By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Dr. Ben Leichtling is the author of the book “How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks.” He recently posted a blog article in response to a parent whose four year old child was being bitten and punched by a classmate. The parent felt that the other child might be too young to realize what he is doing, and the fact that the school has done nothing to discipline the child has made the mother feel that maybe she is overreacting to “normal” kid stuff.
Dr. Leichting gives some advice that all parents can benefit from. He says not to think too hard about the other kid or the school. He said to think about what type of environment your child should be in and whether he or she should be subjected to physical abuse by another person under any circumstances. He suggests asking yourself if it is appropriate for teachers and administrators to ignore abusive behavior and turn their back on a child who is being hurt.
Parents should not wait until they get pushed to the limit to make their voices heard. Children are not able to protect themselves, so it is the parents’ responsibility to do so if the school will not. Parents, whether on their own or with a group of other parents, need to go to administrators and let them know that they will not tolerate abusive actions toward their child. Parents need to be clear that an apology is not enough, that the aggressive child needs to be disciplined to either stop the behavior or be removed from school. Parents need to be willing to do whatever it takes – even going to the media or removing their own child from the school.
It is important to keep in mind that discipline is helpful to the aggressive child as well. Children who are not taught to behave appropriately at a young age will suffer disciplinary problems and risk becoming a social outcast or criminal. Read more about how to deal with bullies at Stop Bullying by a 4-Year Old.