10 Things To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied
We have witnessed enormous quantities of debates, largely on social media about bullying, especially with the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why”. Bullying is an issue that has been around since human’s first took breath, is one of the chief worries of parents, and is a constant problem at schools.
Stated in an article from the National Child’s Health and Human Development, bullying can affect physical and emotional health and long-term destruction of self-esteem of a child, both in the short term and later in life. Bullying can lead to depression, mental and behavioral problems, and can lead to increased risk for substance abuse. (There is a huge amount of information on this website on bullying, for parents and children).
Being the mother of 4 children, we have personally had issues with bullying and as a therapist I have worked with many children who have been the victims of bullying. Parents are absolutely devastated when this happens to their children, and so when I worked with the child, I also worked with the parents to put strategies into place so they can too assist their child through this tough time.
With support of our parenting guru’s Sonya and Sacha, we have put together 10 things you can do if your child is being bullied.
1. Make sure you have open conversations about the real issues of life with your child, every day. This will ensure the one day something happens they will know you are open to discuss anything, without any limits to what they can trust you with.
2. Constantly reassure to your child you will never judge them on whatever they tell you. They still may sometimes have to bare the brunt of the consequences, but they will know you will always have their backs.
3. This is important. Remind them that no matter what happens in life, every problem, no matter what, always has a solution. We never want them to feel alone and like they are stuck.
4. Make sure you document everything they say if being bullied. You can do this with your child, or alone. This way when you have to approach the school, you have all the backup you need to inform them of what is going on. Remember the four w’s – who, what, when and where.
5. Team them some come back lines. It’s not just a matter of throwing a few lines around. Rehearse the sensations with them and practise some good lines that will give them back some power.
6. Make sure you teach them about body language. Do they look like an easy target? It’s not just about what they physically look like, but the presence they hold. Teach them how to show confidence with their body language. Confidence is not an ego.
7. Communicate with the school. Update them constantly. Remind them on the skills you are working with your child at home. If you feel like you are not getting the response you need from one teacher, go to another and another and another until you feel heard. Never let it go.
8. Remind your child constantly that what people say about them to their face, behind their back or even online is none of their business. Nothing anyone can say about you can hurt you, unless you allow them too. It’s a hard lesson to learn this one, but once we understand it and bring it into our lives in full force, we take control of who we are forever. It teaches your child resilience, which is a handy tool to carry throughout their life.
9. Let them understand that what is happening to them is not their fault, but they don’t want to be or feel like a victim. Feeling like a victim will never get them anywhere. They need to feel empowered, not victimised.
10. Talk, talk, talk. If they can’t talk to you, then find someone they can openly communicate with. Seeing a therapist is not shameful, it’s empowering. Maybe you could even encourage them to speak to your friends, or another family member. Make sure they have someone they can trust and open up too.
Sonya, Sacha and Cazinc hope’s this article supports you through the tough time, and please never feel like you are alone.
We would love for you to share this article to any parent. Even if their child is not being bullied, there are some great points in this article to teach children confidence, self-importance and resilience.
Please feel free to ask any questions or leave feedback in the comments section.
Thank you for reading.