7 Simple Steps If Your Child Is Being Bullied
Unfortunately, bullying is serious and diverse in nature affecting up to 7 in 10 young before their 18th birthday. As parents it is important to understand the affect it may have on your children as well as be prepared to deal with it if necessary. Follow these 7 simple steps to be there for your son or daughter if they are being bullied.
1 – Trust
The keys are communication and knowledge; always remain open to speaking with your children (or other youth) about bullying in a way that helps them feel comfortable bringing any concerns to your attention. It is imperative that children do not feel like bullying is a taboo subject and that they are made to feel safe bringing any issues to you. By remaining open and talking with your son or daughter you are letting them know that they can trust you and that they shouldn’t deal with being bullied alone.
2 – Listen
If your son or daughter brings any concerns forward, listen carefully and show them that you have truly listened by talking it through. Although it may seem natural, do not dismiss any bullying incidents or label them as a part of growing up. Children learn by example and ignoring bullying may teach them to tolerate, or even encourage bullying behaviours.
3 – Focus
Understandably, learning that your child is being bullied may elicit feelings of anger, but it is important to put this anger aside and prioritize how they are feeling. The focus needs to be on your child. Should you, as a parent or trusted adult, need support know that you are not alone and support is out there. In much the same way it is important not to take over control of the situation entirely.
4 – Together
Let your child stay involved in the solution, ask them what they want to do about it. In finding and carrying out a solution make sure your son or daughter does not feel excluded as this could leave them feeling even more helpless. Taking over all control can be very dis-empowering for a child who is already feeling powerless; make sure to keep them involved and to check with them every step of the way to ensure they know what is going on and that they are happy with the actions being taken.
5 – Record
It is important to keep record of any bullying as well as any follow up actions taken. Document everything, keeping track of any and all incidents, communications and visits to their school or counselor. Report any cyberbullying taking form of unwanted texts, or social media messages to your phone provider, or the corresponding social media site. Should the bullying be taking place at school report it to the school administrators and follow up to ensure they are taking the situation seriously and working to correct it. Should there be any criminal intent, fear for safety, threats, assaults or sexual exploitation report these to the police immediately as these may be criminal offences and could develop further if not dealt with.
6 – Reassurance
Being bullied can sometimes elicit feelings of guilt leaving youth to believe that it was in some way their fault. Reassure your child that being bullied is not their fault and that no one deserves to be bullied. Bullying is a negative and aggressive behaviour and it is the bully following through on these feelings and behaviours, not the victims actions, that result in bullying.
7 – Sympathize
At the same time, try and be sympathetic towards the offender as they are likely experiencing some serious issues themselves. It is important to teach your children compassion and forgiveness as well as self-respect.
Scoutlete takes bullying very seriously and so should you. Obviously, no parent wants their son or daughter to be bullied, but it is important to be prepared if they are. Always remain open to talking with your children when it comes to subjects that could affect them as they are growing up and let them know they can talk to you too.Anti-Bullying, Bully No More, Parents, scoutlete, Student-Athlete