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A Parent’s Guide: When Bullying Becomes Assault

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: October 21, 2013 | Categories: Children, Education, Family and Health, Guest Posts, Parenting

Guest Post

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Every mom wants her child to experience a rich, joyful life, and while you can help make this happen, your child will inevitably have hardships. There are times in which they must endure these hardships alone in order to build character.

However, there are times when a parent needs to step in; and if your child is currently experiencing bullying, that time is now. 

Bullying in The Modern Age

Bullying used to be thought of as a rite-of-passage that most kids experience at some point during their childhood, but in recent years, the issue has received nationwide attention.

There have been multiple cases of teenage suicide linked to bullying. Cyber harassment has brought the issue to an entirely new level offering abusers an easy way to harass their victims.

When Bullying Becomes a Criminal Act

Due to the worsening issue, many states now have laws against bullying. Harassing someone over the Internet will no longer be tolerated, and if it can be proven, the offender will suffer legal consequences.

As always, any type of physical assault is punishable by law, so if your child has been hit, kicked, slapped, had something thrown at them or experienced any other type of physical injury, you likely have a case in court.

You will benefit from the aid of an assault attorney such as the ones found at www.devorelawoffice.com.  It’s important to document evidence of the bullying, which means your child should always see a doctor for his injuries, even if they are not severe.

Take pictures of any cuts, scrapes or bruises, and save screenshots of any offensive social media or chat messages that are sent to your child.

Deciding When to Get Involved

Depending on the age of your child, it may be best to give him the chance to work through this issue alone. Make it clear that you’re offering your support, and be ready to step in when needed. If your child then comes to you and says the situation is growing worse, you have a few different options:

1. You can reach out to the parents of the offending party and suggest that everyone sits down and discuss how to fix the problem. This may work if your child and the bully were once close friends who had a “falling out” over a particular issue.

2. Another choice is to go directly to the school, if it only occurs there, and discuss the problem. However, you should be aware that schools often don’t have much power to change the situation. The bully may be punished, but this can make things worse for your child in the long run.

3. Depending on the circumstances, you can consider giving your child a fresh start at a new school. No one wants to run away from their problems, but if the bullying is severe and the harassment is coming from multiple parties or even groups, having a fresh start in a new school may be the best option.

4. Lastly, you may want to consider taking legal action against your child’s bullies, especially if a physical assault has taken place.  If this course of action is taken, please ensure that you discuss the legal process with your child. This will help ease his worries and help him to understand his responsibilities in the case.

Bullied children sometimes feel that the whole world is against them, but some say, “What doesn’t kill a person makes them stronger in the end.” Having the support of a loving mother will go a long way in helping your child get through this rough time.

Make sure that he understands that it is not his fault.

Article contributor, Domonique Powell, is a mother who has supported a child during a bullying crisis. She knows first-hand the mental and physical harm that bullying can cause for a child. Attorney Kevin W. Devore at www.devorelawoffice.com helps clients help their child be rescued from abuse.

31 Responses to A Parent’s Guide: When Bullying Becomes Assault

  1. Mer says:

    What a depressing, though necessary topic of discussion. Thanks especially for the tip to approach the school with caution, as it often is ineffective and can make things worse.

    • Domonique Powell says:

      I am glad yo enjoyed the article. I have four children and three of them have been in bullying situations. I wrote this based on personal experience. I hope you all find it helpful.

  2. Sheri says:

    I hate the thought of my children being bullied. I would hope teachers and schools can do something about it though.

  3. Theresa says:

    Bullying is such a huge problem, and it’s so scary to deal with.

  4. Sometimes I don’t want to send my kids out into the world because I am afraid of bullying. It’s nice to know what steps to take in the case of it.

  5. You know, if we held the parents of bullies accountable, the problem would lessen significantly.

  6. Maria Iemma says:

    I could not agree with you more – making the parent’s of the bully aware of what is going on and making them accountable via legal means if necessary may result on the stop of bullying for your kids. Parents need to be proactive and be alert to any signs.

  7. We are so fortunate that we’ve never dealt with bullying. I really don’t understand where all of this meanness came from, it wasn’t like this when I was a kid!

  8. I agree the parents really need to be held accountable too!

  9. Corina Ramos says:

    Hi Donna,

    A very important topic that should be discussed. My son Adrian was bullied to the point where he couldn’t take it anymore and end up fighting him. When I got to school I was upset at Adrian for fighting but that’s when he told me “Mom, he wouldn’t stop bothering me and I couldn’t take it anymore”. It was going on for two years.

    Well, the teachers found out and although Adrian was suspended for fighting (boy did he let him have it too) but the boy as well. Let me tell you, he never bothered Adrian again.

    I’m not condoning violence but I’m grateful it wasn’t more than just fighting. My son could have taken his own life.

    Parents do need to be aware and held accountable for their child’s actions. They can’t just turn the other way just for peace and quiet…doesn’t work like that anymore :).

    Great post Donna!

  10. Laura P. says:

    I was bullied as a child and it can be very serious. Unfortunately, my parents (as much as I love them) took the approach that you will always have to deal with people you don’t like and didn’t really do much. I can agree with that as an initial approach if it is a one time instance of name calling or something like that because kids do have disagreements. However, this was day in and day out. The thing is I wasn’t an adult and didn’t have all the tools I needed to “deal with it”. I think it is important for all parents to keep an open dialogue with their kids letting them know they can come to you if someone at school is bothering them and not to be ashamed. Also, I think that it is important to let kids know that if they do something to someone else there will be consequences. Some of the kids that bullied me were probably really nice kids but fell under the influence of not so nice kids. I say that because sometimes parents can be in denial. Just because your child has been caught doing something wrong don’t think that the teacher/principal is saying they’re a bad person. Look at it as an opportunity to offer some guidance.

  11. Marcie W. says:

    I suppose I am a different type of parent. If one of my children comes to me and says they’re being bullied, I’ll give the school one chance to curb the issue. If it doesn’t work, I am going directly to the bullying child’s parents and handling it myself (by whatever means necessary). While this approach may seem harsh to some, perhaps this type of abusive behavior would be less of a problem. After all, it is MY job to protect my babies!

  12. corinne says:

    great post. It’s sad that it’s become necessary to bring this to the forefront, but in light of the recent suicides and killings, it’s extremely important.

  13. crystal smith says:

    My boys are still both young (in pre-k and first grade) and bullying isnt something weve had to deal with (and I of course hope we never do) but its certainly something I worry about- mostly because I worry about what the right way to deal with it would be. I appreciate your approach and advice. I agree that its important to offer support and to keep the communication open so that you know when the right time to step in is.

  14. Angela says:

    Thanks for offering these tips on how parents can (and should) get involved. It is sad that bullying has become such a hot topic in the last decade.

  15. Bullying is something I’m already worried about even though my kids are relatively young. I can already see the beginning of the behavior in the little children in my kids’ classes and dread what might happen in the future, especially as social media continues to grow.

    Thanks for the great tips. Definitely good things to think about!

  16. Lolo says:

    It is really overwhelming. It is so sad, and I am worried it is not getting better.

  17. Mellisa says:

    I can remember how mean kids were when I was growing up so I always worry about my kids. Unfortunately even as young as they are ( Kindergarten and 4th grade) they have each experienced so sort of bullying

  18. Linda Moore says:

    Bullying is a terrible thing in all the schools and it is getting way out of hand. I don’t know if there is anything that will be done about it but I think any kid that does bullying should be kicked out of the school and put in an alternative school and not just for a couple of months. For the rest of the school year. If they continue the bullying then just kick them out and let their parents worry about what to do with them. I can’t stand to see or hear about these awful kids and wish their was something drastic that could be done. To many sweet kids are taking their lives because of being bullied. It is unacceptable. Thank you for having this blog. It needs to be done more often..

  19. Leilani says:

    Its sad to see how big of a problem bullying has become over the years.

  20. Robin Gagnon says:

    With my daughter being special needs, this is always a concern for me. So far no issue, she actually is pretty popular with many of the children, despite being non-verbal.

  21. Shell Feis says:

    I’m so glad that they are starting to make cyberbullying punishable by law. It’s about time.

  22. Stefanie says:

    I was just telling my husband that I never had to deal with bullying growing up…times have changed and not for the better 🙁

  23. Toni says:

    Bullying is such a horrible thing. I hate to see any kid being picked on or treated unfairly.

  24. Kathleen says:

    These are great tips. I think it is often hard for parents to know the right thing to do or when to get involved and take action. Bullying is a hard battle to fight, but every child deserves to have someone there to stick up for them.

  25. HilLesha says:

    I despise bullying with a passion!

  26. I know a few parents who don’t do anything to discipline their child after they’ve bullied someone. They just tell them to stop, like that’s really going to do help. I, for one, think parents should be held accountable for their child’s actions. It just breaks my heart to see anyone going through this, and yes, I’ve been there before and know the pain it causes.

  27. Tammy says:

    It’s kind of scary what bullying has evolved into. Years ago parents would be able to tell their children to be good-natured about it and a talk with a teacher or principal “usually” solved the issue. Now though, yikes, it’s not just a joke anymore it really is serious and extends far beyond the school yard.

  28. Tracie says:

    I’m a new parent but I am dreading the day that my son goes off to school because I know there will come a time when he is bullied. I remember what it was like and how it affects a kid’s self worth. Thank you for the post.

  29. It is so sad how mean some children are. I don’t get what causes someone to be so ugly to people. I just wish we could all get along.

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