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Parent Perspective - Episode 21

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6:25 minParent Perspective - Episode 21

Parent Perspective - Episode 21

To wrap up this month’s theme about ways to be there, we are sharing an insightful parent perspective in this week’s episode.

  • Author: NBPC
  • Duration: 6:25 minutes
  • Date Posted: 1/31/2018

Series: PACERTalks About Bullying - Season 1

We are so excited to be launching our brand new series, PACERTalks About Bullying, where each week we will be talking about all things bullying. In our first episode, we’ll share more about PACER Center and what we do.


Hey there! Welcome back to PACER Talks About Bullying. I'm Bailey. We're glad you're here.

This month we're talking all about ways to be there, whether it's as an adult or a student or a community member. In this week's episode we are really excited to bring you the parent perspective. We have an interview with Peter whose son is on PACER's Youth Advisory Board. He's coming to share some amazing tips and insights on how to start the conversation about bullying with your child and how to support them. Let's get into the episode. So Peter, thank you for being here today on PACER Talks About Bullying. My first question for you is what are some ways that parents can be there for their child experiencing bullying?

Oh, good question. What I try to do is just be there.


Be an understanding parent where they can, he can talk to me. We've had a couple of cases where he's come home from school upset and just to listen, I think. So just to let them know that you're there for them. Offer your love and support.

Mmhmm. And so what tips would you have for parents when you're having that conversation with your child, whether it's about bullying in general or a specific situation?

Just take the time. Honor their feelings I think is the biggest thing because if you're not sure about the situation, you know, you might downplay it a bit and it's a big deal to the kid. So just honor what they're having to say. Sometimes I've gone to the PACER Center Bullying Prevention website. There's other kids there that have experienced the same thing so they know that they're not alone.

Mmhmm. Exactly. So those are all awesome tips on what to do. So what would you might suggest not to do when talking to your child about bullying?

In line with being there for your child what you don't want to do is to diminish their feelings or blow it off like it may not have really happened. I think it was real for them so it needs to be real for you too and treat it as though it's real.

Exactly. That's great advice.

And I wouldn't recommend retaliating.

Yeah, so telling them to fight back or things like that?

Yeah, nothing like that.


Usually the issue is with the other child. They've got something they're acting out about and it's not about your child. So if they can understand that too, I think that helps but retaliation won't get anybody.

So are there any specific words or phrases that you might suggest using when talking with your child to show you're being supportive when they share their story?

I try to be an active listener.


And echo his feelings when he comes to me. So if he's angry, I'll say, "So you're feeling angry" or "How does that make you feel?" Try to draw the feelings out rather than actions or, you know, what he did as a response or what the other kid did. So to me it's always about their feeling and active listening and then checking in with the kid to make sure that they know -- being empathic -- so they know you understand how they feel.

So while we have all these amazing tips on talking with your child about bullying, when do you think is a good time just to start that conversation with your child about what bullying is and different things that they can do about it?

I think as early as possible, as early as they can understand, probably before they enter school or if they're on a computer someplace. What they might run into in chatrooms -- just helping them be aware. My boy went to a really small school. We didn't think there was going to be any bullying. We were wrong. So we should have set him up for what might have happened because he was a little different.

So, so often with bullying kids lose self-confidence and their self-esteem. So what tips or advice do you have for kind of building the child back up and giving them some of that power back that they often lose with bullying?

Interesting enough, in my case he did it on his own. It was back in junior high. He volunteered. His community service project was with the PACER Center. And through volunteering he learned more and is currently on the Youth Advisory Board. And he has learned so much that he's kind of my mentor now and if there is any situation at school he knows how to handle it himself. He can deal with it and he has all the tools, I think, to deal with it. And his confidence as a result is much higher.

As we wrap up this video is there anything else you'd like to share?

I think what parents need to understand is that there are an abundance of resources. The Bullying Prevention Program is one of those. There's so much online. The schools have counselors, different people, teachers that can help, friends, other family members. But this is so prevalent that there's resources all over. I was surprised at how much help we can get. And even with other students. It's great. There's a lot out there.

Yeah. Exactly. And I think that's empowering to know that there are resources out there and you don't have to navigate it on your own.

Absolutely. I've had people even call me when they see the PACER Center on my Facebook page. They call me and ask what they should do about certain situations [laughing] and I'm like, "I'm not an expert. Go to the PACER Center."


They should be able to help you.

Thanks again to Peter for being on PACER Talks About Bullying and sharing his amazing insight with us. As he mentioned we have a lot of tools for parents and students and you can check those all out on our website We'll see you right back here next week. And remember, together we can help create a world without bullying. See you!