By Lynne Lang
The first step is to listen with detachment to determine whether it is bullying or conflict. Sounds easy, but it is very difficult to imagine someone mistreating our children without getting emotionally charged. Sometimes we don’t hear the entire truth, so begin by asking questions as you hear the details your child is explaining:
It is important for young people to seek adult help when problems arise during the day. Encourage your child to report peer mistreatment (many times it is not severe bullying–intense, mean-spirited and repeated over time with an imbalance of power–but rather exclusion, name calling, or a conflict that has potential to be resolved with adult help.)
Building resilience in your child begins with prayer. Ask God to help you and your child know how deeply loved you are. Express thankfulness for the dignity and worth that comes from God, and not our peers. Others may attempt to attack our sense of wellbeing and dignity, but it cannot be damaged or destroyed because it comes from God. End by thanking God for providing and protecting us in all our needs.
The Resilience Research Center advises you to tell your child…
Lynne Lang holds an M. S. in Health Management from Lindenwood University. She is currently Director of School Climate for the Catholic Education Center, Archdiocese of St. Louis, and is a freelance writer assisting with curriculum for World Youth Alliance. From 1998 – 2011, she coordinated school health curriculum for BJC HealthCare, an organization of 13 hospitals associated with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. This school outreach staff reached nearly 80,000 students and adults annually.