How to Help Your Child Who is Being Bullied
Unfortunately, most people around the world have faced some sort of bullying during their lives. If this issue continues, bullying can lead to lower self-esteem and mental health in children and teens. The following are ways to help your child through any bullying they may be experiencing.
Learn About the Situation
If you suspect that your child is being bullied, the first step in helping them is to learn about and assess the situation. There are many types of bullying that can take place, and the warning signs take several forms as well. Your child may come home from school with damaged belongings and a flimsy excuse as to how they got that way. They may have a lot of stress about going to school or other social situations. They could have trouble sleeping, or lose interest in school and other activities. Whatever the case, approach your child one-on-one to discuss the matter with them. Sit down somewhere private, and allow them to open up about what may be occurring in their life. This will help you learn more about what’s happening and assess how serious the situation is.
Teach Your Child Coping Mechanisms
There are many ways to deal with a bully. Depending on the severity of the bullying, your child can handle it in different ways. If there is minor hurtful teasing going on, you can have your child try ignoring the comments so the bully loses interest. They can also try “killing the bully with kindness” by trying to establish a better relationship with them. However, if the bullying is more serious, it’s important that they don’t try to fix it on their own. Teach them to tell a teacher or other official if it’s continuing to happen.
Seek Help if it’s Serious
There’s a big difference between some occasional teasing and consistent, harmful bullying. Bullying can have severe negative effects on your child’s self-esteem and mental health. If your child is consistently being harassed by classmates or peers, report the abuse to someone who can stop it. School officials can help the situation if it takes place at school. Children are often afraid to report bullying for fear that it could worsen or the adult wouldn’t believe them. Help them find the help they need to overcome the bullying, including therapy if it is necessary.
Bullying is an unfortunately common issue that children deal with all around the world. The things that make your child unique and special can also lead to their peers and classmates bullying them. If you notice your child has been bullied, follow some of these steps to help them overcome the problem.
New Pathways for Youth is an organization that works tirelessly to guide youth through difficult situations and steer them toward a more hopeful future. Learn more about the ways New Pathways changes children’s lives here.