How To Help Your Child Deal With Bullying At School

Being a parent comes with many adventures and responsibilities. Raising children is the toughest job in the world. You as a parent know it well. Aside from sickness, our kids can experience challenges along the way. A health issue, a broken bone, and physical or emotional disabilities.It is important that you carve time out of your schedule for open dialogue with your children. Creating an environment of safety and respect is important for the development of your children. Helping them deal with challenges like bullying at school in a healthy manner is important.

You can’t always control what happens outside your home, and for parents that can be difficult, especially when your child is being bullied. What do you do then if your child is being bullied at school? Where do you turn? Let’s explore some healthy ways to approach the situation.

Some practical and healthy ways to cope

Reach out for help. If your child is dealing with a bully at school, it is imperative that you reach out to their teacher or another authority figure at school to have them know the situation. Your child needs to know that they are safe and taken care of. You may want to set up a meeting with the family of the bully to speak openly about the situation and seek problem-solving methods.

Family counseling. If your child is experiencing a bullying situation at school, they need the space to talk about their feelings. Being picked on can be harmful to young children. Some have hurt themselves, taken other’s lives, or their own because of the trauma of incessant bullying. Having someone abuse them verbally and even physically can be traumatic. Allow your child to express himself in his own way and time. Children need to know that they are heard and that their feelings are valued and matter.

Invite healthy and open dialogue Never underestimate the importance of conversation. Your children aren’t born knowing what they should or shouldn’t do during conflict, it’s your job as a parent to create a safe environment that leaves room for healthy dialogue. If your child is the bully at school, help them understand the importance of respect every day. Children learn by example so set a good one. Speak to them at their level and explain the consequences of negative behavior.

Find a mentor. Kids need positive role models that they can look up to. They sometimes find it easier to open up with a stranger than their parents. You may want to consider signing your child up for music lessons or even karate. Children need space and activities to explore, learn the importance of discipline, and extracurricular activities open the doorway to socialization. It’s also a confidence booster!

Take it seriously

Bullying is no laughing matter, and children are scarred when told hurtful words. Help build their self-esteem by validating them in positive ways at home. You may even want to find a peer group and support system that assists bullied children and parents. The worst thing to ever do is ignore the situation or dismiss it as something small. Bullying can be detrimental to a child’s self-esteem and sense of safety. Be sensitive to your children’s emotional responses and needs. Become involved!

Benefits of Summer Sports

summer sports

Now that summer break is officially underway, you may already hear the complaints from your children, saying, “We’re bored!” or you’ve started to struggle with a chore chart or have become tired of arguing with your child about how much screen time he or she is having. Summer can be a wonderful change of pace from a busy schedule, it can be a difficult and often times frustrating season. If your child is not already enrolled in a summer sport, here are a few reasons you may want to encourage him or her to participate in a sport:

Exercise

During the school year, your child may be active during the day thanks to physical education classes and time on the playground, however, when summer rolls around it may be more difficult to keep the momentum going when it comes to getting exercise. During the first few weeks of summer, it may be easy to get your kid to the local pool or to take a bike ride, but after awhile he or she may grow bored. If you child is enrolled in a summer sport that he or she enjoys, he or she will get exercise on a regular basis and may be more eager to do more activities outside of practice and games.

Creating a Routine

Although you may want to slow things down in the summer and be a little more spontaneous, creating some kind of a routine is good and will lessen the likelihood of hearing, “What should I do now?” Not only will it provide some structure for your child, but it will make the transition back to the school year much easier.

Socialization and Healthy Competition

Getting involved in any activity provides the perfect opportunity for your child to socialize with peers and extend his or her social circle. During summer break, many children end of spending their free time with the same kids, creating potential boredom and drama, but interacting with new kids is always good for developing and improving social skills.

In addition to socializing, becoming involved in a sport can allow your child to experience healthy competition. Competition, in general, has a bad reputation and many parents are hesitant to place their child in a competitive situation, but when done right it can be beneficial. When a child is engaged in healthy competition, he or she learns how to make a decision quickly, have self-control, maturity and discipline. Additionally, he or she will learn his or her limits, set goals, learn how to handle loss and how to work with others (even during conflict).

A Few Tips for Parents

While there are many benefits to participating in a summer sport, don’t pressure or force your child to join a sport he or she has no interest in. As a parent, it’s important to be involved and present at your child’s sporting event (you can help coach, volunteer, etc.), but be a good role model and be a “good sport”. Far too many parents get too into the game, exhibit a poor attitude, and forget that “it’s just a game”.