Parenting with Toka: How to Handle Bullies

posted by Lakshmi Mitter, March 10, 2019

How to teach my child to keep bullies away? is a question for which I am yet to find a satisfactory answer. My son believes in approaching the nearest adult for help in these situations. For quite some time, I felt that was the right thing to do. But when it comes to petty situations like another child snatching away his things and refusing to give it back or scribbling in his class workbook and so on, the teacher is able to do little. She has quite a bit to handle as it is, in a class full of cute, little brats. My son, suddenly, is finding himself in a situation where his time tested strategy does not seem to be working.

Different mothers deal with similar problems differently. Some argue that the best thing to do is to give it back. Let the other child know that his/ her actions will have repercussions. While some others believe in the non-violent approach of communicating sternly. I am a believer of the second approach. But is it really effective, I wonder.

Some argue that the best thing to do is to give it back. Let the other child know that his/ her actions will have repercussions. While some others believe in the non-violent approach of communicating sternly. I am a believer in the second approach.

Going back to the situation at school, my son, soon after realizing that his time tested strategy was not working, decided to take the matter in his hands, when his pencil box- a prized possession, was taken away by another child. She claimed it was hers. He tried snatching it from her and in the process scratched her hand by mistake. I, of course, did not know this story. The child who snatched his box walked up to me and informed me that my son had scratched her. How did I determine the truth? Obviously, like in any dispute, both parties had to be given a chance to speak up. From my son, I learnt what had happened.

Now as a responsible parent, what should I be saying? Should I be saying, “You did the right thing by insisting on having your box back, but you need not have snatched the box from her. That way you would not have scratched her.” I am well aware of the fact that this was not the first time, she was taking his things. Saying it in words was not helping, so he had to resort to the extreme measure of physically snatching it from her.

For one, I was happy, that he told me the truth and accepted that in the process of snatching that box, he scratched her by mistake. He felt bad about it. The last thing I wanted to do was to discourage him from telling me the truth, by giving him a lecture about something that I am not even sure about.

 

Featured image credit: Pixabay



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