Most of the time in the subject of suspected bullying, it is not as easy as parents just stepping in to intervene. For one, they most probably haven’t seen in their own eyes that their children is indeed being bullied. For another, a bullied child may hide the bullying himself in fear of incurring the ire of the bully and suffer even more or he actually thinks he can handle the situation by himself. Either way is dangerous and timely parental intervention may just be the one thing that could save a child from a life of misery.
A Time to Fight One’s Own Battles…
Parents have to teach their children to fight their own battles. They need to learn as parents will never be at their side 24/7. Even if they were, a child who is not allowed to sort out his or her own personal difficulties will never learn to fight to defend himself or herself, not even if the situation calls for it.
That is why many parents find themselves holding back when it comes to interfering with their children’s life especially the older ones. While it is expected for the younger ones to come to mother or father and cry their heart out about what they perceive as the wrong did to them, the older ones are expected to be braver and more able to handle their personal affairs. Sometimes, holding back makes sense but other times, parental intervention is so necessary that inaction of parents can be termed as lack of concern.
…and a Time for Parents to Step In
So what warrants immediate parental intervention?
1. Unexplained injuries
2. Frequent loss or destruction of personal things
3. Drastic change in behavior such as apparent loss of enthusiasm for anything, or the preference to stay away from a specific place or group of people
4. General malaise and faking illness
5. Decreased self-esteem and engaging in self-destructive behavior
6. Poor performance in school
7. Inability to sleep or frequent nightmares
The Bully and the Bullied
For as long as we live in this world, there will always be bullies and people who are bullied in every place and time. Being parents, our main concern is our children. We want to protect them in whatever way we can. Our control over the bullies and what they choose to do is very limited. I asked my son to confide in us actual or threatened injury and emotional harassment with the assurance that it will be dealt with accordingly to stop the tormenting on its tracts. We need to know if our own children are silently asking for our help.