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Useful Things To Know If Your Child Is Being Bullied at School


Useful Things To Know If Your Child Is Being Bullied at School

  • Children Mental Health

Parents invest a lot of energy into their children’s well-being. You want them to be safe, surround themselves with good friends, and grow academically and emotionally. But when challenges like bullying arise, it can be overwhelming. This article explores the six steps you can take as a parent if your child is being bullied at school.

6 Steps to Take as A Parent If Your Child is Being Bullied at School

Know the signs. 

First and foremost, it’s essential to know the signs of bullying. Not every child will communicate directly with you about what’s happening. Often children will try to avoid school, saying they don’t feel well or even take part in self-mutilation like scratching, hair pulling, or cutting in more severe cases. For boys who are gay or atypical, it can be common to avoid using the bathroom all day at school for fear of being teased. If your child comes home running to the bathroom, that may be another indicator of bullying. 

Practice active listening.

It makes sense to want to jump into helper mode when you learn your child is being bullied, but providing a safe place where your child has room to share is crucial. Allow them to talk about their experience without interrupting and ask them how the experience has made them feel. Encouraging your child to notice their emotions and validate them can be extremely healing and a great life skill in the long run. Don’t assume that your child has done something to cause the teasing when they tell you; teasing doesn’t always make sense and has more to do with the person teasing than the victim. Lastly, practice regulating your own emotions. If you easily get upset and say you’re going to confront the bully yourself, your child may regret telling you anything in the first place. Listen first. Empower your childAfter letting your child share the bullying experience, empower them to come up with solutions. Ask questions like: What do you think you can say or do next time something like this happens? If they come up with an idea that you think may not go over well, try asking them: What do you think might happen if you take that route? Helping your child play out the scenario in their head will teach them to think through their actions before choosing said actions. When you encourage your child to brainstorm their own solutions, you’re also inadvertently showing them they are resilient and have the potential to help themselves out, which can be extremely empowering for a child. 

Use your resources.

If your child won’t talk to you about being bullied, see if you can find someone they might feel comfortable talking with about it. It can be another family member like an aunt or uncle, a counselor, or a personal coach. Sometimes kids just can’t open up to their parents about certain issues for fear of judgment, misunderstanding, or assuming the parent just won’t get it. It’s OK! Part of being a good parent means knowing when to tap into other resources to help your child. It takes a village to help a child, so don’t be so hard on yourself if they’re not coming to you. The important thing is that they are getting help. 

Speak with teachers.

As soon as you discover your child is being bullied, call and set up an appointment with the school counselor or a teacher you trust. It’s essential to be discreet about it so your child doesn’t feel like more people know than necessary, but involving a teacher in the school with your child can help find a solution. When you meet with the teacher or counselor, explain the impact the bullying is having on your child. Teachers aren’t always aware of the bullying since kids tend to do it when teachers aren’t around, so fill the teacher in on what’s happening. You might want to reach out to the principal if the issue is more serious. Ask them what steps the school can take to fix this problem. 

Check your child’s phone regularly.

It’s 2022 and therefore, bullying is also happening online. While it’s important to allow your kids some privacy, you are the parent and are most likely paying for your child’s phone; therefore, make it known that you will do random phone check-ins to ensure your kid is practicing safe practices. With social apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok becoming increasingly popular, cyberbullying has become an even more significant threat. Have conversations with your children about posting and commenting in healthy, kind ways, and check in to confirm they are safe. 

Contact Us Today

Bullying can severely impact a child’s mental health and well-being. Bullying can cause feelings of rejection, exclusion, low self-esteem, and even depression and anxiety in young people. If your child is struggling with bullying, you are not alone. Here at Advanced Behavioral Health, our team of experts offers individual and group therapy, youth mentoring, and specializes in treating childhood depression, stress and anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Call us today at 301-345-1022 or send us a message online here. 

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.