The Wrong Way to Handle Bullying
If your child is being bullied, make sure that they do not think it is their fault. Many children do not realize this and suffer from low self esteem and emotional problems if they blame themselves for being bullied. Bullying is never the fault of the victim no matter why they are being singled out for. Make sure you child understands this so they do not suffer from guilt. They will also be more willing to share their problems if they realize that the other child is to blame.
Make sure you child does not bully the person back or use physical violence. You should teach them positive ways to defend themselves and make sure they do not take part in continuing the cycling of bullying. Children will often try to harm their bully back, and while this may work for a little while, it will only perpetuate the problem. Children who are bullied will often try to get revenge in this way but it is not the best way to take action.
You should tell your child that the most important thing to do is tell an adult about what is going on. Many children are afraid that telling someone about being bullied will only make the bullying worse. Make sure your child knows that telling an adult is the best way to make bullying stop. It is natural for a child who is being bullied to be reluctant to talk about it, so make sure you reassure them that you can only help. Children may not want to talk to their parents or their teachers, so have them find a trusted adult they can confide in such as a coach or clergy person.
Encourage your child to continue spending time with friends and doing the activities they enjoy. Many children that are being bullied will withdrawal from friends, school and activities so be sure prevent this and support your child in their activities. Sticking with friends will make your child less of a target and continuing in activities will help to boost their confidence, both things that can prevent bullying.
If your child is being bullied, make sure they do not become depressed or start bullying others. Many children will resort to picking on others or become depressed if they are being bullied themselves. Make sure you child does not act out in this way as it will only cause more emotional damage and is not a healthy way to deal with problems. Many times bullying occurs because a child has no other way to cope with their problems. Give your child support and ideas on how to better solve problems so that they will not continue the cycle of bullying.
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