About 20% of children between the ages of 12 and 18 have experienced bullying. Is your child one of them?
Bullies at school have always been a problem, and despite their best efforts, schools have found no good way to stop bullying. The problem often starts in the bully’s home and it becomes cyclical when a bullied child turns into a bully themself.
What should you do to break the cycle and protect your child? Read on to learn a few things that you can do to help a bullied child.
Make Your Home an Open and Safe Environment
This is one of the most important things that a parent can do when they’re trying to figure out how to deal with bullies. Make sure that your home is a safe place where your child can relax and talk to you about what’s going on.
If you don’t respond well to your child’s situation, or if you’re dismissive, they may not want to come to you with problems anymore. You want your child to know that you’re there to protect and comfort them.
Ask your child about the nature of the bullying and what they’d like you to do. Don’t immediately take action without consulting your child first.
Consider Childhood Counseling
If the bullying is severe, it’s a good idea to consider counseling for your child, even if it’s short-term. Counseling will give your child a safe place to talk about their problems without worrying about judgment. Children’s counselors often make therapy fun, so this should be comfortable for your child.
The counselor can help your child work through their feelings and teach them helpful coping mechanisms that they can try at school.
Talk to the School Staff
Reporting bullies to school staff might seem scary as a parent. It feels like you’re “tattling” on a child. While this is technically true, it’s important that teachers and administrators know when someone is being a bully because that person may also be bullying others or going through something at home.
Make sure that you speak calmly, even if you’re upset. Teachers and administrators don’t have control over students’ behavior, so it’s not their fault.
Work together with them to find a solution for your child. You’re your child’s advocate.
Consider Alternative Education Options as a Last Resort
If the bullying won’t stop and your child is feeling too stressed out to continue going to school, consider other education options.
If you have the means to do so, you could place your child in a private school (though this can be expensive). You could also try homeschooling through a program like Euka (or local alternative) so your child doesn’t have to interact with other students at all.
This should be a decision that your entire family agrees on, so think carefully about what’s best for your situation.
No One Should Deal With Bullies at School
Dealing with bullies at school is difficult, and so many children have to do it. If your child is struggling with bullies, talk to them about it so you can start taking steps to solve the problem. Your child deserves to feel safe at school.
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