Dear Rhonda & Dr. Cheri: Parents: Don’t punish kids who report bullying
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
We went to school authorities over a girl who bullied our daughter. Afterward, my husband punished our daughter by grounding her.
These are kids who have great families, grades, and accomplishments.
We always check her social media. She said we didn’t know anything because she erases it and doesn’t want to be punished again.
She said no one cares and she’s ostracized, pushed, threatened, and rumored about.
She said she was going to the police and her dad went ballistic.
That’s when she attempted suicide. The school asked us to move her to another school, but she doesn’t want to do that.
We’re at our wits’ end.
We believe that parents can be a great line of defense for their children by believing their children and believing in them.
We also believe that collectively parents, schools and communities have a responsibility to truly try to understand bullying today and how we may turn each community away from bullying and create civility in our culture.
Our definition of Civility is consideration, caring, and courtesy. It’s a difficult job in our current society, when so many adults are not being the best examples.
It takes a lot of Courage for our kids to admit their deeply painful and humiliating relational experiences to their most trusted adults, their parents, their teachers, and all the leaders in their community.
Parents can help their children’s Confidence and sense of self-worth by being persistent, using civility to be determined and keep Communicating with other parents, schools and authorities involved, until our society is enlightened, educated, and refined.
Parents can also help by being involved with their kids to find and practice their Creativity by demonstrating their internal and external talents.
Real solutions to end bullying with civility are:
• Build leadership skills with our 5Cs: Civility, Courage, Confidence, Communication and Creativity;
• Tell kids to “Speak Up” (with civility) when bullying starts and mean it. Children are often bullied right beneath posters saying “Zero Tolerance for Bullying.”
• Bullycide is real — every attempted suicide must be taken seriously and happens when kids are not believed, are punished for telling on bullies, and can’t find a solution.
• As a last resort, get the police/law enforcement members involved.
• Education is imperative. Bullying is the same as abuse — someone wanting power over someone else.
Bullying may happen to anyone, regardless of their socio-economic status, their intellect, their education, their popularity or celebrity (or normalcy). It is still an epidemic that must end with civility.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org. Find out more about Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation at www. rhondastopbullying.org.