Creative Child

My Child is Being Bullied

by Sarah Lyons

When parents send their kids to school they hope that they are safe and happy as they learn and grow, but when your child becomes a victim of bullying it can be hard to know how to help them. According to www.stopbullying.gov between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 U.S. students say they have been bullied. This is most common in middle school and most often takes the form of social or verbal bullying. Due to recent programs and education, studies have shown the number of kids being bullied is declining. However it is still a problem that should be taken seriously. Parents can educate themselves in what they should do so they are prepared if their child feels like they are being targeted by a bully. Here are some tips to give your student.

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Just say stop

The first thing your child can do when faced with a bully is to say “Stop!”. It is healthy for all kids to understand boundaries. If someone is speaking to them, touching them, or treating them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, they have the right to say “No!” or “Stop!” If it continues, they can walk away from the situation. Learning to verbalize their feelings and take charge of the situation will benefit them into adulthood. They should never have to feel stuck. Likewise, kids should understand that if someone asks them to stop, they need to respect others enough to change the behavior immediately.

Walk away

If your child has asked their bully to stop and the behavior continues, let them know the best choice is to walk away. Ask your child if they have a person they feel safe telling about the bullying behavior at school. Let them know that if they have asked the bully to stop and they did not, they should then walk away and go tell someone they feel safe talking to about the situation. It is never a good idea to start a physical fight with anyone. If your child is not comfortable talking to an adult at school or they have reported bullying but don’t feel heard, it may be a good idea for the parent to contact the school directly and come up with a plan to stop any future bullying. By first allowing your child to address the situation, you teaching them empowerment.

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Use the buddy system

Often kids who are targeted by bullies are perceived as different by their peers. Bullying often happens with a group of kids targeting a child who is alone. Encourage your child to play with other kids with similar interests. A group of kids are less likely to be targeted.

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