How Can I Stop My Child From Bullying
For the longest time, I would get reports of LeBella trying to hurt other children. I would dread picking her up from kindergarten and hearing all the things she had done. Or worse yet, getting called from work to pick her up. Needless to say, my employment attendance had been less than stellar. She was feared by most children around her and never had friends. She was known to hit and kick adults and had to be restrained on a regular basis. She would scream and curse until all she could do was cry. She was on medication and she was in therapy, what else could I do??
Build Compassion and Empathy: Teach your child about reaching out to the community. Talk about how other people are often going through things we don’t know about and that we could be adding to their problems. Encourage your child to perform a community service. (Visit Kids Are Heroes for ideas) My daughter will be volunteering in a local shelter for the next few months to learn about the struggles of others and to see how she can help.
Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem: Praise your child often when it is earned and relevant. Plan quality family time together. Give your child household chores to help establish their sense of community. Provide your child with the tools they need to be more independent (depending on their age and maturity levels). My daughter has a planner to help remind her of her responsibilities and give her visual reinforcement while working towards rewards. It’s a work in process.
Get Involved: Volunteer at your child’s school whenever possible. This works on multiple levels. It shows your child you value their education. Showing you value their education shows that you value them. Children who feel valued are less likely to bully other children. It makes your child more conscious of their actions because they know you are more likely to find out. Because we are using a virtual school, I have to get more creative on my ways of involvement. We are looking into a social program similar to Big Brothers, big Sisters but with groups instead of one on one.
IEP: Is the school currently meeting your child’s needs? Do you know what services are available and what your angel qualifies for? Our IEP is currently a mess but with a little research, a lot of hair pulling, and a bit of strong-arming I am confident it will get it fixed.
Get Schooled: In all fairness I took a special needs class as part of my college program, however, if you are able; I strongly recommend taking a special needs class at your local community college. I learned all about IEP’s, how they’re developed, what the language meant and endless other information that helped me get my daughter get the services she initially needed. I am in need of a refresher course, that’s certain.
Classroom Placement: Is your child in their LRE (least restrictive environment). I knew right away my daughter needed a smaller class size because of her social anxiety and her susceptibility to mob mentality. It took the school a little longer to agree with me. And now, in a new district, we ended up back at square one.
Journal It: By journaling her days for a week or two I am able to look for patterns in behaviors and reactions. It makes pin-pointing problem areas and triggers so much easier.
In the Loop: Lots of people interact with my daughter on a regular basis. I now have an organization, Wrap Around, to help keep everyone in the loop. All her doctors, teachers, therapist, etc.
These are just small steps, but every effort we make to raise our children as good people helps. We are not solely responsible for the choices our children make, but we can help guide them.
Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy.