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Parent Involvement (The Target)

In my last article I shared how over the past three decades there have been several changes to help put an end to bullying in the schools.   According to forty nine states now have anti-bullying laws in place and many schools have policies in place with “zero tolerance” but for many targets of a bully this is not a enough.

If you are a parent of a target of a bully you too must not leave it up to the school to solve the problem, because in most cases they won’t.  You need to get involved.  Dan Olweus says that “you should contact the child’s teacher as soon as possible. The goal should be to achieve cooperation with the school about the problem. “

As I mentioned in many other articles you need to keep your personal baggage at home and stay focused on what is happening to your child. Be specific and make sure you follow up with the teacher, principal or social worker regularly.

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease”

The more you follow up, get involve and keep a watchful eye, the quicker you will see it pay off.

Here is a letter from a parent that attended my teacher/parent night “Stop the Bullying” presentation. Her son Colt was targeted by a bully. When she found out she contacted the principal and they took some action but Colt was still being bullied. She remembered what I shared in my program  to keep contacting the school until there is an end to the aggressive behavior.

Here is what she did:

“I contacted the school counselor and asked that she please get involved. I know that she met with Colt and he felt better after the meeting. I also contacted the teacher again explaining the manipulation this boy was using and how that can be confusing to Colt.  The boy claims to be a friend yet treats Colton horrible.  She was surprised to hear, because this young man is shy. After she heard the behind the scene details she also met with the bully and warned him. She talked to Colton and explained that it was a poisonous friendship. Soon after that the bully picked another victim and Colt stood up to him, and reported to the teacher. She then came down hard on him and met with the parents. They have not had any trouble since then.  This is a perfect example of why the adults NEED to  be involved  in giving the kids the tools they need to solve these issues that arise when there is lack of supervision at home and school.”

Thanks for all you do,



This is a perfect example of how parental involvement can put an end to your child’s bullying issues, if handled correctly will pay it forward the message to other children like Colton to inspire them to report when other students are being bullied too.


1)      Find out the facts from your child and write them down

2)      Stay focused and share those facts with the teacher or principal

3)      Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up

4)      Keep a record

5)      Don’t stop till you put an end to it


Bullying Parent Involvement

Over the last three decades school districts, parents and students have been speaking up against bullying behavior.  Dan Olweus first published his Book Bullying At School in 1993, he describes what we know about bullying and what we can do about it.

Now in 2013, according to forty nine states now anti-bullying laws into place mandating schools district to implement some kind of bully prevention policies and or strategies.

But we can’t leave it all up to the schools; the parents need to get involved too. If it has been brought to your attention that your child is being aggressive toward another student you need to make it clear to the child that you do not tolerate such behavior and that they will be disciplined. Don’t just assume because you told them once it will put an end to it.  Keep your eyes and ears open; if they are doing something right praise them, if they are not remind them of your expectation.

“The parents must make it clear to their child that they take the bullying seriously, and that they will not tolerate any such behavior in the future.” Dan Olweus

1)      If you hear your child is being aggressive toward others take action

2)      Be specific

3)      Create an easy discipline chart that hangs on the refrigerator

4)      Never give a warning- Follow through

5)      Remind them daily that you love them.

For information about our Parent Night Programs visit our web site:

Copyright Richard Paul 2013

Adults Can Be Bullies Too

Many years ago after finishing my self-esteem/self-image assembly program at a middle school, I was pushing my equipment cart down the hall toward the door where my car was parked. On opposite side was a hall monitor screaming to a young man. He was shouting, “Your nothing! A loser! Do you hear me? You’re a looser!” I left my equipment by the door and walked over toward them but when the hall monitor saw that I had witnessed what he said, he quickly motioned to the student to come with him to his office. As they were walking away I commented, “Didn’t you listen to anything I shared today?” But the hall monitor just slammed the door in my face. When I reported it to the principal his answer was, “See what I have to deal with every day!”

At many of the conferences I have spoken to, teachers and counselors have shared similar stories of teachers, parents and administrative staff crossing the line when it comes to disciplining a student.


For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness”    Ralph Waldo Emerson

To paraphrase for every minute you are angry toward a child you chip away their self-worth.

There is a right way and a wrong way of disciplining a student. Screaming at and/or degrading a child is not only wrong but it may also leave a negative impression that can spread like germs.
“Just as positive actions are like seeds, rude gestures and remarks are like germs- you may not see the impact they have on you for a while, but they are there silently infecting you and everyone around you.” Power of Nice, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Rovin Kovel


Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of physics is Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction.
If we want to reduce bullying and violence in schools adults must be the example of good behavior. As one of the parents at my Stop the Bullying session at the Michigan PTA Convention shared, “parents need to be a little more patient and monitor what their saying to their children. They need to remember they are the person their child looks up to, and the only opinion they value the most.”
If we are telling our child they are stupid or worthless the equal and opposite reaction will be lower self-image and lack of confidence creating either a violent or depressed disposition.



The right way to discipline:
1) Make sure the child understands the consequences for their actions
2) Focus on what they did and why it was wrong
3) Make sure the discipline fits the behavior
4) Never let them off with just a warning, follow through
5) Remind them that you love them unconditionally

Copyright Richard Paul 2013