If your own child were being bullied, would you necessarily know it?
Many bully victims keep this a secret. Why is this? Could YOUR child be one of them?
Bullying at school should not be tolerated any more than bullying at the workplace among adults should be tolerated.
Yet ironically, kids are often told to “just ignore it” or “deal with it.”
They are sometimes instructed this by their parents or teachers.
Would their parents and teachers follow their own advice if someone on the job began harassing them?
How you make your kids feel, about the concept of bullying, can influence whether or not they feel at ease sharing incidents of harassment with you.
Many Kids Stay Silent About Being Bullied
“Many children will never tell adults, parents or teachers when they are bullied,” begins Rona Novick, PhD, who developed the BRAVE bully prevention program.
A clinical psychologist, Dr. Novick has worked with schools nationally on the issue of bullying, and is director of the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Doctoral Program at Yeshiva University, NY.
“Being a victim is humiliating and makes victims feel powerless.
“To admit to the bullying is further humiliating; it means telling adults you have failed, you are being belittled, hurt, and you can’t make it stop.”
This is a very similar psychological dynamic to that of why many victims of rape or incest won’t dare tell anybody.
It’s also along the same dynamic as to why a woman who’s being sexually harassed on the job keeps this information to herself, and why a man who’s being sexually harassed by his female boss doesn’t want to report this to anybody.
It’s why a man, who’s physically abused by his wife, won’t tell anyone.
Kids can have these very same fears of humiliation and being perceived as a “weakling” or “sissy,” even if they’re female.
Children want their parents to be proud of them, and they believe that the fairy tale image that their parents have of them will turn to dust if they reveal they’re being bullied.
Do you want your child to be perfect?
The fear that young individuals have of reporting bullying to their parents will be intensified if the parents expect perfection from their kids.
“Even children with very caring parents, and concerned teachers, may be too embarrassed to come forward,” says Dr. Novick.
“Families and schools need to make it safe and assumed that bullying will be the subject of frequent discussions.
“By telling children, in advance, that all children get bullied, that it is a terrible, but common experience, may help children to be more comfortable in responding.”