by Clare Bowers
Dealing with bullying can be distressing for both the child and their parents. Here is some advice for parents supporting a child who is being bullied:
Listen and Validate: Create a safe and supportive environment for your child to express their feelings. Listen attentively without judgment and validate their emotions. Let them know that you believe them and that bullying is not their fault.
Stay Calm and Reassure: While it's natural to feel angry or upset, try to remain calm when discussing the situation with your child. Reassure them that you are there to support and protect them. Let them know they are not alone in this experience.
Gather Information: Encourage your child to share details about the bullying incidents. Ask specific questions about who, what, when, and where. Document the incidents, including dates and descriptions. This information can be useful when discussing the situation with school authorities or other relevant parties.
Teach Assertiveness and Confidence: Help your child build assertiveness skills and boost their confidence. Role-play different scenarios, empowering them with assertive responses. Encourage them to stand tall, make eye contact, and speak firmly when addressing the bully. Reinforce positive qualities and remind them of their strengths.
Teach De-escalation Strategies: In some cases, teaching your child de-escalation techniques can be helpful. These strategies may involve walking away from the situation, using humour to defuse tension, or seeking help from a trusted adult.
Involve School Authorities: Contact your child's school and inform them about the bullying incidents. Share the documented information and request a meeting with teachers, counsellors, or administrators. Work collaboratively with the school to develop a plan to address the bullying effectively.
Encourage Peer Support: Help your child foster positive relationships with their peers. Encourage them to seek out friends who are supportive and empathetic. Having a strong support system can provide comfort and protect against the negative impact of bullying.
Promote Self-Care: Encourage your child to engage in self-care activities that promote their well-being. This may include hobbies, sports, art, or spending time with friends and family. Self-care helps them build resilience and maintain a positive outlook.
Monitor Online Activities: If cyberbullying is involved, closely monitor your child's online activities. Advise them to block or report the bully, and remind them not to retaliate or engage in negative online interactions. Consider setting limits on screen time and encouraging healthy online behaviour.
Seek Professional Help if Needed: If your child experiences prolonged distress or shows signs of significant emotional impact, consider seeking professional help from a counsellor or therapist. They can provide additional support and guidance tailored to your child's specific needs.
Remember, it's essential to maintain open lines of communication with your child throughout the process. Assure them that bullying is not a reflection of their worth, and together, you will work towards finding a solution.
Should you need any further support please do reach out and we'll help however we can