Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't Know if Your Child is Harassed by Bullies? Here Are Some Revealing Questions.

All the time, I ask parents if their child has to deal with bullies at school. Their answer usually goes like this:

“Well... I don’t think so.”
Then Mom looks at Dad...
Mom and Dad look back to me.
“Actually, we don’t know.”

The truth is, as parents, we usually don’t know. It’s awkward for our kids to tell us and it’s awkward for us to ask about it. When we do ask our kids about their school day most parents tend to ask the wrong kinds of questions. Here is some help:

Don’t ask: How was your day today? What did you do today? Was everything okay? How was school?

Because all you’ll get is: “Fine.” “Okay.” “Nothing.” “Yeah.” One word answers.

What kind of questions are better? (From author Barbara Coloroso)
  • Who do you talk to on the bus?
  • Do you sit with the same kids every day?
  • Has this child ever sat with someone else?
  • Who did you sit with that day?
  • Have you ever sat alone?
  • What would you do if that child were out sick, or who would you sit with if you had to find another child?
  • Does anyone ever get picked on, called names or teased during the bus ride?
  • Does this ever happen to you?
  • Do you ever do this to someone else?
  • Does anyone ever get knocked out of his seat on the bus?
  • Has this ever happened to you?
  • Do kids act like there are assigned seats and has anyone ever challenged that?
  • Who do you eat lunch with every day?
  • Does it ever happen that your group isn’t there, and if so, who would you join for lunch?
  • Do you have someone to play with during recess?
  • Who did you play with at recess today?
  • Do you notice if anyone is being teased, picked on or left out at lunch and recess?
  • Does anyone ever get left out of a game at recess? Or not have the ball passed to him on purpose?
  • Does this ever happen to you?
  • Who would you tell if it did happen to you?
If they reveal incidents like this have happened to them:
  • Do your friends know?
  • Have you ever asked them to help you?
  • Have you spoken to anyone at school about this?
  • What adults do you feel safe with in school?
  • What kids do you feel safe with in school?
  • Has anyone who has seen reported this to an adult?
  • Does your school have any way that you can report this with out feeling like it will make things worse?
Have questions? I’m always available to help. As a former bullied kid myself I am passionate about stopping the bullying in your child’s life.

Just call 248-349-6900. Ask for Master Vigil.

(Please share this with your friends. It could change everything for their children.)

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