Shocking! And a parent's greatest fear! Bullies aren't just at school or in your neighborhood any more. They also can be on your child's sports team. A place where children are supposed to learn what team means.
A few days ago, as my son's baseball coach was wrapping up the game, I noticed a larger 9 year old boy (also on my son's team) intentionally ram into my 8 year old son's baseball bag which he had propped on his back like a backpack in order to knock him over. I disregarded it at first, thinking boys will be boys. But then he did it again. I instantly went over, got down to this boy's eye level and said, "Not cool. Stop it now!" I then stood in between the boy and my son, making a point that I will protect him.
As my son and I were walking to the car, I asked him about this boy (who literally is a good four to six inches larger and 20 lbs heavier). He responded, "He always get's in my face. And he blames me every time we lose a game." Come to find out my husband also had noticed this boy and my son in the dugout on several occasions bickering, but disregarded it as "boys will be boys."
That night I couldn't sleep. All I kept thinking about was this boy physically hurting my son. The season has ended which I'm glad. However, the reality is bully's can be part of your child's team.
The following are five must-know bullying strategies for parents:
1. Listen and talk to your children. Praise your children for being brave enough to talk to you.
2. Educate your child on bullying. Here is a great website that I found http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/bullies.html .
3. Coach your child to avoid the bully or use a buddy system.
4. If serious, write down everything your child tells you and notify the guidance counselor, sports director, or other person in charge.
5. Find out the laws about bullying in your local community.
Bullying is serious and can happen to your child. Please feel free to share stories, make comments, or send me questions!
Our children need to be safe!