Scales of Intervention – No Such Thing as a Bully
Intervention with your child:
– Intervening directly with your child means teaching your child how to manage conflict directly, through life skills, communication skills and tools that help to manage thinking and behavior.
– Children using bully actions and victim responses both need the same skills. They may require different examples and different ways to understand the patterns of behavior, but essentially the skills are the same.
– This intervention is the most important in the scales of intervention, and must be used even if other steps are being taken.
In this book you will learn the essential knowledge to manage both bully actions and victim responses. You will also learn how to transfer that knowledge to your children, regardless of how they react.
Intervention with other parents/child:
Lower you defenses prior to approaching the other parents. People will have a fight or flight reaction when they are approached, if they are approached aggressively. Your goal needs to be the minimization of their fight or flight response, as well as your own. You must begin the conversation feeling that you are on the same team. Resolution involves moving from “me against you”, to “us against the problem” (Dan Dana).
Another parent’s response is going to be much more receptive if you are seeking solutions rather than approaching the situation with blame. If you are in the middle of a situation right now, and it feels that this type of perspective is an impossibility, then take the time to learn the skills in this book as you are making a final decision about your approach.
Decide ahead of time, what you wish to achieve by speaking with the other parent(s): Are you:
-trying to find out more information about the situation?
-Making them aware of their own child’s behavior?
-Making them aware of your child’s reaction?
-Hoping to come up with a collaborated solution?
It is possible that this intervention is more common for parents who find that their child is experiencing bully actions against them, however if you want to become truly proactive about managing bullying, then you must also examine your child’s behavior in regard to how they are treating others.
If you say to yourself “my child would never hurt another child,” look more closely. There is a culture of hurt out there for children and it is difficult for all children to be able to stay out of it, even those who are seen as ‘good’ children.
Check your own reactions. If you have been bullied, you may have a strong reaction to your child being on the receiving end of bullying actions. Be sure to think through your response, even if you are emotionally pained by the issue.
Intervention with schools:
Again, be sure that your approach is one that assures the school administration that you are on their side. They are not your enemy and if your first approach treats them like the enemy, they will not respond as well as you are going to want them to.
Let the school know what you are going to do at home to work on solving the problem. If the school feels that you are throwing it on their lap, they will not be as receptive to taking responsibility.
Be active in the school, stay on the PTA committee, stay in touch with your child’s teacher, provide supervision when you can. Get to know children that are acting as your child’s bully in a friendly natural way. All adults are responsible for assisting with management in an environment where bully actions can take place. Remember that the child is not your enemy either. Both the children involved are exactly that, children.
Intervention with systems:
Do your research. You need to approach the situation with an awareness of the policies and procedures involved in the organizations approach to bullying. You need to know the laws in your area.
Look for others who have already done your research. Think about who your support people are. Make sure they are positive for you.
Don’t become a bully yourself. Your child is watching you. You are their role model.
Excerpted from No Such Thing as a Bully, Parent Edition by Kelly Karius & Ron Graham