It’s never easy to deal with bullying, especially as a young child. If one of your kids is currently dealing with bullying, it can be difficult to determine a path forward, especially if you’ve never had to deal with it before.
The good news is, you can definitely support your child through this difficult time. With these important steps, you can keep your child feel safer when dealing with a bully, physically and mentally:
1. Reassure Your Child
An extremely important part of helping your child through bullying is making sure to reassure your child that what’s happening isn’t their fault. Too often, people try to shift the blame onto the victim, saying that if the victim would only change their behavior, the bullying would stop.
This pattern of thinking can become very damaging, especially if a bully starts attacking your child for unchangeable things like your child’s gender or body type. It’s important to emphasize that, regardless of the reason for the bullying, your child shouldn’t have to change
2. Help Your Child Understand the Bully’s Behavior
It can be complicated trying to unravel the reasons why people are rude and mean to each other, and that’s especially true when it comes to kids. You should help your child understand that the bully might be having their own problems; try and put them in the other person’s shoes.
At the same time, it’s important to reiterate that, while these problems may give an explanation, they don’t excuse the bullying behavior. That’s an important lesson, to help make sure your child doesn’t take up the same kind of poor behavior in the future.
3. Let Your Child Talk to You
Sometimes people just need to vent, and that’s also true of kids. Remember that you don’t have to solve your child’s bullying problems. If your child can handle these problems on their own, they’re more likely to build confidence in their problem-solving capabilities.
So, if your child just needs to talk about the frustration of having to deal with a bully, let that happen without judgment. Your child may be more willing to come talk to you about other problems in the future if you allow it to happen when they’re young.
4. Support Your Child’s Choices
You should try to encourage your child to solve problems on their own, even if those solutions are a bit unorthodox. If your child wants to discuss the problem with school administrators, support that decision. If your child instead wants to try and talk to the bully without getting adults involved, you should support that as well. This way, your child will learn how to adapt solutions based on the situation.
5. Step in if Necessary
You should definitely try to leave problem-solving up to your child in general. That helps your child become more independent in the future. However, there are some situations in which you should step in.
If the bully physically threatens your child, or your child starts to express serious mental or emotional issues because of the bullying, that’s when you need to get adults involved. Try to keep your distance. But remember that as a parent, it’s your responsibility to keep your child safe.
6. Check on Friends and Neighbors
Although it’s not always the case, it’s true that sometimes bullying can stem from trouble at home or domestic problems. If you make sure your child hangs out mostly with friends that come from less-troubled homes, you can reduce the possibility of bullying. You can also check your general neighborhood for those issues so you know your child’s safe overall. PeopleFinders can help you with your investigating.
If any parents in your area have a criminal history of domestic problems, especially domestic violence, PeopleFinders may be able to help you find that history. You can perform a criminal records search to try and discover those issues, even if they were only arrests and not convictions. The PeopleFinders address search may also help you check on other parents in the area, even if you don’t know those parents’ names.
It’s not easy to handle bullying, especially if your child is young or hasn’t had any experience with the problem before. Helping your child through these bullying issues requires that you offer help when it’s asked for, but generally guide your child to come up with age-appropriate solutions.
If you can do a little bit of work before your child has to deal with these problems, you may be able to avoid them altogether. PeopleFinders may help you discover more about the families in your area. If you’re looking for more guidance with other common parental problems, read the PeopleFinders blog to find more tips.
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