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When Your Child Experiences Bullying: Part 1 - Episode 14

When Your Child Experiences Bullying: Part 1 - Episode 14

This week on PACERTalks About Bullying, we are excited to be sharing the first of two videos on what to do if your child experiences bullying. When you discover that your child is being bullied, there are two equally important and parallel steps: (1) supporting your child and (2) working with the school. In this video, we are sharing ideas to be supportive and develop an action plan with your child. Stay tuned next week for the second video outlining ways to work with your child’s school.

  • Author: NBPC
  • Duration: 4:56 minutes
  • Date Posted: 12/19/2018

Series: PACERTalks About Bullying - Season 2

We are thrilled to return for another season with more videos featuring interviews, stories, and informational content. New this season will be the feature “Ask Us” in which we will respond to questions from students around the world.


>> Hey there. Welcome back to PACERTalks About Bullying. I'm Bailey. We're glad you're here. This week, we are really excited to bring you the first segment of a 2-part series all about what to do when your child shares a bullying situation with you. Now, the reason that we're breaking it into a 2-part series is because there's 2 equally important aspects to focus on. The first important aspect to focus on is supporting your child, and the second is working with the school for positive collaboration.

In this week's episode, we're going to break down some steps that you can take to support your child if they share a bullying situation with you. Now, let's get into the episode.

The first thing to note is that your emotional response is important. When your child first shares with you about a bullying situation, it's completely normal to have an emotional response. Finding out that your child has been hurt or harmed can bring up different emotions for everyone. Recognize how you're feeling when your child first tells you about a bullying situation, and know that these are normal reactions to have. But as an adult, it's important to remember that you can address your emotions at a later time and to focus right now on the child, as they need your help. Chances are they've probably been dealing with the bullying behavior for a while, and if they could've stopped it on their own, they would've. But now, they've come to you for help, and they need your support. While the ultimate goal is stopping the bullying behavior from happening, the initial priority is being there for your child.

The second important step is to let your child share their story. When a child comes to you with a bullying situation, chances are you're probably the first person that they've shared this with. It's important to give them the opportunity to share their story and for us as adults to really listen. So much of being bullied is about feeling powerless, so when a child shares their story, they need to be heard. Encourage them to recognize that it's important to share and that they have a right to talk about what's been happening. As they share their experience, remember that they might not be ready to completely open up about what's been happening right away, as bullying is a really tough thing to talk about. It may take a few conversations to get all the information, so just be ready to listen as they're ready to share.

The third step is to let them know that they're not alone. So often, when students experience bullying, they feel like they're the only one being bullied and that no one cares. Let them know that they're not alone and that people do care, like you. Children may also think that it's up to them to stop the bullying on their own. Remind them that you're on their team and that they don't have to do this by themselves. Thank your child for telling you, and remind them how brave they are for sharing their story. Let them know that you are there for them and that, together, you'll take action. And the fourth step is the, now what? It's all about talking through action steps. It's crucial that, as you develop an action plan, that the child really be involved and share their ideas, as this can help give them back some of the power they may have lost in a bullying situation. As an adult, you can provide some information on bullying and start to explore intervention strategies to help deal with the behavior.

One awesome tool to use to help develop action steps is PACER's Student Action Plan right here. This is a really great tool because it puts the child first and really allows them the opportunity to share their ideas. As you're creating an action plan, let the child know that their ideas are really important and that they're the focus of this whole process. One important thing to include in the action plan is how your child wants support from you. Even if they don't want you to be directly involved in school, maybe it's talking through how you can support them at home, like talking more or that they can text you if something difficult's happening at school. It's important to remember that every single action plan is going to look different because every single child is different. Find an action plan that works best for your child and helps them feel back in control, and know that, together, you've got this.

So now that you have your action steps ready, here comes another important part: collaborating with the school. Tune in next week as we share Part 2 of this series that's all about working with the school for a positive outcome. We'll see you right back here next week. And remember, together, we can help create a world without bullying. See ya!

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