What to Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied

You know your kids and you can tell if they are going through a rough time. But sometimes finding out

You know your kids and you can tell if they are going through a rough time. But sometimes finding out the root of the problem can be very difficult. Talking with your child while doing something together, like playing outdoors, eating dinner, or shopping can often allow him to talk openly and honestly about what’s going on in his life. By paying special attention to mentions of interactions with other kids at school, you can begin to get a better picture of how well your kid is doing with others. If she mentions that other kids have threatened her, caused harm, or spread rumors about her in school then your child may be the victim of bullying. Don’t blame your kid for being bullied or being put in harmful situations. Let him know that you are there, as always, to support him, and that you will do your best to help.

Plus: Study Links Frequent School Nurse Visits to Bullying

Here’s how to help:

1. Ask your child how you can help and what she would like for you to do next.

2. Let her know that she can trust you and that your actions are never intended to make the bullying worse.

3. Make a plan of action that requires you both to document each incident and talk about ways to cope through what’s going on.

If you and your child decide that you should speak with a teacher or school authority, make a meeting and describe, in detail, the experiences that the child has had. Remain calm and diplomatic in the meeting. Providing the teacher with enough information will help him to make an informed decision about what to do next. The teacher may suggest that you bring in the school counselor who can monitor the situation and keep you informed on what’s happening at school.

Above all, reassure your kid that you are a team and that you will work together to make school something positive, not something to fear.

Plus: What to Do if Your Child is the Victim of Cyberbullying

Sources: kidshealth.org, stopbullying.gov, pbskids.org

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest