In order to help your child deal with a situation of bullying, you should first recognize some of the common signs that your child is the victim of bullying, including: withdrawal, increased reluctance to go to school, signs of undue stress and more.
Bullies can take a mental and emotional toll on children. Bullying comes in many forms and it’s important to help your children realize that bullying isn’t limited to physical harm. Bullying can be a friend tearing down their confidence with hurtful words, name calling and exclusion from group activities.
Parents can help guide their children in how they handle instances where a child is being bullied, but they must first know that these incidents are occurring. While many parents believe their child will come to them first, especially when bullying is involved, this isn’t always the case. Children might feel angry, sad, or even embarrassed to tell their parents about bullying. Here are a few tips on how parents can to take the initiative to stay involved and informed:
- Keep open lines of communication
This can be as simple as keeping up to date with their activities at school. Ask them about what good and bad things happened at school or how their classes went. Be more specific rather than less. Asking “Did anything happen today?” will likely not give you any real insight.
- Stay updated with the information that the school sends home
If your child has letters or notes sent home with them that are directly from the school, you should pay attention to any issues or concerns they address. Whether it’s a general letter to the parents of students or a school newsletter, parents should stay updated with what’s going on.
- Help them understand what bullying is and guide them on how to react
Being rude or mean can sometimes be misconstrued as bullying, especially when children aren’t exactly sure what bullying is supposed to look like. Talk to your children about what bullying is and guide them on how they should react to bullying – by using their best judgement, reporting it, and showing kindness when they see it happen to someone else.
- Talk about safety strategies
Some bullies in these situations can be unpredictable. Parents should discuss safety strategies on how to calmly and safely exit a situation that becomes escalated, especially if it becomes physical.
- Above everything else, let them know they’re not alone
The truth is, everyone deals with bullies at some point in life. One of the ways you can prevent your child from feeling isolated because of bullying is to let them know that they’re not alone. Even when kids don’t feel comfortable talking about situations where they’re being bullied, it’s important to address their insecurities and let them know that you’re there for them. It’s also helpful for parents to share their own bullying-related experiences with their children to further comfort them and show that they’re not alone.
Bullies are a Pain in the Brain!
In this Tuk-Tuk video, Bullies are a Pain in the Brain, Jack and Skye show you that you’re not alone – everyone has to deal with bullies. Join them as they learn how to navigate bullying situations:
Bullies Are A Pain in the Brain Trailer from Tuk-Tuk Media on Vimeo.