School Age Children: Coping with Bullying

When kids are the victims of bullying, and particularly bullying at school, moms can feel frustrated and unsure about what to do in order to minimize the impacts of bullying on the emotional and psychological development of their children. But it is important to remember that parents should always take action when their kids are the victim of a school bully in order to minimize the long-term effects that bullying can have on your child. But what actions should a mom take in order to help her child cope with bullying and which actions can help to stop bullying?

How to Cope with Bullying

When helping your kids cope with bullying, it is important to first be aware of the common signs that can indicate that your child is experiencing bullying in school. This is because many children don’t complain directly about their bullying experiences and will most likely not confide in their mothers or fathers about being bullied at school.

Once it has been established that your child is indeed a victim of either physical bullying or psychological bullying, you should take the following steps in order to stop bullying:

  • Take your child’s concerns seriously. Because school bullying can easily escalate into school violence, it is important to take your child’s fears about bullying to heart. If your child confides in you that he is a victim of a bully, do not brush off this information as simply child’s play.
  • Assess the severity of the situation. If your child is physically harmed or threatened with physical harm by a bully, it is imperative that you contact the school as soon as possible. Insist on immediate action in order to protect your child (and very likely, other children as well) from physical violence in her school.
  • Explain bullying dynamics to your child. Help your child to understand that bullies are hard on other kids because of their own personal problems, such as family problems and low self-esteem, and that bullying is not about her. Teach your child that bullying is one way that a school bully tries to feel more powerful and better about himself, and that she is not to blame or inferior in any way.
  • Help to boost your child’s self-esteem. Teach your child not to react to a bully’s taunts. Encourage your child to participate in activities that boost her self-esteem, such as martial arts, ballet or any type of sport. Instill in them the fact that they are unique individuals who deserve respect
  • Monitor the situation closely. If you don’t see improvement in the bullying problem, don’t hesitate to contact the school. Be persistent and patient in order to achieve resolution for the issue.

Remember that as a mom, you have a responsibility to help stop bullying in school. Listen to your child’s concerns carefully, and be patient. Do not interrogate your kids about bullying.

Also remember not to take action without discussing with your child what he would do in the situation if he could. While the final decision will of course be yours to make, this is an important step that will help decrease your child’s feelings of powerlessness in the bullying situation, which is one of the primary goals of children bullies.

Be sure not to promise your child confidentiality when she confides in you about being bullied at school. Take the actions you need in order to protect the safety and well-being of your child and others promptly. Praise your child for being honest about bullying—this is a huge step that deserves recognition.

Finally, be sure to make a note of what your child has told you about his bullying experiences. Bring this information with you when you contact your child’s school in order to help find the best solution possible to stop bullying.

Want to know how to help stop bullying at school before it starts? Read our article on bullying prevention.