What to do When Your Child is Being Bullied
Do you remember being bullied as a child? I sure do!
I would have gum put in my hair, items stolen, and other mean things. One time a boy I had a crush on stood behind the curtain at a talent fair and, just loud enough for me to hear it, whispered, “You’re so ugly. You’re just gross and no one would ever want to be with you.” It was cruel.
Another time, I got into a fist fight with a bully for standing up for myself. Yay, me! She told me afterwards that her mother made her get a tetanus shot since I scratched her pretty good (that was to stop the choking of her pudgy little arms around my throat!) Yay, me, again! In some ways, bullying was a right of passage.
What to do When Your Child is Being Bullied
And things are even worse than in my childhood! With the prevalence of social media and (dare I say it?) overly permissive parenting and a reluctance to believe that your child would jump on the bullying bandwagon, bullying seems to have grown exponentially. Bullies are bolder, crueler, and more relentless! I even heard of a group of neighborhood kids who look for #suicide on social media postings and go to the page and pile on. It’s so wrong!
And the consequences and tragedies have grown along with the bullying. It seems like not a week goes by without hearing of another teen or young adult suicide. Just in my community alone, there have been several.
My kids have personally known both boys and girls who have taken their lives in the past few years. Some days I think that if I’m escorting them to another funeral for a teen or young adult, I’ll scream!
He who bullies as a child will often bully as an adult. I’ve just recently been the target of a big fat bully. And, you know what? It gets in your head! And I’m a confident grown-@ss woman!! If I, as an adult, need to go to great lengths to shut up the bully’s voice in my head and protect myself from cyber-stalking, how much worse must it be for a child who hasn’t developed the self-esteem and life skills to protect themselves?
So what can we do to protect our children from bullies?
8 Things to Do If Your Child is Being Bullied
Communicate, communicate, communicate with them every day. Be open and honest with them, and ask them when something seems off.
Trust your instincts! If you think something is off, it likely is.
Love on your kids. Let them know they’re beautiful, handsome, smart, and worthy. Help them to learn the skill of deflecting attacks and not allowing the bully’s arrows to penetrate their armor.
Monitor their social media pages. Social media is a bully’s paradise, so by monitoring and, minimizing, social media usage by our kids, we can protect them somewhat.
Believe them if they tell you they are being bullied.
Don’t be afraid to be an advocate for your kids…at school, work, and in the community. Intervene when necessary; pull them out of school if you have to. Do whatever it takes to protect them from bullies.
Get intervention when needed. Counseling and/or having a safe person for your child to talk to can really help them process the bully’s attacks and recognize that it’s the bully with the problem, not them.
Recognize that a bully’s actions speak volumes about the bully. When you squeeze something, what's inside comes out. Most bullies are just miserable and rotten inside. They may have been treated this way at home and are mimicking that behavior, or they are very insecure, and they seem to be able to sniff out soft-hearted kids to be the target of their attacks as if by hurting someone else, they can raise their own self esteem. Or. They. Simply. Don’t. Care.
Sadly, bullying is an issue that has been getting worse.
Happily, with growing awareness of bullying, there is less tolerance for it and greater consequences for those engaging in it.
One of my passions along with equipping moms to reach their full potential is to help families reach theirs.
Supporting anti-bullying initiatives and training our kids to be less vulnerable to bullies is a big part of what Epic Families is about. My most recent encounter with Mr. Bully has simply solidified my resolve and deepened my passion to help families and individuals feel loved and worthy to fulfill their destiny in life. And Mr. Bully can just go stuff it!
Hi, I'm Beth. I help busy moms ditch the overwhelm and gain confidence, so they can enjoy parenting more, yell less, and have peaceful kids and a happy family.