Help Your Child Deal with Bullying
Struggling with how to help your child deal with bullying? It’s a common problem, but there are ways to help your child cope—at school or online.
Whether they're still young enough for the swing set or old enough for social media, kids need love and support to help them stand up to bullying.
If you think your child is being bullied at school or online, here's how to help:
While bullying has many forms, it generally involves being picked on over and over again. Examples of this aggressive, unwanted behavior can include taunting, teasing, or shoving; purposefully leaving a child out of friendship circles; or saying things that embarrass a child.
Teach your child to seek help
Children need to know they can ask an adult, such as a teacher or playground aide, for help. It may help to remind your child that bullying is never okay—and he or she is not at fault.
Tell the school
If the bullying is occurring at school or on the bus, make sure the staff knows so that they can help.
Practice what to do and say
Teach your child what to do when someone is bullying him or her. Here are some ways experts say kids might respond:
• Look the bully in the eye and calmly walk away.
• Say something like "I don't like what you're doing" or "Please do not talk to me like that."
If the bullying is occurring online—through social media sites, for example—or through text messages, tell your child not to respond and to block the person who is doing the bullying. Also, report the bullying to the service provider. If the threats are violent or sexually implicit, report the bully to law enforcement.
Help your child pursue a passion
Is your son or daughter into sports or music? Or academic groups or social clubs? When children are involved in school or community activities, they gain positive experiences and are less likely to be bullied.
You can learn more at stopbullying.gov, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.
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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services