How To Help A Kid Being Bullied

By Danielle Wirsansky on September 23, 2021

Bullying is a terrible experience, something that no parent wants their children to experience. It can be a tricky topic but is far too prevalent to ignore. Almost every parent will need to stand alongside their child to help them navigate different bullying experiences. After all, one out of every five (20.2%) students report being bullied.

First, you must understand what bullying is. “The CDC defines bullying as any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths, who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm.”

It is important to handle a bullying situation quickly and with care for your child, as bullying can have many negative consequences for your child, through no fault of their own. This includes the fact that students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school. Bullying can be a difficult situation to traverse, so read on for some strategies to help you and your child work together to overcoming bullying as safely and easily as possible.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Build Confidence

A great strategy to build your platform towards helping your child deal with bullying is to help build up their confidence. It can be draining and demoralizing to be a victim of bullying, and your child gets enough of being broken down, berated, and walked over by their bully—they do not need you to be a bully at home.

There should be no deriding your child about the fact that they are being bullied, no telling them to just grow up and handle it on their own (which will essentially isolate them and make them feel like you do not care and will not support them), and no telling them that what they are experiencing is not that bad or that it could be worse (which implies that they are simply not strong enough to handle the situation).

Instead, you want to be supportive. Remind them of their strengths, their good qualities, the good things that they have done, and how many people love and support them. Build up their confidence. Remind themselves that if a bully says something negative to them that they can follow that up and tell themselves a positive thing about themselves to counteract that. Cultivate and grow a healthy, confident child that will stand strong even if someone is trying to break them down.

Communicate

When your child is being bullied, you want to have an open, clear line of honest communication between the two of you. You need to keep up to date about the situation from your child as it unfolds and you also need to let your child know your thoughts about the situation and any action you are thinking of or planning to take.

Make sure your child feels comfortable speaking to you about the situation so that you are always aware of the gravity of the situation. You would hate for it to get out of hand because you did not know how serious the bullying had become. Be sure that your child explains the full scope of the situation and does not leave any details out, either to downplay the situation or make themselves look better.

You also do not want to make your child distrust you by being closed off with your own communication. Choosing to take action without discussing it with your child can sever your trust if what you are doing makes the child feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Make sure your child knows that they can always come and speak to you openly and freely.

Take it Seriously

If your child admits that they are being bullied, take it seriously. It takes a lot of guts to share that kind of experience with anyone, let alone your parents. To have your bullying dismissed by the one person who is supposed to protect you can be devastating and make it that much harder to stop the bullying from continuing or even escalating. Be a bulwark for your child. Stay strong and be present as they tell you about the situation. And show them that you are taking them and their circumstances as seriously as possible.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

You want to keep your child happy and safe, so make sure to stay on top of a bullying situation as it unfolds. Know that if you and your child cannot handle it on your own, there are always resources you can turn to at your school, with local law enforcement, or even a local non-profit. Help is out there and what is most important is extricating your child from a bullying situation safely as best you can.

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