Many parents have children who are being bullied and wonder whether their child would be safer at home than in school. It is so hard to know how best to keep your child safe.
It’s important to know that there is no right or wrong answer about whether to keep your child in school or start home schooling.
Here are some guidelines to consider, if you are faced with this very difficult choice:
Can your child feel safe going back to the same school?
It is important to ask yourself, as the parent, can you address the bullying safely with the principal? The first step is to ask the principal for the school policy on bullying. Does the school have programs or support for children in managing bullying within the school setting? This could be a bully prevention program that the school offers. You may also find support outside the school in the community. Explore the specific skills your child needs to help empower him or her to better handle the bullying. Can you support your child in this learning or would you like support in teaching coping skills and strategies for managing bullying? It is important to note that there are therapists who specifically work with victims of bullying who can help support your child’s development of these skills while your child is still in the school setting.
What if your child is clear and does not feel safe staying in the school?
Once this difficult decision has been made, it is recommended to have a school meeting with the principal to address concerns and determine how to set-up home school. If you are able to reach an agreement with the principal on the home school, it is important to remember that helping your child to return to the primary school setting is the goal. Just like a job, we all have to work with people sometimes that we do not like. We must learn to tolerate difficult things. So, with home school, it would be important to make it short term and work on getting your child back to their school environment if possible. During this time, it can be very helpful to have interventions in play, such a private counseling services, that work towards your child returning to the school setting.
In the end, it’s a personal, family choice of whether a child who is being bullied can emotionally handle being back in school.
Just keep the above guidelines in mind when thinking about your response to your child being bullied at school. Home school can be a great short-term tool to help your child regain safety and confidence.
If you’d like to discuss your specific situation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Danielle Matthew, LMFT