What to Do When Your Child is Being Bullied
Although bullying affects the majority of Canadian children, it is not a normal part of growing up. If you notice bullying, you must get involved and teach children how to connect with people in healthy ways.
What should you do if you suspect or know that your child is being bullied?
- Talk to your child: Ask your child directly how others treat him. Often children who are being bullied will be ashamed or embarrassed to bring it up themselves.
- Support and reassure: Reassure your child that talking to someone was the right thing to do and that you will help him.
- Intervene: Do not expect your child to work this out on his own. Talk with teachers and other parents to find a solution. Work closely and cooperatively with teachers, the school principal, and other community leaders to find solutions.
- Increase social interactions: Encourage your child to meet new friends and to participate in activities outside the school. Friendships in different settings can minimize the effects of bullying.
- Empathize: Encourage your child to talk about his feelings. Talk often and openly. Share any bullying experiences you may have had. Reassure your child that you understand and want to help.
- Avoid teaching aggression: Do not tell or teach your child to fight back. Help him learn to talk a problem out and develop the skills to resolve conflicts non-violently.
- Be a good role model: Consistently behave in the way you would like your child to behave, both with your children and with other people. Demonstrate tolerance and acceptance.