1. Offer Support
Whenever it gets to your notice that your child is being bullied, keep your calm and openly pay attention without being judgmental. Show that you believe what you have been told by your child and the bullying is not fault of theirs. Do not offer aggressive solutions like asking the child retaliate or just paying no attention to the situation. Instead of thinking about solving the problem for your child, it is better to discuss about reasonable ways to represent her/him in a thoughtful discussion about options for responding. Take time to think over things with your child. Let the your children know they can always talk to you and ensure to give them the assurance Keep the lines of communication open and reassure your child that she /his safety and well-being are your top concerns.
2. Gather Information
Endeavor to ask detailed questions about the whole incident in a way that is non-judgmental and ensure to take as much note as possible about who was involved, when/where/how frequent it happened, the form of bullying and anyone who may have witnessed the incidents. In a situation where the bullying had taken place electronically, save/print important screenshots, text, emails, photos, etc., and tell your child not to erase such evidence in the future. Also tell your child not to have any form of participation with aggressors online.
3. Reach out to the School
Call the attention of the proper authority at your child’s school or any other institution where the bullying must have been happening. Relate the truth about the situation to them and share evidence and documentation with them. Let them know that you are willing to work together with them in solving the problem instead of acting in an upset manner. Request for the actual plan of action to be taken before leaving and also check from time to time to make sure it is being followed through. In a situation where such problem persists, inform the authorities once more and probably someone of higher office or rank. Be insistent that something must be done.
4. Contact Law Enforcement
In a situation where the bullying/cyber-bullying consists of possible criminal behavior such as repeated harassment, stalking, hate motivated violence, or inappropriate sexual conduct such incidence should be reported to law enforcement. Where the school does not seem to be taking any action in protecting your child from serious bullying, then you should think about consulting an attorney to implement legal options.
5. Build Resilience
You and your child should work out ways to develop skills and strategies necessary for responding to future bullying in manners that does not feel uncomfortable. Practice important actions and words which can be useful when responding to bullying and know the people they can safely rely on for help in such situations. Although practicing self-defense can be a confidence booster, it is important to resist the desire for self-retaliation, which is likely to make the problems worse and this could lead to disciplinary consequences for your child. Help your child to make new friends and find interests that are able to build their confidence level and make them have a good feeling about themselves. In case of a persistent emotional problem caused as a result of bullying, endeavor to seek the assistance of a guidance counselor or a mental health professional.
6. Keep Your Child Safe Online
Ensure to report serious cases of cyber-bullying to cell phone/internet service providers as well as the website where the offensive comments/images were posted (e.g., Facebook, YouTube). Assist your child in the changing of email addresses, passwords, and screen names if necessary, and it is also important for you to learn to make use of the blocking features on your child’s technology. Where the cyber-bullying happens to be taking place via the school systems, ensure to bring it to the notice of school resource officer or principal for them to take the needed security and disciplinary actions. It would be wrong to punish your child by not allowing them needed access to the technology, but direct them to spend more time in forums that are safe and beneficial