Often times when a child is being bullied they don’t know who to turn to. Some are embarrassed to discuss it openly and others are simply afraid the bullying will worsen if they tell an authority figure. To ignore the bullying only worsens the situation; the child being bullied becomes filled with feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and depression. In extreme cases some begin having suicidal thoughts.

The key to understanding bullying is to have open communication. Whether your child is the victim of a bully or bullying others, asking questions and addressing the topic is the best approach to make your child comfortable enough to share any feelings or questions they have regarding bullying.

Watch your child in social situations- you will be able to see first- hand what role they play among their friends. After making some observations, have an open discussion.  Ask them how certain scenarios make them feel and ultimately let them know that bullying is not ok and they can stand up for themselves. If they’re the ones bullying let them know it’s not acceptable to treat others in that manner.

By engaging in an open communication with your child you are able to understand exactly where the inferior or negative behavior is coming from and together you can work through the issues. No child should have to suffer at the hands of a bully. As parents it’s up to us to open the lines of communication and make our children feel safe at home and away from home.