Bullying has become a bit of a buzzword lately, and for good reason – while some may dismiss it as a part of life or even a rite of passage, the reality is that bullying can leave scars that last a lifetime and lead to other, more serious problems. As a parent, though, finding out that your child is being bullied may raise more questions than answers. How can you help? What should you do? We know it’s confusing – but don’t worry, here are two powerful steps you can take to help your child overcome the problem.
If you do nothing else, the most important thing is to listen non-judgmentally to your child. Don’t immediately ask what they did to provoke a bully, don’t tell them how to respond, just listen to what your child has to say. Ask questions like “What happened? How did that make you feel?” The first priority is to make your child feel safe; to explain their experience, and to find out everything you can about what’s been happening.
Once your child has explained the situation, your first instinct may be to unleash a flood of parental advice – but for now, it’s best to save it. Instead, let your child come up with the solutions. Ask them things like “what could you say next time? What do you think would work?” Let them come up with solutions. If you think their proposed solution is a bad idea, don’t tell them outright – ask them what they think would happen. Use open-ended questions to let your child decide how they want to handle it. This way, you can gently guide them to an effective course of action while still letting them learn to deal with things on their own.
Have more questions about bullying or want to find out more about joining TBE? We are always here to help. Feel free to call 469.287.0332, reach out to us at our contact page, learn more about our curriculum, or join the TBE family. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we hope to see you back on our blog for more information and tips for raising a happy, healthy child!