How to help your child when they’re getting bullied

It is heartbreaking for parents to hear that their child is getting bullied. However, if you hear this from your child, it is important to take action. Getting involved with bullying prevention while helping your child cope with the pain that comes from being the victim of bullying are important ways to protect your child and set a standard of care in your community. If your child shares with you that he or is being bullied, take these steps.

Resist the urge to contact the other child’s parents
If a bully is targeting your child, your first instinct may be to call that child’s parents. In most cases, this strategy is ineffective and can even exacerbate the situation. Don’t assume that the other parents will share your concerns or view the incidents that have happened in the same way.

It may be necessary for the other child’s parents to be involved in addressing the issue. However, your child’s school or the local authorities should be the one to make contact with them. Allowing a third party to do so also helps to convey to the other parents the seriousness of the issue.

Gather complete information
In order to advocate for your child, you will need complete information about all of the occasions in which the bullying took place. This information will help you when you address the bullying issue with the appropriate person and will set up a scenario in which your child feels comfortable coming to you about future bullying episodes.

Write down the information your child provides, so that you have the story correct moving forward. You may need to repeat the information to several different people, so having this written account will help.

Address the issue at your child’s school
Don’t let bullying occur at your child’s school without approaching the administration about your concerns. Bring your written record and calmly describe your concern to the school principal.

Follow up after your meeting with the principal that recaps your discussion and your expectations. Knowing that you’re committed to getting bullying out of the school will encourage the administration to join your fight.

If your child has been bullied, he or she may also benefit from discussing the issue with his or her physician at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Get a referral to a helpful specialist at our hospital in San Jose by calling (888) 762-8881.

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