What would you do if you found out that your child was being unfairly and unkindly treated by his or her peers? For this week’s Good Advice feature, we help out a reader who is worried about her son being bullied in school. See her story below:
My son is being bullied in school. I already talked to his teachers, and to their credit, they were able to stop most of his classmates from pushing my son around. But there’s one child who still bullies my son. Should I talk to his parents? I am so tempted to discipline this child myself!
— Up-in-Arms Mom, 37
Advice from My Pope:
During his speech in Milan last year, Pope Francis urged not just the youth, but also parents and teachers to work against bullying. He called the act “an aggression that conceals profound cruelty,” and has strongly voiced out his disapproval toward it. If an intervention from your son’s classmates and teachers did not work, you may have to step things up and talk to the parents of the child—but it may be wise to course this through the school with a teacher or representative present. We also caution you to tread lightly. Try not to accuse the child or the parents. Instead, try to focus on what steps can be taken to make things better. This way, you won’t put them on the defensive.
Lastly, help your child process what is happening and help him know that he is lovable even if not everyone treats him well. This is also one of the best opportunities for him to learn about treating everyone with kindness and compassion because he knows what it feels like to be treated badly. In fact, who knows? The bully is probably dealing with a lot of issues as well. This does not excuse his behavior, of course, but it can help your son see things in a new light.
Got a problem? Let My Pope help! Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!