With the Rutger's death this week, I am mulling over what strategy I might use with my children in a world overrun with bullies. I actually believe the "oh, it happens to everyone" or "it won't last forever" are pretty pathetic strategies. I think even one incidence of bullying changes who you are.
It is not enough to craft a strategy to merely "deal with it". In order for us to be part of the solution we have to figure out ways to stop it entirely.
I guess I have to start by creating some clear "rules" to consistently share with Lucas and Mya. If this happens, then you do this. Any ideas?
Maybe I should contact the school and find out their policies. What is my child to do if he/she witnesses bullying? What if he/she is the target of bullying?
I really hope I have instilled enough sense of right and wrong in my kids to avoid dealing with them being the bullies. Mind you, even the most solid child gets caught up in a bullying situation if they choose to do nothing, say nothing. Staying silent about it makes them complicit. Staying silent grants power to the bully and robs the victim too.
Already, Lucas worries a lot about other kids laughing at him. He is routinely told by classmates "you're not my friend anymore," only to be told the next day on the playground "you're my friend again". First grade recess must be pretty high-drama.
Mya determined in Lucas' "your not my friend anymore" situation she would approach the bully on Lucas' behalf and declare, "You should be nice to everyone". She clarified though that she would say so in a very nice, very polite way so the bully wouldn't turn on her too. Four seems way too young to be gathering street-smarts.