I can’t imagine any greater pain then having your child be in distress or hurt and not knowing what to do. When I was being bullied, the pain was so intense, I wouldn’t have wished on anyone. Now that I’m a parent, I think the only thing worse, would be to have my child experience that pain and not know how to help them.
Bullying is a very important issue for me. Because of that, I am working on launching a coaching practice geared specifically to kids, teens, and adults who have suffered with being bullied.
Here are a few things you can do if your child is being bullied:
Don’t discount their feelings
Whatever you do, don’t minimize what your child is feeling. Phrases like, ‘just get over it’ or ‘it’s not that bad’ are not going to be helpful right now. If anything statements like these are going to make your child feel like you don’t understand what they are going through and they wont view you as a source of help.
Love them intensely
Love them like their life depends on it, because it does. Children who are being bullied may be at great risk of harming themselves. Let them know that they are loved. Show them, tell them, and do it often.
Let them know you are their advocate
Your child needs to know that you will go to battle for them. They need to know that what is happening to them is not OK with you, and that you will advocate for them like only a parent/guardian can. This will let them know that they are not alone in this and that you will share the burden of what they are going through.
Ask them what they want to do
Your child’s bullying probably feels like the biggest most tragic problem in the world to them. It is important to talk to them and find out what they feel the solution is. Being bullied feels so out of control for the victim. Let them be a part of the solution, this can give them back some control and possibly some hope that things can get better.
Don’t be ashamed to get help
This may be bigger than what you as a family can handle. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to access resources in your community. Contact your physician or counselor for help.
Let the school know
Get the school involved. I can tell you first hand that, my mom alerting the school was my worst nightmare. I can also tell you that as an adult, I wish she had. Things likely would have been different. In some case, such as mine, school officials who could intervene may not have a clue there is an issue at all.
Don’t ever give up. Ever. Let your child know that you will never give up. If you don’t get help at the school, contact the school board, contact the news if you have to. Do whatever it takes to help your child, and make sure you let them know you are committed to helping them.
If you have any questions or would like help with a specific question feel free to email me.