What should parents do when they find out their child is being bullied at school?

2017.02.08

“My child does not talk about kindergarten and other activities anymore…”
“He/she is out of it a lot of the time now”
“His/her grades are suddenly lower than before”

When parents realize that their child is taking the above actions it often means that something has happened to them at school.
One cause of the above actions may be that he/she is being bullied at school.
In this article, we will introduce some actions parents should take if they think their child is being bullied at school.

Recognize the signs of “bullying”

In addition to the above examples, does your child often lose his/her things, is his/her clothing often dirty when he/she gets home from school, is she/he injured a lot?
If you see these signs, there is a high probability that your child Is being bullied.
Children who become moody and become aggressive toward their parents are often being bullied.
At the beginning, it is important to take the time to really observe and listen to your child.
If you child has shown any of the above characteristics then it is a good idea to try to incorporate some or all of the below actions.

What can parents do when they find out their child is being bullied?

Here are some actions parents can take to support their child.

・Allow their house to be a “safe haven”
Children who are being bullied come home stressed. They need a place where they can relax and relieve this stress. Parents should make sure their child feels comfortable talking about what happened at school and that they listen to what their child has to say.
It is good to start with questions like, “what did you do in school today?” or “what did you talk about with your friends?” because they are easy to answer. If children are in a relaxed environment eating a snack they are more likely to share what happened and any worries they have.

・Ask you child what they want to do and listen to their answer
If parents over-react when they hear that their child is being bullied, it may cause their child to become more victimized. Therefore, it is important to let your child explain what is happening and how he/she wants to handle it first. When listening it is important to stand behind them and congratulate them for being strong.
If your child says that he/she wants to take revenge, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Although most parents will agree that it is best to say “no” to taking revenge, some children may lose respect for their parents if they receive such an answer. It is important to let them know that they do not need to fight back and that you are there to protect them. It is important to keep your child’s respect and shift to suggestions of you, as a parent, can do to help your child handle the situation.

・Talk to the teacher
The first step that parents can take is to talk directly to the teacher. When speaking with the teacher, it is important to gather the information you received from your child and speak with the teacher in a calm, informative manner. Before the appointment with the teacher, make sure you have all your requests for the teacher written down so you share them and come up with a solution together. Speaking with your child’s teacher will be helpful in coming up with your own solutions as well.

After realizing that your child is being bullied, it is important to consider various solutions. However, making sure that you do not become too emotional is essential. It is best to speak with the teacher and work together to come up with a solution as a team.

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