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What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied?


Children frequently come home from playdates, school or sports with various complaints. It's important for parents to sift through these statements and pick out those of concern. If kids are bringing up examples of bullying, adults should step in quickly. There's a right and a wrong way to handle these scenarios:

Right: Offer support

It is difficult for youngsters to verbalize their feelings about being picked on. Bullying can be a traumatic experience for them, depending on the level of severity. It's a parent's duty to listen to their child's explanations as well as provide support. Adults should reinforce that being taunted isn't shameful or embarrassing to the family, although children may think so, according to Kids Health. More importantly, families should make sure kids know bullying is not their fault.

"Parents should tell teachers quickly about bullying incidents."
a mom talking to her daughter who is feeling upset about being bullied

Wrong: Don't tell kids' teachers

Children may fear the retaliation they'll receive if they tell an adult about bullying. Yet, once parents know about the incidents, they can't sit on the information. Instead, families need to inform teachers, caregivers and coaches about the negative experience their youngsters are having. Time is of the essence, so parents shouldn't wait, according to Empowering Parents. Teachers need to know how the bullying is affecting their students, and if worse comes to worse, principals or school administrators should be included in the discussion.

Right: Coach positive behavior

Bullies aside, there are steps parents can take to make sure their kids are protecting themselves in these situations. Families can coach children to avoid harassment by walking away or joining a group of friends when incidents occur. Adults who teach their youngsters to be the bigger person can ensure situations don't escalate. While fighting back isn't the answer, parents can help their kids be confident in themselves and stand strong against bullies by having a little speech prepared.. With positive body language and a firm "Leave me alone," children can show their aggressors that they're not to be messed with.

Wrong: Approach the bully's parents

While it's a smart move for adults to get in touch with children's' caregivers, starting a discussion with the bully's family is a dangerous situation. It's not uncommon for parents to get offended when they hear negative comments about their kids. No parent wants to believe their youngster is causing problems among other children, so any discussion with another family should take place in a neutral environment, according to Stomp Out Bullying. Furthermore, approaching a taunter's parents should be the responsibility of the school.

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