was harassed by others. Mostly I did not notify a teacher or school official because what could they do, really? And half the time no one was present for what happened except for me and the other person. I worried about not being believed or being taken seriously.

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