3 Tips For Parents On How To Deal With A Child Being Bullied

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No child wants to hear that their child is being bullied, but statistics show that around one in four kids across the country are bullied on a regular basis. Therefore, it's important parents are fully equipped to deal with the problem. If you are worried about your child being bullied, follow these three tips to handle the problem effectively: 

Notice the Signs of Bullying

As a parent, it's important to keep an eye out for signs that your child is being bullied. In many cases, children don't feel like they can talk to adults about the problem and will bottle up their emotions in fear of being judged. Therefore, you have to remain vigilant in order to pick up on the subtle signs that suggest your child is being bullied at school.

Some common signs that may indicate your child is being bullied include:

  • If your child seems anxious when leaving for school or returning home at the end of the day.

  • If your child doesn't want to socialize with their friends after school or on weekends.

  • If your child's sleep pattern noticeably changes or if they seem extremely tired in the morning due to an interrupted sleep cycle.

  • If your child doesn't want to take the bus to school anymore or doesn't want to walk a certain path.

The main thing to look out for is any abnormal behaviour that is out of character for your son or daughter. If you suspect that your child is being bullied, you must approach the situation extremely carefully. Rather than being direct, consider opening the topic of conversation in a roundabout way, such as when bullying is shown in a TV show or movie.

Speak Calmly to Your Child

When your child lets you know that they are being bullied, chances are they have been dealing with the problem themselves for a significant amount of time. Children typically don't want their parents to know they are being bullied in case their parents don't believe them or the problem escalates quickly. Therefore, it's important to remain calm and listen to your child's concerns before advancing the situation.

Make sure your child knows that their concerns are your only worry and that you will handle the problem without making the situation any worse. Be careful about how you speak to your child during this sensitive time. Rather than asking, "What did you do to cause the bully to pick on you?", ask them exactly what happened and how it made them feel. This will cause your child to open up about the situation and will ensure they don't feel at fault for being bullied.

Once you have a better idea about what has happened, you can start to think about how to deal with the problem efficiently. Remember to remain calm; an explosive parent will only cause the child to crawl into their shell in fear that the problem will escalate.

Work with the School

It's understandable that you may be angry at the school for failing to identify bullying and act accordingly, but the truth is that real bullying can be difficult to distinguish from the usual classroom back-and-forth that goes on with children. It's important to use the school's unique position to handle the problem efficiently, rather than trying to handle the problem on your own. To do this properly, it's important to work alongside the school rather than against them.

When contacting the school, you should give them some time to deal with the problem. Many parents insist that the school act immediately, but sometimes this simply isn't possible and they need some time to identify the situation and take proper action. Once your child has spoken to you about bullying, make an appointment with a school representative as soon as possible and discuss your options. It's good to ask the school what they have done about bullying in the past, so that you are aware of the typical measures taken and have a good idea of the expected timescale.

If your child is having particular problems with bullying, you should consider sending them to a children's counselor at a clinic like Living Hope Clinic. These professionals have a wealth of experience in dealing with the issue of bullying and will be able to handle your child's case with the sensitivity and care necessary to help your child deal with the problem.