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How Do You Handle Bullying?

Bullying continues to be an issue for students and schools around the country.

Turn the other cheek. Push back. Talk about it. Run away.

Those are just some of the options kids have when they face bullies. Bullying continues to be an issue for schools around the country. Cruel taunting and shoves between classmates have managed to follow victims onto social media networks and text messages as a form of cyberbullying.

Last week, President Barack Obama and his administration hosted students, parents and teachers at the White House for a conference on bullying prevention. Facebook carried the White House conference live.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama also filmed a Facebook video to raise awareness about the topic. The video can be viewed on the StopBullying.gov Facebook page

In January, Patch readers sounded off on an ABC report that covered student fights.

So what should you do when another kid is bullying your child? What should you do if your child IS the bully?

We checked with some moms about this topic. Here's what they had to say about bullying.

  • Mom of three sons: A good friend of mine recently broke down in front of me when she told me that her son had been bullied incessantly at his small, private school. She asked me how I would feel if it were my son being bullied, and the feeling took my breath away. I would be heartbroken. Yet if it were my first-grader who was being bullied, I would definitely step in and contact the teacher. If my son was in middle school like my friend's, though, I would have to take a step back. Sometimes a parent intervening can make the bullying worse. I am thinking that if a child is a bully, most likely the parent is, too, and I don't want to deal with that. Most importantly, I would want my children to feel like they could confide in me about what's going on, because the worst thing would be not knowing until it was too late.
  • Mom of four (2 teens and 2 toddlers): Bullying is a serious issue and one that needs to be taken seriously by us all. I recently read a true story written by Jodee Blanco, Please Stop Laughing at Me, that tells the story of Jodee's terrible childhood as a victim. If my child were being bullied, I would start with the teacher and quickly advance to the principal if things have not improved. Too many people think, "Kids are just being kids," or "Boys will be boys." This is NOT the right attitude and one that could end in a terrible childhood for many victims. Thankfully we have not encountered any situations that couldn't be handled by the child alone.

What do you think?  Jump right in and have your say in the comments box below.

Anna King March 16, 2011 at 08:01 PM
Welcome to the mom's chat! Thanks for logging on, Dad of 3. Anyone agree/disagree with Lester, or have any other comments or thoughts?
Lester Salay March 16, 2011 at 08:23 PM
Is there anyone out there that is an "expert" (or proficient) in this subject that would donate thier time to come to a scouting forum (Held every 1st Thursday of the month @ 7:00 pm) and would give a presentation to the adult leaders so that they may be educated and thus pass on the information to their respective units ? Bulling is NOT limited to schools, neighborhoods or specific areas of our nation. It exists within private organizations (Scouting, YMAC and other youth organizations as well). A presentation would at least get the ball rolling for "others" to be informed, and thus pass along this very troubling situation to other members and thier children. Please feel free to CONTACT ME AT: scoutingus@aol.com if you have it in your spirit to do something pro-active in the name of our youth and those parents and leaders that truly DO CARE, and detailed meeting place and additional information will be gladly addressed. Thank you for this article and the topic. It's nothing new but can be slowed down with the proper tools that parents and children can use. Sadly, "turning the other cheek and walking away" is no longer an option in these violent times, it simply elevates the bullying because the child is now labeled as a “chicken” and is even more vulnerable then before.
Rose Sevilla March 16, 2011 at 08:34 PM
During my years as a teacher, I witnessed a few children who exhibited bullying behavior, some silent recipients, some who stood up against these bullies, and bystanders who minded their own business. I cannot underscore enough the importance of instilling in our children a strong sense of confidence. While the burden cannot totally fall upon the parent (I've also dealt with strong, confident, and loving parents whose children lack a positive self-image), a good part of how a child handles such a situation depends on what has been discussed or modeled at home. The onus also lies on teachers, coaches, and other leaders who not only ignore but sometime exacerbate the situation. I also strongly believe that while we should let our kids fight their own battles, there are times when we must intercede.
Cher Bentley March 16, 2011 at 10:35 PM
As a mother of a 5-year old, we teach her that she is not to stand by and watch somebody get picked on, but to step in and stop the bullying.......either with humor or to pull the child being bullied away. It is not only my belief, but I've witnessed, that if another child stands up for the one being bullied, the bully usually backs down. We need to teach our children to stand up not just for themselves, but for others. Kids who stand alone are an easy target, but add just one more and the bully becomes intimidated.
kevin March 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM
Thank you, Cher. In some cases, those minor incidents, positive or sad, can become lifelong memories.

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