In recent months there has been a lot of media attention regarding bullying and for good reason. Every single day kids are bullied at school, on the bus, and during extracurricular activities. This bullying has gotten out of hand and has led to the tragic deaths of too many kids. And perhaps the biggest problem? Bullying and mean kids aren’t just a middle school problem; the trouble even impacts kids in younger grades today. There have been numerous valiant efforts to bring attention to the epidemic of bullying in our country right now, providing parents and school officials with the tools to spot bullying and stop it before it has a devastating ending. It’s no secret that kids can be brutal, and while many schools have adopted a zero-tolerance policy and even push forward with criminal penalties for some of the roughest bullies, it’s not always enough.
As a parent, it is your duty to help your child deal with bullies and give them the tools to stay above this serious issue. It can be difficult for kids to discuss being bullied with their parents, whether out of fear, embarrassment, or shame. This is why you must learn to spot the signs of bullying in order to help your child. If your child is being bullied, here are a few ways you can help them:
- Talk to them and stay connected – Bullies thrive on making their victims feel alone. By staying in-tune with your child’s life and encouraging them to make connections that are both positive and supportive, you will be helping them more than you know. It is important for these kids to have both loyal friends and supportive adults in their life in order to combat the effects of bullying.
- Be upfront – Kids often don’t tell their parents or teachers they are being bullied because they don’t think that will do anything. You can change that by creating awareness and being upfront and honest with your child about these types of situations. Acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and teach your child to speak up and create awareness within their circles as well. It is important for you to teach your kid that talking to an adult isn’t shameful or cowardly, but instead a powerful, wise move.
- Act now – The longer bullying goes on, the more serious it will become. Bullies thrive on being empowered and belittling their victims. This is why you must act quickly in order to stop the issue from escalating. Teach your child the importance of taking action and discussing what is going on with an adult immediately, not later.
- Seek outside help – If your child is being bullied and you can tell it is having an impact on their demeanor and state-of-mind, it may be time to talk to a therapist. A counselor who is trained in helping victims of bullying may be able to get through to your child more than you can, and they will have the tools to help them beyond what a parent can do.
Bullies aren’t just mean and nasty, they can have a lifelong, devastating effect on your child. This is why any signs of bullying should be addressed right away and you should seek outside help, if necessary. Lifeworks offers child counseling services to parents and kids throughout the Carrollton area and we are here for you and your family. If your child is being bullied at school, take action now and schedule an appointment with one of our Carrollton child therapists.