Bullying affects children of all ages and sizes, and can include physical, verbal, and social issues. Bullying often happens wherever adults are not watching, either at school, in the neighborhood, or even just online. Children who experience any kind of bullying can have lasting consequences including mental health issues, poor school performance, and even a higher risk of substance abuse or dropping out of school. Unfortunately, you can’t always help your child avoid all bullying. But you can give them skills to help them deal with difficult situations! The AAP offers these suggestions to help your child handle bullying.
- Ask Your Child Questions– Ask them about the kids in their class, how recess is going, ask them if they see anyone getting bullied. Keeping a line of communication between you and your children is imperative in helping them handle tough situations.
- Teach Your Child How to Respond– Teach them how to look the bully in the eye, stand tall and firm, and stay calm. Help them with things they can say such as, “I don’t like what you are doing.” or “Please don’t talk to me that way.” Teach them to walk away when a resolution isn’t found.
- Advise your child to ignore text messages and cut off communications with someone who is bullying them.
- Encourage your child to show any bullying texts or emails to a parent or trusted adult.
- Tell your child to ask for help, and reassure them it is not their fault.
- Help them find ways to make friends with other children. Sports and other activities are great ways to find friends, invite your child’s friends into your home.
- Alert the right authorities- If your child is being bullied at school, make sure their teacher or principal is aware of the situation. Together you can form a plan to help your child know what to do if it happens again.
Sometimes even if your child isn’t being bullied, there are things they can do to help those who are struggling with bullies. Bullies love attention, so teach your child not to support the bully by watching. Help your child set a good example by being kind to everyone they come in contact with. Encourage your child to help someone who is being bullied to get away and tell a trusted adult. One of the most effective things your child can do is to be a friend to the child who is being bullied. They often feel alone and scared, having someone reach out to them can really help.
Keep lines of communication open between you and your child, and don’t hesitate to talk with your pediatrician if your child is having a problem with bullying or is being a bully. If you have any questions or want to schedule a wellness exam or other appointment for your children, contact The Pediatric Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho or Rigby, Idaho. Our medical staff at The Pediatric Center currently consists of seven Board Certified Pediatricians and three Certified Pediatric Physician Assistants. We have been serving eastern Idaho for over 55 years providing quality pediatric care and offer extended hours so we can better serve your family and their health care needs!
Some content provided by The American Academy of Pediatrics https://healthychildren.org/