What can a parent do to help their child who is being bullied?

How can a parent help their child who is being bullied?

Dear JF&CS Therapy Team:
I am worried that my daughter, who is in middle school, is being bullied by a child in her class. What can I do?
Sincerely,
Julia

Dear Julia,
Thank you for reaching out about this issue. October is actually Bullying Prevention Month. As a parent, it is important to help your child understand what is and what is not bullying. Bullying is defined as aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. It is excellent that you are monitoring your child’s behavior and it is only normal to have some concerns.
Here is a list of recommendations if you think your child is being bullied:
• Keep the lines of communication open- talk to your kids regularly about their friends, school, and their concerns. Make sure you listen to them.
• Encourage kids to be involved in activities. Sports, hobbies and clubs can give kids a chance to boost their confidence and can protect them against being bullied.
• Model how to treat others with love and kindness.
It is also important for kids to have a plan in place if they are being bullied or see someone being bullied. Make sure they tell a trusted adult if they have been bullied or see someone being bullied. If you notice any changes in their behavior and have already checked in with them then it is important to also check in with their teacher or school counselor. Make sure you give the school as much details about their change in behavior as possible. It may also be beneficial to seek counseling services.

At JF&CS, we offer Individual and Family Therapy, Psychological Testing Services and Psychiatry Services.
For more information, please visit our website jfcs-stl.org or call 314-993-1000

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