In keeping with the spirit and essence of a problem-solving approach, and our understanding of bullying and inequity as social problems, we can do our best to ensure that parents and caregivers do not feel blamed or criticized by us. We can do so by avoiding language and attitudes that convey judgment.
Here are just a few ways of communicating our non-judgmental stance:
- Acknowledge that young people learn bullying behaviour and discriminatory attitudes from many sources in our society. (See also Child Protection and Advocacy, for responding to parents and caregivers whose behaviour may support their child’s bullying.)
- Distinguish between the student’s behaviour and the student as a person: communicate clearly that the behaviour is unacceptable, without putting down or rejecting the student.
- Avoid labeling the student as a “bully”. Instead, try to use language that names and focuses on the student’s behaviour, communicating your belief in the student’s ability to change.
- Avoid labeling the student as a “victim”. Instead, try to use language that names and focuses on the student’s experience, communicating your belief in the student’s strength and resilience.