I try to stay up on the latest blog posts about fatherhood. Often, I share helpful articles on NFI's social media channels. But, when Roland Warren, the former President and current board member of NFI, wrote about fatherhood recenty, I had to share it here on the blog. Why? Well, Mr. Warren knows a thing or two about fatherhood.
In his newest post, Warren shares a personal story of how he experienced bullying and what he did about it. Review his story as a resource to help you help the dads you serve.
I recommend you read the full post here. But I've added the six helpful tips below for you to consider. Use Warren's tips to lead the dads in your sessions and help them protect their children from bullying.
1) Get Involved…Early.
As soon as your children begin to interact with others, you need to begin to teach them not to bully and how to protect themselves from bullies. Remember, children generally do not learn to solve these kinds of problems by themselves. Parents need to teach them.
2) Bullies need love too.
Despite your frustration or even anger when you learn that your child is being bullied, you must remember that the bully is a kid too. Moreover, bullies are very often children who have been bullied or abused themselves. They may be experiencing a life situation that they can’t handle and that leaves them feeling helpless and out of control. Bullying may just be a release for them. Since they can’t control their life, they want to control your child.
3) Bullies don’t grow on trees.
They usually have parents and in many cases their parents don’t know that their child is the class bully. Accordingly, it’s generally a good strategy to get them involved. Remember, however, that they will probably be defensive at first, so don’t lose your cool and make the matter worse. The goal is to create a safe environment for your child.
4) Just the facts, Ma’am.
It’s important that you be a “Detective Joe Friday” and get as much information as you can from your child before you take action. Avoid blaming anyone including your child or even, the bully. Also, make sure that you consider your child’s behavior, conflict management skills and temperament. The solution to this problem may entail some changes for both your child and the bully.
5) Remember, life is a stage.
One of things that my son found most helpful was role playing how he could respond to the bully. He was a bit nervous at first but once he got comfortable, it gave him a renewed sense of confidence. So, I strongly recommend that you actually walk through the situations and have your child practice different responses.
6) Get additional help if needed.
Like your child, you are not alone in handling this situation. Teachers, school administrators, counselor, and pastors can be great resources. In addition, you can visit www.safechild.org and remember we have our FatherSource™ store full of resources to help you help any dad.
Are you a dad looking for help or are you interested in volunteering to help a fatherhood program in your area? Please visit our Fatherhood Program Locator™ to find programs and resources near you.