Sarah Cymbaluk is a frustrated mom of a nine-year-old girl who has been repeatedly bullied on the school bus. After her daughter went to the principal several times, the school did nothing about it. So the mother took the matters into her own hands and posted a video of her daughter crying on Facebook. This is not the first case of bullying, and it will not be the last. While bullying can be frustrating for parents to watch, it is crucial to the development of their kids.
In the video, Cymbaluk asked her crying daughter to tell her how the bullying made her feel. The girl responded that she felt scared, and sad and she did not like it. This video is heartbreaking to watch, but it is important to remember that bullying in the early childhood provides children with valuable experiences. Bullying cases should be about teaching the kids how to communicate better, and develops decision making skills that are important later in life.
While Cymbaluk is claiming that the bullying has gone on since December, she is more concerned that the school has done nothing about it. Mark Nohner, who is the Fosston School Superintendent, said that the situation could have been resolved differently. He had learned about this issue recently but admits that this case of bullying fell through the cracks.
In the case of the nine-year-old girl however, the mom is frustrated and angry that nothing was done to stop the bullying, however she has come under fire for publicizing the video. In many cases of bullying parents can go to great lengths in order to help their children. This can include everything from moving a kid to a different school to getting into arguments with the parents of the alleged bullies.
As a parent of a bullied kid, the most important thing a parent can do is make sure that their child feels safe. Open communication between parents and children fosters healthier relations with their peers, and the safe space at home helps the child create their own coping strategies.
Becki Cohn-Vargas who is a mother of three, a former principal and a director of “Not In Our School” anti-bullying program had her share of experience with parents who would come to her trying to defend their kids. Yet, even as a parent of a formerly bullied kid, she said that jumping in and defending a child is the worst thing that can be done by a parent, especially when they do not know what happened. Support is not about defense and protection, it is about the creation of a safe space at home, where the child feels encouraged.
Encouraging children to handle situations on their own by standing up for themselves is empowering for children. If the child is unable to resolve the issue on their own, it is important to talk to the adult who was close to the place of the alleged bullying such as a teacher or a bus driver. Going to the principal and the school district should be done last, if the bullying still continues.
Throughout the entire bullying process, it is important for parents to remember that documenting the events is key to getting help. Not only will the documentation help speed up the process of dealing with the bullies, it will help the parent see whether their kid is really being bullied or not. While bullying should not be condoned, the frustrated parents should remember that with the right approach, bullying can be important in helping their child develop and grow.
By Ivelina Kunina