Talking to your child regularly is a great way to stay on top of bullying situations in their life. If you build a strong, open relationship, they will feel more comfortable coming to you for help.
If you notice changes in your child’s behavior such as falling grades and moodiness, don’t immediately reprimand them. Talk to your child, let them know how important they are to you, and work on a solution together.
Your child may feel too embarrassed or afraid to bring up physical bullying with you, so it’s important to pay close attention to any sudden changes in your child’s behavior that might indicate they are being bullied. Ask and listen.
Collect more facts by talking the situation through with your kid. Work out a plan of action together. Make sure you and your kid agree on what the outcome should be. Ramp up your efforts as the situation demands.
Kids may not always recognize teasing as bullying. Some also may be too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to their parents about it. That’s why it’s important to talk about digital behavior before your child starts interacting with others online and with devices.
Remind teens often that you’re always available to talk. While you’re at it, put in a plug for the school counselor, a teacher, or even a friend’s parent. Knowing that they have a trusted adult to talk to may encourage teens to open up.
Children may not be ready to open up right away, so when you first talk with your child about bullying, be prepared to listen without judgment and provide a safe and supportive place where your child can work out their feelings.
When your child begins to tell their story, just listen and avoid making judgmental comments. Encourage your child to talk, and let them know they are not alone and you are there to help.
After hearing your child’s story, empower them to create an action plan to help stop the bullying. Talk with your child about ways you can support them as well as intervention strategies they can use, such as working with the school or advocating on their own.
Creating a plan that works with your child’s strengths can help build self-confidence and resilience. Make sure to share these agreed-upon strategies with other adults in your child’s life, such as teachers and coaches, who interact with them on a daily basis.
Consider phrases like, “I’m always here if you need to talk,” “This is a no judgment zone,” or “We can work on a way to fix this, together.”