Bullying is a big deal. For kids and their parents. If you have ever been a victim or have children who are dealing with it, you know this. And it can be difficult to know what to do. What is normal in terms of kids just being kids? What is bullying? When do you take it seriously? How much do you get involved?
I remember my 3rd grade teacher quoting the rhyme when we complained about hurtful words from our classmates, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Although we certainly wanted to toughen up and believe this was true, we still felt the painful sting of them.
In looking for ways to help parents whose kids are dealing with bullying, we found the following article on Empowering Parents with advice from Peggy Moss, nationally known expert on bullying and author of Say Something. The article begins with a resonating truth that exists beneath the “sticks and stones” bandaid:
“The injury is real when kids get teased — unchecked, it can be devastating.”
The article continues and attempts to answers some crucial questions:
“Are name-calling and teasing just part of growing up, a rite of passage that all kids go through? “Many people out there think that adults are making too much of a fuss about it, that we should leave kids to their own devices. We know better now,” argues Peggy. “I have talked to 80-year-olds who remember the name of the person who tormented them in school, and the name of the child who stood up for them in first grade. This is pain that has lasted a lifetime. We have the information to stop bullying now, so why wouldn’t we?”
Empowering Parents sat down with Peggy and asked her what parents can do when they suspect their child is being bullied, and what they can do—together—to try to stop it.
We would love to hear your stories. Have you ever had to help your kids deal with a bully?