As a parent of a child in school, one of the worst situations you can have to deal with is being bullied – something that is a common cause for injuries at school. Everyone wants their child to feel safe and happy at school, but sometimes, your child for one reason or another, will have to deal with being the target of a bully. This can be a very stressful time for both your child and you, but there are ways you can help your child deal with being bullied.
Many parents do not even know that their child is being bullied. Whether the child is afraid or embarrassed, he or she may choose not to speak up and tell you what is going on. You have to be sure they trust you enough to talk. Whether you suspect your child is being bullied or not, you need to build a strong foundation of trust with your child so that he or she will tell you what is going on in their life. Make sure your child knows that telling an adult about the bullying will not make it worse and it does not make them a coward. If your child is currently showing signs of struggling in school whether with participation, schoolwork, or attendance, it would be a wise decision to bring up questions about how they might be getting along with their friends and peers.
Teach Your Child How to Speak to the Bully
Kids often bully other children because they are insecure about themselves. If your child can stand up to the bully, not by fighting, but through words, then the bully will sometimes back down. Help your child learn to look the bully in the eye and speak with assertiveness by role-playing situations at home. However, make sure your child knows to keep a safe distance from the bully and to avoid physical altercations.
Tell your child to find a friend to walk with, especially during recess and transition times when teachers are not as present. Bullies are less likely to bother your child if he or she is with others. Additionally, many parents are often tempted to meet with the bully’s parent to solve the issue – this probably will not work. It might just make things more awkward and leave underlying issues unresolved.
Report the Incident
If your child is afraid to talk to you, he or she may be even more hesitant to report the situation to a teacher or school administrator. However, it is essential that the school know what is going on so that the other child can be handled. If you discover your child is being bullied, don't wait for it to get worse. Take the situation straight to the school, get the teacher involved, and make sure faculty works to get the bullying to stop. Your child also needs to know how important it is to report any incidents of violence immediately.
No one deserves to be bullied, and your child should feel comfortable at school. With some time and action, you can help your child move through this challenging period in his or her life and return to a happy childhood.
Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.