How to support a bullied child: 3 things to do when you child is bullied

Name–calling, harsh insults, cyberbullying, and physical bullying are all too common among children across the world. In fact, one out of every five (20.2%) students report being bullied. It’s difficult to focus on anything else when your child is being bullied; all you want to do is stop it right now.

Your child will be picked on or have his feelings wounded by others at some point. No matter who we are, we all have difficulties with our children. Finding answers to issues, even when they are difficult or uncomfortable, is an inescapable aspect of life.

There are some valuable lessons that play a big part in resolving the issue for your child. Here are some steps you can take when your child is being bullied.

# 1: Teach appropriate responses

Make a list of terms that your child can use to tell someone to cease bullying. These should be straightforward but not antagonistic: “Leave me alone,” “Take a step back,” or “That wasn’t pleasant.” are some examples.

The response shouldn’t be a put-down, though, since a bully might become more aggravated by it and escalate the bullying.

# 2: Make sure to communicate

Every day, check in with your children to see how things are doing at school. Create a caring environment with a calm, pleasant tone so he isn’t scared to inform you if something is wrong. Remind him that his safety and well-being are paramount, and that he should always seek help from an adult if he has any concerns.

Be open and able to hear what your child has to say when he tells you what’s going on at school, as much as it hurts to listen. When he’s talking, try to be encouraging yet neutral. When you respond too strongly to what your child is saying, he may stop speaking out of fear of upsetting you.

Not criticizing your child is the flip side of listening. Don’t blame him for the bullying or attempt to make a justification for it; there is no good reason or excuse for what’s going on.

# 3: Focus on building your child’s confidence

Bullying is less likely to harm your child’s self-esteem if he feels good about himself. Encourage your child to participate in hobbies, extracurricular activities, and social settings that will bring out the best in him or her. Tell your child what you admire in him and encourage him to do more of the good behaviors you want to see.

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