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Once the crisis is resolved, we move to the third stage, which I refer to as the bullyproofing preservation phase.
Understand that some kids will go through several crises before figuring out how to remain bullyproofed. So you’ll have to repeat the process as it ebbs and flows.
The key to successful bullyproofing preservation is communication. I encourage parents to make in-depth discussions with their children a monthly routine, rather than a chance event. By talking regularly with your children about their social interactions and the bully dynamics they experience (which can change as your child changes), you’ll develop a closer, more durable bond with your kids, and create natural opportunities for them to tell you when something is wrong. Once again, the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” proves its worth.
However! (And this is a big “however!”) There can be too much of a good thing. If the crisis has passed, let it pass. Don’t ask about it every day. Don’t insist on frequent reports from your child and the school if things seem to have returned to baseline. If your child comes home from school happy, let it go. Don’t press and look for problems in every nook and cranny, or your child will learn to do the same thing: look for problems when there really aren’t any.
If your child is a target, it’s likely that he needs to learn how to care less about the bullies, not think about them more. Thinking about them all the time gives them more power over the child’s life. So it’s okay to check in once a week casually (“Is everything working with the plan we came up with?” “Are you having a better time in school this week?”), but there’s no need to dig unless the child is continuing to give cues that something is wrong. Talking in-depth once a month is plenty during the preservation stages.