Bullying: The Dad’s Effect

For over 3 years, my son was experiencing bullying. He was called bad names, threatened, and was excluded from games. It was more of a psychological abuse than a physical abuse. Each year, it was a different bully: one year it was a girl who threatened to kill him, another year it was a boy who wanted to take his pocket money, and still another one it was a boy who called him bad names and asked other children to avoid him. Each bully had a different background!

Bullies come in all shapes, sizes and intellectual incapacities.

Bullies are not all products of abused and neglected backgrounds, according to my son’s principal. There is no rhyme or reason as to why one student gets bullied and the next does not. The tall, the short, the smart, the fit, the less fit: each has the same the chance of being bullied. She was right.

Bullying: The dad’s effect:

Students whose fathers are involved are far less likely to be bullied,” the principal said. She was right!

For over 3 years, I was in constant contact with the school teachers, principals, educators and all the school staff to help my son go through this journey. It was hard for him and for all the family. My husband was involved too. He did not attend meetings with the teachers or discussions with the therapists. He was more involved in helping my son go through this by raising his self-esteem and teaching him how to defend himself.

Few months ago, one of the bullies pushed my son on an icy ground. He fell on his head. Fortunately, he did not hurt himself! But my husband was so upset that he rushed to the principal’s office and asked for this to stop. The bully happened to be in the principal office and saw my husband. This meeting smoothed things over a lot.

Fathers need to make an extra effort:

For a would be bully: knowing that there is a dad and that he is often seen in the school, is a strong deterrent”, the principal said. She was right again!

Moms and Dad should work together to stop this!

  • Moms already attend the school meetings, school fundraisers, etc. Let’s face it:  It’s a women’s world! But, by including the father in these meetings, discussions, all the community will benefit! It’s a TEAM work.
  • Moms already supervise the homework, prepare lunch boxes, organize the children’s schedules, spend quality time with their kids! Fathers do it also but sometimes they spend less time with their children than moms. A new study links father absence to increased bullying. Children’s perception of how much time they spent with their fathers that had the most impact on bullying behavior. What this research shows is that while it’s equally important for kids to spend time with both parents, fathers need to make an extra effort.

I am not blaming fathers because they don’t or can’t spend quality time with their children. Life is not easy: Fathers need to work hard to give food and proper housing for their family. But for the sake of our children, fathers need to make an extra step to help stop this silent epidemic: Bullying.

24 thoughts on “Bullying: The Dad’s Effect”

  1. I love this piece. Having done extensive research for school on the effects of an absent/present father I really think that you grasped why kids today need their dad’s. Unfortunately, and I’m speaking based on statistics not opinion or observation, as the number of marriages flags more children are being brought up in single parent homes without a father consistently present (or present at all). The effects of which, studies reveal, can be severely detrimental (on so many levels). The story you shared, about your son and your husband, stresses the importance and the positive effects a dad can have on his son- and definitely encourages increased involvement from already present dads. Having a dad who you know has your back (like your son’s dad) really makes all the difference- and this time I’m speaking from experience ;) Never underestimate the power and love of a father, much like you should never underestimate the strength, patience, and perseverance of a mom!

    1. Thanks Krista: you GOT it.. Both parents are important in a child’s life. Each one of them has a different role to play. My son feels that his father holds his back in these situations. He feels loved and supported by both parents..

  2. My brother was bullied in elementary school. He’s always been overweight and kids would also tease him, call him names and try to start fights with him. He’d try to use humor to get out of the situation but it didn’t always work. I’m 6 years older than him so whenever someone picked on him, they had to deal with me. I wish my parents would have been more involved (kudos to you and your husband) in dealing with this. I’m so sorry your son had to deal with this and hope through your message, another kid’s life can be changed for the better.

  3. I’m so sorry your son had to go through that. :( I agree that when fathers make babies they need to step up.

    Our family is made up of two moms, though, so that is not an option for us. I guarantee if there is any bullying I will be up at the school daily until it stops. My girls have only encountered a small amount of bullying, and each time I was up at the school (or bus stop!) the next day. I guess being 6’2″ and 200+lbs maybe I’m scary likes the dads are?? :) It seems to put a stop to it. I think a parent being involved (male OR female) helps a lot.

    1. You are right Sadie: Parents need to be involved. Being a 5.2 and 120 pounds does not make effect on a 10 year old… I agree: both parents need to be involved. My husband was invloved in the background : at home but not seen too much at school. When he stepped in at school: it made a HUGE difference.. thanks for sharing!

  4. That is horrible to hear about your son being bullied. Bullying touched my town big last year when a young girl killed herself at the local park. I cried for days and held my little baby hoping I could protect him in the future. Currently we are lucky enough to have his father work only 4 hours at night, every night, but he’s home any other time. Seeing the love that he has for our son is amazing and I feel so lucky that he has his father in his life.

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