Many kids are embarrassed to be bullied and may not tell their parents or another adult right away. If your child comes to you and asks for help with a bully, take it seriously. Many times if kids aren't taken seriously the first time they ask for help, they don't ask again.
Even if your child doesn't turn to you for help, you can watch for these warning signs that he or she is being bullied. Kids who are bullied, often experience:
- a loss of friends
- a drop in grades
- a loss of interest in activities he or she previously enjoyed
- torn clothing
- a need for extra money or supplies
If you think your child is being bullied or if your child has told you that he or she is being bullied, you can help. Parents are often the best resource to build a child's self-confidence and to teach him or her how to best solve problems. Here are a few ways you can help:
- Talk to your child's teacher about it instead of confronting the bully's parents. If the teacher doesn't act to stop the bullying, talk to the principal.
- Teach your child nonviolent ways to deal with bullies, like walking away, playing with friends, or talking it out.
- Help your child act with self-confidence. With him or her, practice walking upright, looking people in the eye, and speaking clearly.
- Don't encourage your child to fight. This could lead to him or her getting hurt, getting in trouble, and beginning more serious problems with the bully.
- Involve your child in activities outside of school. This way he or she can make friends in a different social circle.
Some children seem to be bullied all the time, while others may rarely get picked on. Why do some kids seem to attract all of the bullies? Kids who are bullied often:
- Are different from other kids, whether by size, race, sexually, or have different interests
- Seem weak, either physically or emotionally
- Are insecure
- Want approval
- Won't tell on their bullies