Who The Course Serves

Most interventions provide strategies for children in case they should face bullying; this one is for the boy(s) they’re already complaining about.

“90 percent of fourth- through eighth-graders are bullied at some point.” Source: The American Psychological Association

Apart from being an act of support for the child and his family, enrollment in this course offers a chance for the parent, the community and the school to take forward-thinking and constructive action in response to bullying.

 

Who the Course Serves

This course has been designed with English-proficient children in mind, ages 10 to 14+, with an event, or an events history, of bullying or pre-bullying behavior. Students with language limitations or learning variations can be successful but may need the assistance—in addition to the mentor—of an at-home tutor at their side during and after the video lessons. For more information on program expectations for mentors, and on finding/assigning a mentor, please go to the How It Works section of the website, or email us at info@bestfortheboy.org

This course is designed to provide guidance to kids with an event or events history indicating low and moderate risk bullying tendencies or potential. Those with evident or suspected potential for serious violence should not be referred to this course.

 

How Parents Can Use This Course Most Effectively

1. Provide a Reasonable Degree of Computer Privacy
Provide your child with a computer station that allows for some measure of privacy. At the same time we recommend that it is also not behind a closed door or in areas of the house inconveniently viewable by you (e.g. on an upper floor), should you like confirmation that indeed the student is using his computer time properly and as you would prefer. This is not just advice for a course like this one…it’s a good idea generally.

2. Stay On Top of Schoolwork and Other Responsibilities
The student’s responsibilities to the household, his family, his classroom, and other established commitments stand just as firmly during the course as they should before and after, indeed more so. Having responsibility to (self and-) others is highly validating, provides identity, and helps satisfy the need to be needed. One reason children experiment with alternative behaviors is a lack of this validation.

3. Parental Assistance
The webpage (www.bestfortheboy.org) is quite simple to navigate, and the assignments will be explained indirectly in the video lessons and then directly by the student’s mentor. Your child should not require much help from you. Nevertheless, some children are more savvy than others in interpreting meaning, understanding instructions, keeping track of assignments etc., and you should be prepared to help as needed. We recommend that you attend the first video lesson together, help him take notes, and jointly make first contact with the assigned mentor.

Let your child know that you’ll be proud of them for taking the course seriously and doing the work willingly and with a good attitude. If they don’t, it need not become a point for family conflict. It will indicate that they may not yet be ready to take responsibility for their actions—unfortunate but not uncommon. Progress takes time, and the time it takes is different for every individual. Your job is to remind them that you love them unconditionally, without necessarily loving all the choices they have made.

 

Parenting In General
Parenting is hard. And while heavily influenced by their parents, kids are nevertheless their own people, and ultimately they make their own decisions. Remember that, and help them to remember that. Yes, there’s a lot– A LOT– you can do to give direction to their choice-making, but many of the actual choices they make will be independent of you. You can help them understand, but you can’t think and act for them.

That said, our words and actions often have unanticipated consequences. Consider whether your parenting style tends to be…

• Harsh; children learn that dominance is power, and if it works for you at home it can work for them at
school

• Intolerant; in an environment where normal mistake-making is unacceptable, a poor self-image and dishonesty will replace emotional growth, self-acceptance and honest responsibility-taking

• Sarcastic or mocking; when made to feel foolish for their mistakes, children will seek to comfort themselves and establish a sense of relative worth by loudly mocking the mistakes of others

Remember that you are your child’s first and best mentor—throughout his life—but that there can be magic in other people’s approaches to helping you with a problem you or your child are having. Choose a good mentor for your child and let them know that you welcome their assistance.

 

Choose The Right Mentor
Choosing a good mentor is central to your child’s success in the course. The mentor is a mature adult possibly having a background as an educator, substitute or student teacher, school psychologist, social work intern, spiritual or educational counselor, or coach. Sometimes a respected aunt, uncle, or family friend can comfortably fill the role. Most importantly in this case, the mentor is someone the parent is comfortable with and whose judgment, maturity and sensitivity justifies parent confidence.

It’s preferable that the mentor is NOT…
• an immediate family member (Dad, Mom, or adult relative living in the home)
• the child’s current classroom teacher(s)

Mentors are often caring volunteers, though some might request payment for their time as with the contracting of an academic tutor. In some cases they are recruited from among the child’s own school faculty with the help of school administration.