Parents Of A Bully Are Concerned About Upcoming School Year [COUNSELING CORNER]
Every Thursday Brain and Steele read a letter from a listener who has a dilemma they need help with. After the letter is read, it’s YOUR turn to help out with your thoughts and opinions about the situation. Welcome to the Counseling Corner.
Dear Brain and Steele,
As the new school year approaches, we have a problem in our house and it deals with bullying. I am not proud to say this, but our 12-year-old son was the one doing the bullying during the school year last year. My husband and I found out about this just as the school year was ending and we had a talk with our son and he was punished. He told us he wouldn't bully anyone again...but if you know kids of this age, they SAY lots of things and DO other things sometimes – especially when peer pressure is involved. The fact that this all happened at the end of the school year, I feel like we didn't get the full story or understood the magnitude as to what he was doing.
Now, with school starting back up this month, my husband and I have been talking about how nervous we are that he might take up the role of bully again. We're not sure what to do. If we talk to his teachers beforehand he could be branded a bully unfairly – before he has a chance. We want to know if you guys and listeners have any advice on how to handle this situation.
Mom and Dad
What Our Listeners Think
Yvonne said if their child is going back to the same school this year, then the teachers already know about his reputation so the best thing the parents can do is talk to the teachers.
Audrey thinks bullying is over dramatized in the media. She said the parents should leave it alone and let kids be kids.
Deanna suggested having a different authority figure talk to their child, like a cop, might help.
Kenny has experienced this before with his own kids and said the parents just need to talk to their son and tell him to treat other people the way he wants to be treated.
Jessi said talking with the teachers isn't going to teach their child anything. The parents need to tell the child not to bully people.
What Brain Says: If it were MY son, I would give him the chance to redeem himself. If I took the time as a parent to lecture him on why what he did was wrong, I would give a chance to prove he'd learned a lesson.
What Steele Says: You've got to allow him to prove you wrong. I know you're nervous, but give him the chance and let the teachers know that you need to know if he is going back to his old ways!