Bullying and Your Child

There are few things more worrying – and even heartbreaking – than discovering your child is being bullied at school. Maybe she's been getting stomach aches every Monday morning. Maybe he starts crying as soon as he gets off the bus or is acting out with his siblings. However it begins, seeing the effects of bullying on your child's life is painful, and most parents become desperate to act and to fix the situation. Understanding the dynamics of bullying can help you and your child discover the best way to stop it.

What Is Bullying?

We've been hearing a lot about bullying in the media lately, and the media sometimes have a tendency to label any kind of aggression between children – or even adults – as bullying. However, bullying is a very specific behavior that has long-term psychological repercussions; it's not just the harmless teasing or wrestling all kinds participate in. Bullying is defined as deliberate, repeated aggression by a more powerful child – larger, stronger, more popular, etc. – against a less-powerful child. Bullying can be verbal, like name-calling or threatening; social, like exclusion or spreading rumors; or physical, which can involve hurting, spitting, or taking a child's possessions.

Stopping It

Adults must step in immediately when they see bullying happening or when it is reported to them. This involves separating the children and questioning them privately about exactly what happened. Alert medical personnel and/or police if bodily harm, sexual abuse or a weapon is involved.

Next, find out from the bullied child what he or she needs to feel safe. Let them know it is not their fault. You and the child should develop a plan and work with the school or other adults to prevent the bullying behavior. Quickness, firmness, and the involvement of the child are key. Schools are becoming much more responsive to bullying situations and parents should take advantage of this.

Make sure the bullying child is being addressed, as well. Sometimes they are bullying because of mental health, family or other issues. They should be helped to understand why their behavior is wrong and to gain insight into why they should stop engaging in it.

Preventing It

Children need guidance in dealing with bullying, whether the child is a bully, a target or a bystander. They need to understand what bullying is and isn't, and what they can do if it's happening. Most importantly, they need to have adults in their lives with whom they can effectively communicate. Check in with the children in your life often and let them know you're there for them.

Speak with your child's school to discover what their policy on bullying is. Be willing to work with them as they develop effective strategies and guidelines.

5/15/2013 7:43:13 PM
Rob Greenstein
Written by Rob Greenstein
Rob Greenstein is the Editor-in-Chief and President of Wellness.com, Inc.
View Full Profile Website: http://www.wellness.com/

Bullying is not cool...
Posted by snolan760
Well said!
Posted by Matt Beckman

Related Keywords

Wellness.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment nor do we verify or endorse any specific business or professional listed on the site. Wellness.com does not verify the accuracy or efficacy of user generated content, reviews, ratings or any published content on the site. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.
©2024 Wellness®.com is a registered trademark of Wellness.com, Inc. Powered by Earnware