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What to do when your child is being bullied

 Bullying has been linked to long-term trauma and even suicides (Shutterstock)

The term bullying is now being taken more seriously by parents.

In the past, it was assumed to be something that happens on a light note and the only solution was to stand up for yourself or ignore the bullying altogether regardless of the severity of the situation.

Bullying has a lot of weight to it because it has been linked to long-term trauma and even suicides.

The name calling or the violence can happen at home, at school, or online- cyber bullying. All of them have damaging effects on a child’s self-esteem.

As a parent, you need to be observant for you to notice when something is off. Not all children like to talk about what’s been happening in their lives and you might never realize they’re being bullied until it’s too late.

This is what you can do as a parent when your kid is being harassed

i.Reassure them that they’re loved

Before they can talk to you about it, create a safe space for them to express themselves fully without feeling judged.

It’s specifically hard for boys to talk about their feelings sometimes because they’re expected to always be strong.

When you approach them with kindness, they won’t hold information back and they’ll be more receptive of what you have to say when all is said and done.

Reassurance helps them heal because it drains out the damage they’ve experienced, replacing it with the real, pure and honest love of a parent.

 Bullying can happen at home, at school, or online (Shutterstock)

ii.Let them vent

Don’t cut them off or talk over them when they open up. That will immediately cause them to build emotional walls around themselves and it won’t really do anything to solve the problem.

You should also avoid blaming them and assuming they must have done something to trigger the bullying. This is a very sensitive time for them where they need your full support.

iii.Define what ‘standing up for yourself’ means

Ask them questions on what they think the right thing to do is. You want to gauge what they know or how they would act.

If they think standing up for themselves means beating the bully up or getting into a name calling match, they need to know it’s wrong.

As you come up with some practical solutions, respect their feelings if they’re not comfortable with you making a scene at school.

It might seem like the right thing to do but maybe they prefer a more private approach to avoid being embarrassed in front of their peers.

iv.Reach out to the bully’s parents

If they’re being cyberbullied, get in contact with the bully’s parents and show them some evidence of the harassment.

Some parents might get defensive and deny their child is a bully but if you show them real proof, they can’t refute it.

You shouldn’t delete the screenshots, messages and posts made by the bully before getting in touch with the parents.

In instances where violence is involved, you should contact the police as soon as possible. 

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