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Cayman Parent | Articles | Community | Keeping Cayman Kind: How to Spot & Stop Bullying | Part II

Keeping Cayman Kind: How to Spot & Stop Bullying | Part II

What You Can Do

Advice for Parents

  • If you are concerned that your child’s demeanour or mood has changed or they are uncharacteristically withdrawn or angry, it is important not to dismiss it as hormonal, and to instead entertain the possibility that they may be experiencing bullying. The FRC tells parents to “validate your child’s feelings, take what they say seriously and give them the space to tell you what’s happening”.
  • The Family Resource Centre encourages parents to teach children to stand up safely and confidently to bullying rather than retaliating. However, if there is a persistent or immediate danger to the child, the best thing to do is to contact the school and make your concerns known to a teacher who can then investigate and bring the bullying to an end.
  • The Family Resource Centre operates within the Department of Counselling Services so referrals to other health professionals such as therapists can be made swiftly to address issues on a case by case basis.
  • In extreme cases, it may be appropriate to consider contacting the authorities to move forward. In its 2016 paper, ‘Bullying: Legislation, Policy or Both?’, the Law Reform Commission advocates that “the best approach is to build upon a child’s assets and invest your energies in fostering healthy social relationships” as a preventative strategy. However, the Commission also acknowledges that there are a number of offences which might be potentially relevant to the Cayman Islands Penal Code (2013 Revision), Information Communications Technology Authority Law (2011 Revision) and the Computer Misuse Law (2015 Revision).
  • It is important to work with your child as part of any strategy to deal with bullying so that they feel personally empowered throughout the process. Ultimately, children can and will learn to stand on their own two feet and to survive and succeed in a world that is not always sugar-coated or fair.

Advice for Kids

  • If you are too scared to tell someone to stop bullying, find an adult you trust who can make it stop. The best thing you can do is tell someone or write a letter explaining how you feel and give it to an adult or a friend.
  • Telling an adult is NOT tattling. Tattling is what you do to get someone IN trouble. Telling an adult is what you do to get someone OUT of trouble. If you see someone being bullied, you need to get them out of trouble and you need to go to an adult for help.
  • Stay close to other kids or adults who will stick up for you.
  • Stay in areas where you feel safe.
  • Walk away from bullying or fight back with words, not fists. Practise looking brave, even if you don’t feel brave.
  • Don’t blame yourself – everyone deserves to be shown respect and it is not your fault you have been bullied.

Advice for Friends

  • Children who are being bullied often find it difficult to stand up for themselves and need you to stand up for them. By standing up to bullying, you can be part of the solution, not the problem!
  • If a kid is being bullied, invite them to play with you somewhere else – be their friend and let them know that no one deserves to be treated that way.
  • Tell the bully or bullies that what they are doing is not okay. If you feel frightened, tell an adult such as a teacher, parent or coach.
  • Don’t forward text messages, photographs, videos or emails to others if they could hurt someone else.
  • Don’t repeat rumours that could hurt your friend’s reputation.

Advice for Kids who Bully

  • It may feel powerful to bully someone else but consider how that person feels – scared, hurt, embarrassed, sad, perhaps angry? Ask yourself if you have ever felt that way? Would you like to feel that way every day?
  • If you have been hurt by someone else, bullying won’t make you feel better. Speak to an adult that you trust and learn how you should treat others, and be treated, with respect.
  • Be powerful in other ways – be a leader and treat others with respect; be brave and apologise to the person you have hurt.
  • Play sports or take part in activities that make you feel good.
  • Just because other kids might laugh or watch when you bully doesn’t mean they like it. They are probably scared too.
  • Hang out with friends who are respectful to you and don’t encourage you to hurt others.
  • Ask an adult to help you stop bullying. You can choose to do what is right.
  • Think about your future – bullying behaviour can lead to losing privileges, being kicked off sports teams, suspension or expulsion from school. It can also lead to criminal charges.

Click here for Part I

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Mental Health CI

Pauline Vandergrinten MA LPC NCC LMHC DCC from Mental Health CI is a licenced psychologist in Red Bay.


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