Is your child the target of bullying in school? If so, they are not alone. Approximately 28% of children between the ages of 12 and 18 report that they are victims of bullying at school. Bullying can have serious consequences on your child's physical, emotional, and mental state. Fortunately, there are ways you can help your child cope with bullying and even overcome the consequences.
Provide Adolescent Psychiatry
Bullying can lead to a number of psychological and physical side effects:
- Social anxiety
- Suicidal ideation
- Eating disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Abdominal pain
Considering the psychological implications of bullying, it is important to get your child involved with adolescent psychiatry as soon as possible. A psychiatry can determine your child's state of mind to determine if they are at risk for self-harm, which is often linked to bullying. Shockingly, more than 14% of high school students have experienced suicidal ideation and nearly 7% have attempted suicide.
Given the strong link between bullying and suicide, it is important to ensure your child receives the proper psychological help as soon as possible. A psychiatrist not only provides solutions for mental care, they can also provide your child with an outlet. Thanks to a psychiatrist, your child can talk about how they feel, which means they don't have to keep their emotions bottled up inside.
Provide Strength and Confidence
Teach your child the importance of strength and confidence in order to prevent bullying. A child that walks with their head up and a back that is straight is capable of looking confident. A child with self-confidence is less likely to be the target of bullying. Your best bet is to practice at home with your child. Have your child walk around and encourage them to keep their chin up, their eyes open, and their back straight.
If you notice your child drops his or her eyes to the floor, gently encourage them to look up and look around. Averting the eyes, walking with a shuffle, slumping, slouching, or looking down makes your child seem like an easy target for bullying since they appear less confident.
Make sure you offer words of encouragement and support to your child while practicing. Your goal is to build strength and confidence. Therefore, tell your child, "Awesome job," or "You're doing great!" Positive words of encouragement can help boost your child's confidence.
Teach Your Child Forgiveness
Forgiving a bully for his or her actions is often difficult, particularly when the bully causes feelings of hurt and anger. However, children who forgive a bully's actions are better equipped to deal with bullying. In fact, it is said that children who forgive the actions of a bully are not as likely to take bullying as seriously. If the child does not take bullying as seriously, they will not be as emotionally affected.
Do not make the mistake of telling your child to ignore the bully. Ignoring or avoiding a bully can lower your child's self-esteem. However, putting the power of forgiveness in your child's hands teaches them to process the situation with a different, more positive emotion. For example, one study revealed that bullies often do not live in two-parent homes and may not receive as much attention at home as kids who do not participate in bullying.
A child who practices forgiveness is capable of understanding that a bully may be suffering from their own problems and that bullying is perhaps a way of making the bully feel better about his or herself. In teaching forgiveness, your child learns not to take the bullying personally, which makes them better equipped to cope with the situation.Share