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Ep44: Consult a Counselor

by Vanessa De Jesus Guzman
October 18th 2021

The “Consult a Counselor Series” is a segment of the Free to Be Mindful podcast, which answers parenting related questions to help caregivers live life mindfully. Today’s question: “My child is get... More

Hi and welcome back to the consultant counselor series. In this series, I answer parenting related questions so that you can be present and at ease with your child and live life mindfully this week's question is my child is getting bullied at school, what do I do? So first I'm so sorry that your child is going through a hard time at school. That's definitely really tough when as parents, we try to protect our kids as much as possible. Now what's really important to note is that schools and states actually define bullying as something very specific when compared to the way that we use the word bullying in our everyday conversation. So living in the state of New Jersey, it has one of the strictest rules when the strictest definitions when compared to other states. So it's really important to know about that is the way that we define it. Maybe some kids are just being mean, maybe they're engaging in jerky type of behaviors. However it has to fit specific criteria in order for it to be defined as bullying by the school.

Now, that doesn't mean that schools are not going to do anything about mean behavior because after all, it's all about raising our kids together to make sure that we are raising kind and decent human beings. However, it may not be defined as bullying if it doesn't fit into the criteria that the state has set forth which schools have to follow. So putting that definition aside, we as parents want to make sure that we're doing all we can do in order to help our kids. So as discussed in one of the previous consulting counselor questions, We want to make sure that we're always boosting our kids confidence levels up because that's going to make a difference in the way that they show up when engaging with other kids and it's going to make a difference if they are unfortunately seen as an easy target or not. We also want to make sure that we role play situations with our kids at home so that if things happen outside of the home, they kind of have an idea as to how they can handle the situation and many times experience.

We give our kids the advice of just ignore it for a little while. However, we want to be really careful with that advice while we don't want to make a big deal out of every single little thing. We don't want behaviors to go on ignored for quite a while as it may give the aggressor, the silent permission to keep on going with what they are doing. So I actually have a list for you. If you want to swipe up on the show notes are on the caption below. You can check out some tips and tricks that I share with students and clients that I work with that really go over different strategies that they can use when they are faced upon a tough situation and they're more than just ignore it or walk away, whether it be a one time incident or continuous, if your child is the target of someone else's aggression, it's definitely important to contact your school's administration principal, vice principal or even your child's school counselor to let them be aware of what's taking place and to inform whatever adults is in the vicinity when this takes place.

We want to make sure that schools always have a positive culture and climate and are always talking about positive character education and social emotional learning so that they learn how to interact well with other kids and how to have that social awareness so that they see something unkind taking place that they can either be an up stander and stand up for that kid right then and there or go report it to somebody who can do something about it. And of course if things get so out of hand that after trying these steps that has not helped, you can always request for harassment intimidation and bullying investigation to be opened if the school has not done so on their part already. It's really about making sure that kids understand that they should treat everybody with kindness and with respect as the way that they want to be treated. And if there is a particular child that is having a hard time with that, then that's where more hand should get involved, whether it be the school counselor, school psychologist, any other type of school professional to provide the assistance to this child that they may need and or to their family.

So I hope this helped. If you think that this can help another mom, dad or caregiver friend, be sure to share it with them and subscribe to my podcast that you don't miss the next one. If you have any other questions for our consulting counselor, you can always email me at hello at free to be mindful dot com or dM me on instagram at counselor V to jesus. And remember in a world where you are free to be anything that you want to be, you are always free to be mindful. Thanks so much and catch the next time.

Ep44: Consult a Counselor
Ep44: Consult a Counselor
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