No parent wants to hear that a bully is hurting her child. When your child approaches you with tales of being picked on by the local bully, your first response may be to call the teacher and demand an explanation. Before you do, remember that bullies are skilled at picking on other kids when the teacher is not able to see. If you are going to remedy this situation, you need to know how to talk to your child's teacher.
Keep a Written Record
Before you go to your child's teacher with your concerns, take the time to listen to your child about the situation. Record the instances of bullying your child shares with you. This will give you something tangible to use to begin the conversation with the teacher. It will also help you see if your child is overreacting to normal childhood behavior or if the trouble indeed is a problem with bullying. As soon as you notice a pattern of any sort, make an immediate appointment with the teacher.
The Surry County Council reminds parents that teachers may not be aware of what is going on, so you need to remain calm when talking with your child's teacher. A teacher who is confronted and accused will be put on the defensive. Instead of accusing the teacher, approach the teacher in a conversational, friendly way. If you can relay the idea that you are both on the same side and want what is best for your child, you will get a better result. Explain your concerns in a friendly way as you open the conversation. Do not imply that the teacher has done something wrong. Instead, present the facts as your child presented them to you, and ask the teacher for help.
Ask the Teacher's Observations
Teachers are professionals, and they appreciate being treated as such. Ask the teacher for his or her observations about the situation. Has the teacher noticed or suspected bullying? Is your child struggling to get along with others? Are there areas where your child is in the wrong? If you are willing to listen to the teacher's explanations, you will be able to get closer to the heart of the matter.
Collaborate on Strategies
Your child's teacher has likely dealt with bullying situations in the past. Ask for suggestions about what the two of you can do to ensure that your child is safe and unafraid at school. Also, ask what the teacher will do in the classroom specifically to help the situation. Work together to create strategies that will not only stop the bullying, but also help your child learn what to do to prevent future bullying.
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