“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.” – Chris Colfer
As a school teacher who works with kids who have been bullied, there are 3 things I want every parent to know about how to help their son recover after bullying. In fact, I believe you’ll find these so helpful that we created www.bullyingrecovery.com so that every parent could feel equipped. I think any parent who understands these three things can be a bigger help to their son than any therapist or expert. Let’s see if you agree…
Victim -> Survivor -> Veteran
VICTIM: If your son has experienced bullying, his initial response will probably be to feel like a victim. Your son will want to, feel inadequate and blame himself, lash out or blame others for the bullying that has occurred. It is normal to start as a ‘victim’, but we need to help our sons move to a healthier mental space.
SURVIVOR: The next place for them to be is to view themselves as a ‘survivor’ of bullying. That means your son views himself as separate from the bullying experience, with the experience in the past. He still feels affected, but he has survived it.
VETERAN: Then your son can move to the next, ideal stage after bullying which is to view himself as a ‘veteran’. That means he’s been to the ‘land of bullying’, and survived it and come back ready to equip others and to use his experiences to make a difference in the world. Think of a soldier who goes to serve overseas and then returns to his home country and trains others with the experiences he has had. Once your son realises that the bullying experiences have made him stronger in a few ways, he loses that sense of failure that a victim of bullying will feel.
The tools that a parent needs to help their son move from victim, to survivor, to veteran are all freely available for you at www.bullyingrecovery.com/parents-getting-started.
Bullying Was An Event, But Don’t Let It Define You
We need to help our sons realise that bullying experiences were specific events that they’ve experienced at a point in time, but that point in time is not now. The bullying events are in the past, but your child lives in the present and in the future. We need our sons to see that the future is not tainted by what has happened in the past. If our boys allow the bullying experiences to define them as ‘failures’, as ‘weak’ or as ‘inadequate’ then they have let their past determine their future. It is our job as parents to help our boys see bullying as ‘past events’, rather than a ‘current state of being’. Helpful tips for knowing how to do have this conversation with your son are here for you at http://bullyingrecovery.com/ tools-bouncing-back-bullying.
What Is Fact? What Is Fiction?
The fact is that your son experienced events of bullying. The facts are that he was sworn at, kicked, or teased. The facts are what happened, and that’s life. However, our sons can experience long-term damage is when they allow the fiction of the situation to overcome the facts. The fiction is the ‘invented story’ that our boys tell themselves about the facts. The fiction could be “I was bullied because I am weak”, “I will always be someone who gets picked on for the rest of my life” or “Nobody cares about me and the bullying proves that”. There’s a helpful, short video about this that you can show your boy to help him understand the difference between the facts and the fiction and you’ll find it at www.bullyingrecovery.com/how- to-talk-to-your-son-about- bullying/.
I’ve seen the effect of these 3 big tips on my own life and I’ve seen the effect on the lives of many kids. My colleagues and I believe that any parent can help their child begin to recover after bullying. We believe it so much that we created a free online course at www.bullyingrecovery.com. Go and get the tools and skills you need to really help your son bounce back!