A Mom’s Advice During Bullying Awareness Month
First, do not avoid anyone just because you do not know what to say. Of course, you do not want to say the wrong thing and inflict more pain, but an e-mail, a card, or a voice mail saying just that can mean so much. Just knowing someone cares can provide comfort. Complete silence says no one really cares.
Second, while I appreciate that you have concern for the parent and believe me I am grateful for your support; it means more when you express your love and support for the child. Those who imply they feel sorry for the parent seem to be implying that they do not understand the severity of the pain the child is experiencing. In effect, they are implying that the child is inflicting pain on others by being wounded. This doubles the pain of the parent who knows this is not the case.
Third, if you know the child, please acknowledge her by sending a short note saying that you are thinking of her. Please realize your support matters even if the child cannot respond during this time. However, if you do not know the child, it is okay to let the parent know that you are thinking of them. All support matters to the entire family.
Lastly, please do not assume that all is magically okay when the child is no longer in the environment where the bullying took place or if she has returned to school. Deep wounds might not heal quickly despite appearances. But, if you continue to show your love and support, you will help them to heal more quickly.
Today I am grateful for all who are helping to educate others about ways to create a bully-free world and for those who continue to give my family love and support.