Coaching the Child Who Has Been Bullied
Begin the conversation by approaching your child and invite them into a private, non- distracting place to have a delicate conversation. Ask for the child’s experience regarding the bullying situation and assist them in developing strategies to resolve the situation.
Affirm the child’s feeling:
Example: “You were right to report/get help from an adult.”
- Get information about the current situation and the history of the situation.
- Identify what has and has not worked in the past
- Generate solutions for the future, and create a plan with the child
- Discuss how your child can avoid the child who has bullied him or her. (Examples: The child could sit somewhere else, play somewhere else, or travel with a group of friends.)
- Coach your child in using assertive refusal skills. (If relevant to the situation, remind the child that aggression is never an appropriate solution.)
- Identify others (parents, teachers, and friends) who can support the child.
- See how the plan is working
- Contact parents as appropriate.
- Refer more serious or chronic cases to school administrator or counselor.
Note: Be sure to coach the children who have been bullied separately from those who bullied them. Bullied children are often frightened, and they may deny that there is any problem when face-to-face with children who have harassed them repeatedly.
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