5 Ways to Help Your Child Deal with a Bully
Not a month goes by that we don’t hear a horror story about a child hurting themself or others as a result of bullying. Despite the news, many parents are still in denial about the bullying that goes on in schools. After all, children have been teasing and picking on each other since the beginning of time, how much damage could a little bullying really do? Unfortunately, bulling can do damage to young minds that results in very serious consequences. If you think your child is being teased or picked on at school, here are 5 ways to help him to deal with a bully.
Let Him Know It’s Not His Fault
There are many reasons that a child can become the target of a bully. It could be something as simple as being the new kid in town after a move or being physically bigger or smaller than his classmates. It could also be due to a more serious issue like a learning disability or his sexual orientation. Whatever the reason your child is being bullied, you need to let them know that it is not their fault, that they don’t deserve to be bullied and that you are going to do everything you can to stop it.
Tell Him Not To Fight Back
When you hear that your child is being bullied, your first reaction may be to tell him to fight back. This is rarely the best decision. By using physical force your child is only escalating the issue and prompting the bully to raise the stakes. A simple fist fight can quickly become dangerous arms race.
Don’t Contact the Bully Directly
Contacting the bully, or his parents, directly will put him on the defensive and make him even more hostile towards your child. You have no idea what the bully’s personal and home situation is and contacting them, especially if you are angry, will only complicate the situation.
Contact School Administrators
If your child is unable to defuse the situation on his own, it is time to get school administrators involved. While you are untrained and emotionally attached to the situation, teachers, guidance counselors and school psychiatrists will be able to remain calm and properly deal with the issues at hand. Let the school’s administrators contact the other children involved to confront them about bullying. If they are slow to act, keep pressuring them until you feel your child is safe.
Seek Additional Help
If your child is constantly being bullied and nothing seems to be helping, it is time to seek additional help. Your child may be dealing with a personal issue that is making them a target for bullies. Issues like social anxiety or learning disabilities not only make your child an easy target for bullies, but can lead to even more serious problems down the road. If your child is dealing with a personal issue that is affecting their school or social life, there are ways that you can help. Contact a professional child counselor to find out more.