Kids Beg Parents Not to Tell
This is a fairly common scenario. Many kids fear that if other kids or the bully find out they told an adult, the bullying will get significantly worse. This leads them to beg their parents not to tell anyone what they told them. This can be a difficult judgment call for parents.
On one hand, the parents want to respect their child's wishes and are grateful their child came to them to tell them he was having a problem; but on the other hand, the parents wish to protect their child from further harm or humiliation. It's a tough position to be in — one which parents must weigh carefully.
If your child is not in any physical danger, if the bullying is mild, and if your child is upset but not devastated by what is happening, it might be okay to honor your child's wishes. You should start coaching your child on potential ways to handle the bully and work on building his confidence and self-esteem. Purchase books on bullying for you and your child, and keep an open dialog so you are aware of exactly what is happening with the situation.
Here are a few good anti-bullying books for kids. Grades K-2: Best Enemies by Kathleen Leverich and The Very Bad Bunny by Marilyn Sadler. Grades 3–8: The Meanest Things to Say by Bill Cosby and Bad Girls by Cynthia Voigt. Grades 9 and up: How You Can Be Bully Free by Allan L. Beane and Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary.
Keep close tabs on your child and be attentive to any emotional, psychological, or educational changes in him. It's not uncommon for kids to go through a brief bullying situation. It could actually help to build his self-esteem if he is capable of handling the situation. But at the first sign of escalation, be prepared to step in.
It is also a good idea to meet with your child's teacher (in confidence if necessary). It is important for the teacher to be informed of the situations and problems occurring in her classroom. This simple step may be all that is needed to give your child a little behind the scenes help.
In comparison, if the bullying is physical in nature, is moderate to severe, and seems to be affecting your child's mood or behavior, don't wait; get him help immediately.