Bullying can have a significant emotional and mental effect on your child. Although it is important to work with your child's school to stop the bullying, there are measures you need to take at home to help your child deal with his or her emotions that result from it. Here are some tips to help your child if you suspect he or she is being bullied at school.
Know the Warning Signs
Some children are reluctant to share what is happening to them at school with their parents. If your child denies that he or she is being bullied, it is up to you to recognize the warning signs and take action. Some of the signs of bullying include:
- Loss of friends
- Becoming isolated
- Refusing to attend school
- Speaking negatively about himself or herself
In addition to observing your child's behavior, continue to try to talk to him or her. Ask questions. You can even reach out to his or her friends to find out if there is a bullying situation at school.
Talk to Your Child About How to Respond
Bullying can leave a child feeling helpless and unable to control what is happening to him or her. Although your child might not have the ability to control what the bully does, your child can potentially control his or her response to the bullying.
Bullies tend to prey on children that they deem to be easy targets. Talk to your child about how to control his or her response to verbal attacks from the bully. For instance, explain to your child that he or she has the right to stand up to the bully when he or she makes a degrading comment. However, your child should try to do so in a calm manner. The bully wants an emotional reaction and if your child does not give it, chances are, the bully will move on.
Until the bullying stops at your school, your child needs all the emotional support he or she can get. In addition to friends and family, you might need to attend counseling as a family.
In family counseling, your child will have a safe place to talk about what he or she is experiencing and how it makes him or her feel. You and your family can learn how to support your child. Knowing that your child is being bullied can also cause hurt for you. During counseling, you can also receive support to help you cope with your own emotions. Reach out to someone like Giblin Consulting for more help.