Stop bullying us.
All of us who care about children have to make a decision concerning the way we are bullied when confronting child protection workers about their behaviour and their decisions. We have to say stop bullying us.
When the department tells you that you are a bad parent tell them to stop bullying you. When you are told that you are not doing enough to have your children returned to you tell them to stop bullying you. When they are not listening to you tell them to stop bullying you. When you are working hard to have your children returned to you and doing everything that the department has asked of you and they don’t acknowledge what you have done tell them to stop bullying you. When your past is raised as an issue of concern tell them to stop bullying you. When you are spoken to in a demeaning manner tell them to stop bullying you. When you are explaining to them what has been happening for you and they fail to listen to you tell them to stop bullying you. When you are told to attend an appointment and it is not convenient for you tell them to stop bullying you.
I am sure that you will be able to find other occasions where you could say stop bullying me. Often we need to find ways to stand up against those who make unreasonable demands upon us. I understand that often you might feel powerless, hopeless and helpless. That you might need to think a little about what is happening to you at that particular time, take a deep breath, and consider what you need to say that is going to make you feel empowered. It is possible for you to gain your power back without yelling or denigrating others. You can use well-chosen words which informs others of how you are feeling.
My point is, that under no circumstances should you be feeling manipulated or controlled by anyone. It is your right to have a voice, to be heard and for your feelings to be acknowledged. Anyone who ignores these rights needs to be told that they should stop bullying you.
I understand the conflict and pressure most parents experience when they are confronted by a child protection worker. The most natural response is to be aggressive and to feel angry. Because aggression is an unhealthy response we need to find other ways to respond to the behaviours of others that enhances our feelings and makes them aware of how their behaviour has affected you. In many cases, the person you are addressing may not care about how you feel or the impact their behaviour has on you. There will be some people however, who will hear what you have to say and will modify their behaviour accordingly.
It is not as simple as telling someone to stop bullying you. You need to think about how you will respond if that person asks you what they were doing that was bullying you. You therefore need to be aware of the behaviour of that person and how that behaviour made you feel. To best prepare yourself for using this strategy, think about times when you have been confronted by behaviour that has caused you to feel bullied. Now think about how to describe that behaviour. Think about a range of feeling words that would describe how that behaviour made you feel. Once you have done this you are then armed with an appropriate tool to confront the unreasonable behaviour of the worker.
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