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    « Advice You Can Give your Children about Bullies | Main | Process to Address Bullying »

    How to Help Your Youngsters with Bullying

    When your child tells you about a bully: FIRST, focus on offering comfort and support, no matter how agitated you are. Youngsters often do not want to talk to adults about bullying because they feel embarrassed this is happening to them, or worry that their parents will be agitated.

    Take your child’s complaints seriously and take all necessary measures to stop the bullying.  Bullying, these days, is more than badgering a lot of the time.  Bullying often includes activity which is against the law and policies of the institutes where the bullying is happening (even if there are no bullying laws or policies). In these circumstances, it will be helpful to file complaints against the assailant with local law enforcement officials – be sure to include all efforts made with school staff or other adults who were contacted in effort to gain help with your child’s BULLY SITUATION.  Let’s get away from the word bully for these circumstances and call them what they are:

    1. Assault
    2. Harassment
    3. Theft
    4. Sexual Harassment
    5. Sexual Assault
    6. Child Endangerment
    7. a lot of bullying situations involve violation of Civil Rights

    Sometimes youngsters feel like it's their own wrongdoing, that if they looked or did something different it wouldn't be happening. Sometimes they're scared that if the bully finds out that they told, the bullying will worsen. Some kids worry that their parents won't believe them or do anything about it. Or children worry that their parents will urge them to fight back when they're scared to.

    Esteem your child for talking about bullying, this shows bravery. Remind your child that is not alone — remind them of their good friends and support system and tell them the truth- most people are bullied at some point, even adults. Remind your kid it is the bully who is wrong — not your child. Affirm with your child that you will figure out what to do and go about it together.

    Sometimes a sister, brother or friend can help deal with your kid being bullied. It may help your kid to hear how the older brother she idolizes was teased about her braces and how she handled her bully situation.

    Believe your child if they tell you bullying will get worse if the bully finds out that your child told. Approaching the bully’s parents is helpful sometimes. In other cases, school staff and law enforcement can help. If you've tried those methods and still want to speak to the bullying child's parents, it's best to do so in a context where a school official, such as a counselor, can mediate.

    Many states have bullying laws and policies. Find out about the laws in your community. In certain cases, if you have serious concerns about your child's safety, you may need to contact legal authorities.

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    Reader Comments (1)

    Please also add isolation and shunning to your list. This form of bullying is mostly practiced with preteen and teen girls and can be especially harmful. Isolation and shunning can lead to severe depressions and even thoughts of suicide.
    I have seen this happen in social groups where the girls grew up together and had been friends and for one reason or another ( sometimes it is over the attention of a boy or forming friendships outside of the group) a person is singled out as no longer worthy. This situation is especially painful and requires a strong support system. If the peer group is a team ( ie cheer or sporting group) sometimes involving the coach can be helpful. Most importantly, keep listening and show support and positive reinforcement. Finding new activities can help create a new peer group. It takes time and can be frightening but it does get better. I am living proof!
    Mikaela Carson
    ABLE Antibullying Lifelines and Education
    Find us on facebook

    June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMikaela Carson

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