Somaliland: Helping Your Child Deal with Bullies at School


Somalilandsun – Offer your child love and support. When a kid is being mean to your child at school, your child will have a lot of mixed feelings about the situation. He may have trouble dealing with it and feel embarrassed, angry, or even frustrated about the problem.

What he needs is for you to listen to him. Help him to talk about the mean child in school and what he thinks about it. Offer him lots of love and encouragement about the situation. Tell your child that you are there for him and want to help. Supporting your child through this time means keeping your anger about the situation to a minimum and simply hearing him out. Although you may want to go to the school and deal with the mean child yourself, this isn’t going to help your child. You must love and support him in a way that allows him to deal with the situation on his own so that he can learn to handle other situations that arise. You’ll be instilling confidence in your child by encouraging him to talk it out and find solutions himself.

Teach your child to stand up for himself. Help your child deal with a mean child at school by encouraging him to stick up for himself against the child who is causing him trouble. Allow your child to come up with a plan for standing up to the mean kid at school. Give him examples of what he can do to stick up for himself, but allow him to do what is best for him. Encouraging your child to stand up to the mean kid at school will help him to build confidence to tell the child to leave him alone. Suggest ways that your child can deal with the mean kid at school and ask him which one would be best for him to do. Your child needs to feel comfortable standing up for him so it’s best to allow him to use whatever method works for his personality. Explain how standing up for him will take care of the situation and stop the mistreatment from happening. When your child knows there is an end to the problem because of his actions, he will be more apt to stand up for himself against the mean kid at school.

Help your child to ignore the mean child. Some children do not do well with confrontation and are best to learn to ignore mean behavior. If your child is like mine, he is shy, sweet, and would rather not deal with mean children. This is perfectly okay. Allow your child to avoid confrontation with the mean child by helping him find ways to ignore the behavior. Teach him that it’s okay to not respond to the mean child, turn his back from the behavior, or simply walk away. Ignoring the mean kid’s behavior does not make your child weak. It just allows him to deal with the situation in a less confrontational way. However, this way of dealing with a mean child takes a bit longer and could be tough for your child because he will still hear the mean kid’s words and see his actions. But, if he is able to stay strong and pretend the child does not exist, the mean kid will eventually give up when he does not get a response out of your child. Let your child know that ignoring the mean kid should work, but will take time, so that he does not give up ignoring the child.

Let your child know that there is strength in numbers. Explain to your child that chances are, if he is being mistreated by a mean kid in school, other children are too. Encourage your child to talk to other kids that are being treated poorly by the mean child. Help him to form a bond with these children and get them to support each other. Tell your child that a mean kid will have a harder time mistreating many children than he will one at a time. Help your child to encourage other children to walk in pairs or groups whenever possible to avoid the mean child’s mistreatment. Help your child to get the other children to all stick up against the mean child. Explain that if all the children stand up to the mean child at school, he will be less likely to continue his bad behavior. Even if your child connects with only one other child being treated badly, encourage him to do so. Tell your child that he does not have to deal with the mean child alone and should try to convince other children to get together against the mean kid at school. When your child sees others being treated badly and forms a bond with them, he and the other children will gain the confidence needed to take care of the situation.

Encourage your child to ask for help from school officials. Help your child to understand that teachers, the principal and other school faculty are there to protect your child against mistreatment at school. Tell your child that speaking to a school official can help to fix the situation he is having with a mean child at school. If your child is shy or nervous about speaking to an adult at school, encourage him by making an appointment with a teacher or principal and going with him to meet the school official. You should, however, encourage your child to do most of the talking as he knows the situation with the mean kid at school best and needs to learn to talk to others when he has a problem.

You can simply be there to support him and listen in case he has trouble talking about the mistreatment at school. Encourage your child to tell the teacher or principal about incidents when the mean child was causing him trouble.

Help him to give examples so that the school official can better remedy the situation. Explain that the school official will not bring up your child’s name so he needn’t be scared about getting in trouble with the mean child.

Mohamoud Dahir Omar
Education Analyst