3 Top Tips to Help You if Your Child is being Bullied
By Ron Prasad.
Your son or daughter comes home from school and tells you that he or she has been getting bullied. Your mind races to find solutions.
Your parental instinct kicks in and you go into protective overdrive. Your only concern is the welfare of your child.
Questions such as “Is the school doing enough to protect my child?” or “What if my child decides on self harm?” start surfacing.
What do you do?
This issue has been faced by many parents who have contacted us. As an anti-bullying campaigner, there isn’t much I haven’t seen.
Today, you will receive 3 tips that will allow you to be more productive in supporting your child when he/she is a target of bullying
- Let your child talk – Please remember, this is about them, not about you. Let them talk openly and freely, while explaining the situation.
Practise empathic listening, and make them feel like they are being heard. Validate what they are saying, without interrupting them or telling them to be quiet. Remaining calm in this situation is as helpful for your child as it is for you.
Thank your child for opening up to you, and telling you about the bullying.
There are many cases where targets of school bullying keep it all to themselves, and their parents have no idea about the emotional pain that their child is carrying. Be grateful to your child for openly communicating with you.
- Be solution oriented, not problem focussed – Instead of getting really worried about the problem that your child is facing, put your energy and effort where it is needed the most.
Yes, it is needed the most in creating a solution i.e. how will your child overcome the bullying, and how will you and your child make sure that the bullying stops. Please bear in mind that school bullying that involves your child requires a two step approachHow to stop the bullying.
How to support your child in overcoming the impact(s) of bullying.Focus on both of these! This is not a time to point fingers or to blame your child for something that they could’ve done in the past that may have led to this situation. This is a time for you to remind your child that you and him/her will work together to create a solution.
- Protect your child’s self esteem – I believe that this is the most important tip of the 3.
Remind your child that you love them, and that you care about them. This is a time for you to play your role as a parent with a very loving, caring, nurturing, and assuring approach.Your child should never feel that his/her parent is blaming them or holding them accountable for being bullied. Remind them of this very important fact – “It’s not your fault”. Sometimes, children can feel that they deserve to get bullied.If they do have that feeling, please emphatically ask them to remember that it’s not their fault. Your duty is to protect your child’s self esteem at all times. Assure your child that you will support and encourage them in gaining more confidence. They must feel loved and understood, not criticised and judged. Your child’s self esteem is in your hands at that moment. Protect it, nurture it, and strengthen it!
Bullying in schools is a major issue, and there is no one universal solution that fits all scenarios. Your role as a parent is to support your child in getting over bullying, and building a productive, promising, and positive future for them.