By Sandi Schwartz
Bullying is not a new behavior; it is a learned behavior that comes from the social observation of parents, teachers, TV figures, and any other adults. More often than not, bullies don’t even realize the scale of their actions and how they can hurt someone else. They are copying a behavioral pattern that they have learned from others.
Unfortunately, tweens and teenagers are the most common victims of this wave of negativity. Too fat, too skinny, too tall, too small, too smart, too dumb–bullies always find something to pick on. Your role as a parent is to be there to defend your child from the attacks of bullies. A bully will harass your child until they break, probably because they are broken themselves. But with your support, your teen can regain happiness, self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of calm.
How To Help
Bullying can have terrible impacts on someone’s self-esteem and confidence. A teen who has been bullied is likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Handling these emotional issues can be difficult, so you need to provide support as your children try to rebuild their strength. Be gentle and listen to what your child wants to say. It’s important that you resist the urge to comment or criticize: this is the best way to show them that you are there for them.
Helping your child face bullies is something that more parents need to put on their radar. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution, and you can’t protect your child from everything. But you can help them go through a hard time by taking them seriously, being supportive, and providing tools to help them maneuver through the challenges of bullying.
What To Do When It’s Too Much
Bullies can surface anywhere, such as in your child’s class at school or places they regularly visit like the shopping mall or the gym. Sometimes, it can be difficult to avoid the local bullies despite all the best support you might have.
How do you handle bullying cases in your home?
Originally from the Philadelphia area, Sandi Schwartz is a freelance writer/blogger and mother of two. She has written extensively about parenting, wellness, and environmental issues. You can find her at www.happysciencemom.com – where this article first appeared – and www.sandischwartz.com.