Every year, over 3.2 million students fall prey to bullying. If your child counts him or herself among these unfortunate victims, it’s your job to put a stop to the school-based terror. Unfortunately, doing so can be complicated if you hold joint custody with an ex. Follow these steps to collaborate with your ex and stop the bullying for good.
Your Ex Deserves To Know
If you hold primary custody, it may be tempting to minimize issues with your kids. Although logically, you know that bullying does not reflect on your parenting, you still dread sharing the bad news with your ex. As a fellow parent, however, your ex has the right to this information. Were the situation reversed, you’d want to know about bullying or other concerning issues.
Schedule a time to discuss the bullying problem—and possible solutions—in person. Continue to update your ex on developments (good or bad) as they occur.
The Importance of a United Front
Between the emotional trauma of divorce and bullying at school, your child suffers enough as is; he or she cannot handle the added stress of parents bickering about bullying. The two of you must immediately set aside your differences in the interest of settling this issue.
Schedule and Prepare For Meetings With Teachers and School Administration
Ideally, both parents should attend meetings regarding bullying at school. Meet with your ex ahead of time to discuss your strategy. Look over the school’s anti-bullying policy together, and determine the tone you’ll adopt during the upcoming meeting.
Remain calm while talking with the principal or school administrators. Avoid saying anything that you know will rile up your ex. Choose one parent to take the lead in sharing the story—ideally the person most capable of keeping their cool in tense situations.
Seek Support Away From Your Ex
Bullying traumatizes both children and their parents, who cannot handle seeing loved ones physically and emotionally harmed. Unfortunately, while you and your spouse may have previously taken solace in one another, you now require a new emotional outlet. Turn to a friend or a family member for support. The less you dump your emotions on your ex, the easier you’ll find it to work constructively to find a reasonable solution.