bullying
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Why I Would Never Tell My Kid To ‘Just Walk Away’ From A Bully

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What are some tips for helping your child deal with bullies?

The most important thing is that you don’t just dismiss it, or go with the flow without taking measures.

Bullying demands an immediate and assertive reaction. This doesn’t necessarily imply confrontation with the ones doing the bullying, although it might. What I mean is that concrete and focused measures must take place.

The parents cannot for one moment leave the child abandoned to the situation, react blandly, or with the feeling of hopelessness. This is an extremely sensitive situation for the child, and it needs to be addressed both with care and with infinite patience and focused support.

The issue of bullying has two sides: one is whatever makes the child be perceived as a victim by the aggressors. The other, is the act of bullying itself, which under no circumstances is justifiable. Both sides are part of the same equation and cannot be ignored.

Don’t ever say to the child “ignore the bully,” “pretend they’re not there,” “don’t answer back,” etc. Any answer that involves passively ignoring, dismissing, or running away from the bullying itself will encourage a prey/victim mentality, which is precisely what’s at stake here. It will only make the problem worse.

Try to discourage the motives that are being picked apart by the bully. If the child is in some way lacking in clothing, hygiene, or any other sort of care that distances them from the others, take measures in order to address this. This is also teaching the child a form of self-love, and will help her blend in.

The most important thing is that you don’t just dismiss it, or go with the flow without taking measures.

On the other hand, if the child is being made fun of because of physical attributes that can’t be changed easily, or at all — being too skinny, too fat, too short, body traits, etc — this will probably be the most challenging situation, because it can get very difficult for the child to accept themselves if they’re under constant hostile bombardment because of these things.

In these situations, the most balanced advice I could give, is a combination of (1) seeking professional help if necessary, and/or (2) accepting with love however the child happens to be, and/or (3) trying to address whatever can be changed, within reasonable, regarding what is being made fun of, and (4) just, loving your child , and showing it clearly, with an open heart.

The other side of the issue, nevertheless, is that the behavior of bullying is by its nature hostile, invasive, and negative. For this reason, it can only ever exist for as long as the educational elements — teachers, wardens, etc — allow it to happen. Society has police systems in order to prevent crime, robbery, etc, because it is not the citizen’s fault if he is robbed in the street, nor is he left to his own devices to defend himself if that is to happen.

That wouldn’t make any sense in modern day society. So in the same way, children need to be protected from bullying — they shouldn’t be expected to protect themselves from bigger children. It is the system’s obligation to ensure the safety of the children within a reasonable degree. In this sense, one of the possibilities is to quietly reach to the ones in charge of the school, and inquire about your child being bullied.

Nuno Desa primarily writes about non-religious spirituality and spiritual awakening. You can visit his website at www.heartki.com. You can find more of his Quora posts here:

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