You think that your child may be bullied at school. His behavior has changed. He came home with his clothes, toys or school material damaged. He seems to withdraw, doesn’t want to go to school or take his lunch at the school refectory, his grades are dropping…
Let’s see what you can do to help.
1/ Be attentive and listen
Let him know that you trust him and that he can trust you. If you can’t get him to open up, suggest other trusted adults that he can go to (his grand-parents, his nanny…). If your child does describe what he’s going through, do not minimize these events.
2/ Acknowledge the bullying
- Step 1: Write down the facts described by your kid
In order to be as clear and precise as possible, take written notes of the events reported by your kid.
- Who was present? (The bullies, and witnesses of the scene if there were any.)
- When did it take place?
- What harm was done (physical violence, oral harassment, stealing, insults…)?
- Did it happen on several occasions?
- Is there also online bullying?
- If so, take screenshots of the messages received (text messages, images, messages sent on social media, pictures…).
- How did it affect your child (loss of appetite, drop in grades, loss of self-esteem…)?
- Step 2: get in touch with a contact person or a professional
- At your kid’s school
Make an appointment with the school director. Give them your summary of the situation. Request immediate action to stop the bullying.
After the meeting, confirm the facts described and the solutions reached together by written mail.
- By calling a dedicated assistance service
There are two numbers that you or your child can call:
- 3020 “Say no to bullying”
- 0800 200 000 “Net ecoute”
Once the bullying problem is identified, the person in charge of bullying issues in this academic area will be notified. They will then work with the school to sort out the situation.
- Step 3: Take action
The point of contact for bullying issues or the school director will question the persons involved: the victim, the author(s), witnesses and the parents. Once the bullying is recognized, solutions are put in place.
Contact your child’s school for more details about the progress of the situation.
- Step 4: If nothing happens
If the bullying doesn’t stop within 8 to 10 days, call the school director (or the point of contact). Notify them that you’re forwarding a copy of your mail to the DASEN (National Education Services Director for the Academic area).
- Step 5: File a complaint or a report in the police log
Depending on the facts, they can require a log in the police book or an official complaint.
3/ Other actions that you can take immediately
- Get in touch with other parents
The local Parent Association can be a great source of information. It’ll help you get a sense of the overall atmosphere in the school.
- Help your kid gain confidence
Bullying takes a toll on a kid’s self-esteem. Make him more comfortable (and you too) by getting a Weenect Kids GPS tracker. In case of an emergency, your kid will be able to contact you by pressing the emergency button.
- Practice his quick-wittedness
Together, find various lines that he can use as a defense. Of course, the idea is not to belittle anybody, just to make your child more confident and better prepared.
4/ What else can you do?
- Consult with a psychologist
Your child may feel the need to talk to a trained professional, a person that is not directly involved in the situation he is going through.
- Change schools or go for home-schooling
In certain cases, and depending on the motive of the bullying, you may feel like putting your kid in a new school or starting homeschooling is the best option.
Are you willing to share a solution that helped you or a relative in a similar situation? Leave your comments!