teen peer group

Bullying is a serious problem we unfortunately may face in all stages of our lives. Bullying is the use of ongoing verbal, physical, or emotional harassment, intimidation, or isolation. A bully intends to hurt, threaten, or frighten his or her victim through deliberate and repeated acts or words. It isn’t just kids who are bullied. Even adults can face workplace harassment or bullying.  Bullying behaviours, actions or words are designed to designed to make make you feel upset, humiliated, and threatened. Bullying is serious and can result in injury to your child or teen, self harming behaviours or even death.

Signs of bullying

You can’t always see the signs of bullying. And no one sign indicates  that your child or teen is being bullied.

Parents can see a wide variety of behaviours  or symptoms which may indicate their child  is being bullied.

Look for

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry.
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Withdrawing from school or outside activities or clubs
  • Changes in eating habits, skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviours such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

My Child is being Bullied. What Now?

If you suspect your child or teen is being bullied:

  1. Reassure your child that as their parent, you will be there to support them.
  2. Reassure your child that you will be discussing this issue with school as you take their safety seriously.
  3. You will ensure they have a safe way to get home or after school program if you can’t be there to pick them up.
  4. Talk to the teacher and the principal if the event happened at school or person in charge if this happened on a sports team or after school club.
  5. Reassure your child you will follow up on any action taken or discussed, remain involved and survey the situation.
  6. Teach your child  the skills needed to cope effectively with bullying.
  7.  Show your child how to cope effectively with cyber-bullying by turning off his or her phone, choosing to block or unfriend people who are attacking them online, choosing not to engage in negative behaviours and take preventive steps to protect their identity and privacy online. You, as a parent need to gather evidence of cyber-bullying to show to police of school authorities if necessary.
  8. As parents  you will check in often with your child about how things are going.
  9. As parents  you will help your child develop health friendships, relationships, and support systems.
  10. Talk with a therapist if you are not sure what to do or if your child is involved in self harming behaviours, is depressed or talks about feeling suicidal.

Bullying does not go away on its own

Remember bullying does not go away on its own. Your child needs your support and assistance to get through this period. Your child may be reluctant to talk due to fear of embarrassment or further harm. Remind your child that “bullies like silence”. Speaking up and out is one way to  stop a bully and prevent someone else from being bullied.  Many adults are reluctant to take action. We now know, we need to speak up and support those our children and teens who are being bullied. Only through speaking up can we stop bullying. Call us at Family-Therapy, 613 -287-3799, we are here to help.