Help Your Child to Understand Bullying and What They Should Do If They're Being Bullied

While arguments and teasing are all a part of growing up, bullying is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with swiftly. If you suspect your child is being bullied, it's time to start a conversation that will allow them to see when a situation has turned into bullying and what they can do to minimize the problem.

Help Them to Understand When They're Being Bullied

It's easy for adults to minimize the actions and fears of children—while some behaviors may seem like they're all in good fun, it's important that your child know what bullying is and how to handle it.

While schoolmates tease each other from time to time, bullying begins where the fun ends. It's important that your child understands that everyone involved should be having fun—if your child begins to feel uncomfortable or upset and their classmate doesn't stop when asked, then your child is being bullied. When their remarks go unheeded by their classmate, it's time that they take the situation to an adult so that the problem doesn't escalate.

Show Your Child That You Take Them Seriously

If your child feels threatened, one of the most important things you can do is to take them seriously. It's vital that your child's feelings not be minimized and that they see you taking steps to protect them.

It can be hard for children to admit they're being bullied, so if your child has come to you with their issues, it's likely gotten to a point where dialogue between your child and the bully is useless. At this point, it's time to enlist the help of your child's teachers, the school's principal, and the school's guidance counselor. Your child should not be dealing with a classmate's aggression by themselves, and the steps you take will have the biggest impact on the situation.

Helping Your Child to Deal

Even if your child has multiple adults looking out for them, there are a few ways you can help your child.

First, it's important that your child understands the bullying isn't their fault—the bully may feel insecure or be bullied themselves, and teaching your child empathy can go a long way in understanding the bully. Second, inform your child to walk away and get an adult as soon as a situation arises. Third, let your child know that if they feel they're in danger, they're allowed to yell for help as loud as possible, even when in school.

Bullying doesn't have to be a normal part of childhood. By educating your child on what bullying looks like and how to properly handle the situation, you're setting your child up for a future of safe problem solving. To learn more about bullying and the impact it can have on your child, consult with your child's pediatrician or your child's school guidance counselor. You may also wish to consult with a representative from a center like Blue Spruce Counseling if your child needs extra help.