The majority of parents whose children participate in the harassment, don’t understand what they should do. Norwegian psychologist Christine Oudmayer tells how the parents of the aggressor can stop bullying and not to destroy the relationship with the child. Her book, “All for one. How to protect your child from bullying at school” was published in publishing house “Alpina publisher”.
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The news that their child is involved in bullying, most parents have is a sense of shame and surprise. Unfortunately, many parents immediately take a defensive position and put forward counter-accusations. This is quite understandable, however, it is very important that adults, being in a similar situation, did not act rashly and regardless of what happened, admitted his responsibility for finding a constructive solution to problems for all concerned.
When parents and the school administration cease to remain silent, begin to work together to seek out and share information, the problem can be resolved much faster.
This woman told me a very instructive story about what she did, knowing that her son participated in the brutal persecution.
“Don’t even know where to start. This is the story of how my son turned out to be one of the instigators of a brutal beating in her school.
Ten-year-old child, whom I knew as kind and quiet boy, was among those who sent in the hospital eight-year-old child! I’ll try to tell about it as I told the school officials, my son and the parents of the injured student.
Once late afternoon I got a call from the school. That day something terrible happened. Group desyatiletok assaulted eight boys. The reason for this cruel behavior was a quarrel between them and the older brother of the victim child.
The event itself, as I was told, happened as follows. Short change over. The clock was 10:10, and all students went to their classes. In the hallway one of the boys said to his classmate: “the big change we’ll deal with your brother.”
Other students told me that one of the teachers heard it, but did not attach much importance. During the lesson, a few boys were on paper the plan of operations. They were angry at a classmate, an older brother of the victim baby. This classmate always “get” them. I think they just wanted to scare senior, forcing him to believe that they will beat the younger brother, if he doesn’t calm down. It seems to me that nobody was going to put this plan into execution.
The lesson came to an end, and during lunch the plan was explained to the other boys in the class, including my son. Then a group of students found in the hallways of the younger brother of the bully and dragged him into the far end of the schoolyard, where they tied him up and began to swagger.
I’m not sure what happened next, I do find it hard to imagine that. But, as I understand it, many began to push and push this boy, and gradually, the punches turned into kicks and punches. The rioters retreated, but the other kids stayed there and continued beating.
Personally, I think they went into some trance, because this behavior is totally uncharacteristic for them. My son has shown itself to be one of the worst. My sweet, kind boy beat the younger child in the stomach. And not just once, but several. In the end, they stopped, but by the time the beating lasted almost half an hour. The victim was taken to hospital with bruises and multiple injuries to internal organs.
I listened to all this while at the Mall, where we stopped after work. I had to pinch my arm to make sure I was awake.
The evening passed in long conversations. Across from me at table sat a very frightened and depressed ten-year-old, who now considered himself a criminal. He was full of shame and remorse, but could not explain what caused him to do so.
He really wanted to apologize, but the younger boy was too scared — and then, a few weeks after the incident. To apologize son and failed, and this is a very long bothered him. It hurt to think that he showed such aggression and almost killed another person. But it could be true, if ruptured spleen.
The family of the victim was thinking about contacting the police, but because they knew the participants of the incident, we decided not to do it. I felt both relief and frustration.
Relief — because no one wants his preteen filed a statement to the police in connection with violent acts. And frustration, because the school failed my student teacher had to listen to what he heard prior to the incident, the teacher on duty had time to notice what’s going on.
Subsequently, the perpetrators and failed to apologize or somehow make amends. The school said that they will put on the account in the special Commission on educational work of the district Department of education, which is likely to have been done while parents is not touched. They had been summoned to an extraordinary meeting where they were told what he had done to their sons. Parents of those who made “revenge”, was not present, because those children were not in place when teachers stopped the beating.
Did my son again to show aggression? No, at least not yet. And I sincerely hope that he will never do anything like that. It may be helpful meeting with members of the Commission for the investigation of the incident. Maybe his role is played and the constant reminder on our part that he always has a choice, and that we always praised him for a positive decision.
Probably mattered that we were constantly in touch with the family of the victim: we explained to the son that the family think he is a good boy, despite the fact that he did a very bad thing.
I’m sure in reality all children are good, but each of them in a certain situation can be cruel.
It is very important to separate the person from the actions. A child may be sweet and kind — and still cause someone pain. And if he did something bad, this does not necessarily mean that he’s hopeless.
Three years after the event. We have not forgotten anything. My son no longer considers himself a criminal, he just knows that one day he did a terrible thing.
The injured boy recovered. Not to say that he is completely rid of fear, but he is involved in overall games in the school yard, greets and talks to us if we bump into at the store. I can only cross my fingers for luck and to Express the hope that the school administration has learned its lesson from this sad history.”
It is very instructive and in many ways a unique story. Of course, what happened in the school does not fully meet the definition of harassment. But I decided to talk about this in the book because parents find it easier to talk about what their child has crossed the line only once. This story illustrates how important the participation of adults before and after a problem occurs, in particular, in order not to let a single incident to escalate into systematic bullying.
Here’s what I suggest:
- Be open and constructive: not on the defensive and don’t deny what your child can do anything wrong;
- try not to put my emotions on the child;
- many children and teenagers feel more at ease, telling about what they did. Others need some time before they can find the courage to open up. In both cases, it is very important not to put pressure on the child and nothing to pry. Don’t interrupt, don’t argue, don’t lecture them;
- listen to what tells you the child, and give him clearly to understand that harassment and bullying is unacceptable, whatever the reason;
- explain to him the difference between self-defense and attack;
- tell your child about what it means to be bullied. Ask the child to tell how he’d feel if he was treated this way;
- do not hide from the child that you will speak with the victim’s parents and the school or kindergarten. If several offenders, it may be helpful to talk with other parents. This does not mean that you take sides against their own child. Over time the child will realize that you did the right thing, and it will help strengthen your relationship.
Children, resent and pursue other, doing things that we can’t accept, but they are still good people, and they have a lot of positive qualities. Whatever they did, they need adults who are able to separate action and person and to show unconditional love even in the most difficult situations.