Most children will be the victims of bullying at some point in their childhood. This is an unfortunate reality of being a kid. However, bullying is never acceptable and is incredibly hurtful. For a child, being bullied can be absolutely devastating. Children aren’t used to that type of negative treatment, and they aren’t properly equipped to cope with such negativity. As a parent, it’s your job to help your child deal with being bullied. You need to create a supportive and loving environment where they’ll feel safe. Bullying won’t last forever, but you do need to help your child get through it. Here are some tips to help your child cope with a bully.
Provide a Listening Ear
Oftentimes kids are afraid to talk about bullying. Be as supportive as possible and encourage your child to talk to you about their feelings. Offer support by listening without judging. Let your child know they can talk to you whenever they want to and make yourself available.
When your child talks to you about bullying, praise them for coming to you about the situation. Let them know you’re proud of them and that they did the right thing. Reassure your child that you love them and are on their team. Also, let your child know they’re not alone. Tell them that many people go through bullying, and share your own experience if you have one. This will give them hope that they’ll overcome bullying one day, too.
Get the Details
Ask your child to tell you everything they can about the bullying. Ask them to describe what has happened, who is involved, and if anyone else has seen what happened. By getting all the details about the situation you’ll be better prepared to help your child handle it.
Talk About How to Deal
Talk to your child about coping with bullying and offer suggestions on how to deal with the situation. Encourage your child to stand up for themselves and firmly tell the bully to stop. Encourage them to voice their feelings to the bully and let the bully know that what they’re doing isn’t right. Tell your child to stick with their friends and try to ignore a bully if possible. Also, make sure they know they can go to their teacher to get help with a bully.
Help your child practice different tools for dealing with bullying by role playing. Act out situations with your child where you play the bully. This will help your child get comfortable with telling a bully to stop and help them learn proper reactions.
Get the School Involved
If you feel bullying is very serious, don’t hesitate to bring it up with the school. Talk to your child’s teacher and guidance counselor about the bullying. You also may need to speak to their bus driver or other related adults. Make sure the school is aware of the situation and that you expect help in resolving it. The school may be able to separate the children or get the bully’s parents involved. Your child should not have to endure bullying, and it’s the job of their school to keep them safe while there.