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How To Help Kids Fight Bullying

In the perfect world your child would never be bullied; in fact, no one would. Unfortunately, we don’t live in the perfect world and bullying may be an issue.

One of the biggest problems with bullying is that it can be hard to detect. A common indicator can be a change in mood or mood swings. Another is avoidance. If your child has always wanted to go to the park and suddenly doesn’t want to, that may indicate a problem. Unless your child tells you about it, you may not know he or she is being bullied.

As a parent it’s good to get ahead of the problem by calmly discussing bullying as a family before it occurs. When your child knows you think bullying is wrong and should be stopped, they will be more likely to confide in you when trouble comes.

If your child comes to you with a bullying problem, listen quietly and offer support. Getting upset won’t help your child so stay calm. It’s hard for many kids to talk about bullying because they are ashamed or embarrassed and sometimes they worry about their parent’s reactions. Often they think it may somehow be their fault. Cyberbullying in particular can cause parents to react by taking away the child’s access to social media, but this can be seen as punishment. Instead, walk through technological and emotional solutions.

Remind your child that you are proud of them for coming to you and sharing. Tell them you want to help them figure out what to do together, they are not alone and you will help them solve the problem. That also means resisting the urge to be a mama or papa bear. Instead of calling the bully’s parents and giving them an earful, come up with a way your child can handle it, knowing you have his or her back.

Whether or not your child is struggling with a bully, you can join the growing anti-bullying community in order to show support for creating healthy school environments. If you are concerned about your child’s mental or emotional health, talk to your pediatrician.

Posted in Blog on February 10th, 2017