“My Child is Being Bullied.”
Bullying is an unfortunate reality in social situations for many children, whether bullying at school, at the playground, or elsewhere. To stop bullying, parents, educators and children need to all coordinate. It takes a community to stop bullying, but a unified front and good education can reduce the occurrences and severity of bullying.
Unfortunately, this does not happen often enough, and so parents need to know what to do when their child is being bullied. Here are a few good pieces of advice:
- Find out from your child what the bully is doing, when it’s happening, and where they are being bullied. Get as much information as you can and document it so you have the details.
- If the bullying is taking place at school, get in touch with the school principal or guidance counselor, depending on how your school handles bullying. If you’re unsure, talk to administration and find out.
- If the bullying is taking place outside of school, oftentimes it’s best to contact the bully’s parents. Explain to them what is happening, especially if this is reoccurring. Often it’s best to have a mediator like a school counselor present.
- If the parents do not get involved or if your child is being threatened, you may consider calling the police. It is important to have all the details to present to the police; however, often it is best to reach out to the bully’s parents first, unless you’re worried about bodily harm coming to your child.
- When talking to your child, never make them feel like they should be blamed for being bullied. Never ask the question, “What did you do to get bullied?” Instead, ask them what happened and work with your child to come up with ways to avoid being bullied in the future, whether that’s changing a routine to avoid the bully, not associating with the bully’s friends, or other scenarios. No cases of bullying are exactly the same, so treat each instance differently.
- Make sure to commend your child for talking to you about being bullied. Bullying can be scary and difficult for a child to talk about, and let them know they did the right thing by coming to an adult.
Here are a few things to avoid doing:
- Don’t doubt your child about being bullied. Not believing your child makes a dangerous precedent for your child that they might not come to you in the future.
- When talking to a teacher, principal, or guidance counselor about bullying, do not get angry if they weren’t aware that your child was being bullied. These professionals work with hundreds of children every day, and children are not clueless: they will not bully your child in front of adults. Explain patiently to the professionals the situation. You want these people on your side.
- Never threaten another parent over bullying. If you do not like the way the parent handled their bullying child, you need to come up with another strategy for dealing with the bully.
- Never resort to physical violence or encourage your child to retaliate. Bullying only breeds more bullying!
If you’ve ever wondered what to do when your child is being bullied, these tips are sure to help. Being bullied can be a traumatic experience for a child. Scheduling an appointment and talking to our trained professionals can also make a huge difference when your child is dealing with a bully. Contact us today and set up your appointment.