One in five kids was reported to be bullied or socially harassed through text messaging or social networking sites in the past school year. Oftentimes, parents aren’t even aware that it’s happening to their child. Mighty Mommy has 5 ways to empower your child against new-age bullying.
Tip #3: Encourage Your Child to Keep a Diary
Bullying of any kind stirs up many negative emotions in a child, usually leading to extreme low self-esteem. Encourage your child to write about the bullying incidents, to draw, or to do any other creative activity that will help him deal with these emotions. Your child may need time before he or she is prepared to discuss feelings with you, but in the meantime encourage your child to create and use a safe space to express those feelings. Remain open to the idea that they may want to talk about the problem, but just not with you. Make it clear that it is perfectly appropriate for them to want to talk to another trusted adult about what they’re going through such as a counselor, therapist, or family friend.
Tip #4: Don’t Let Your Child Isolate
Many times, victims of bullying tend to withdraw and isolate themselves. Spend extra time and attention on your child to engage them in some of their favorite activities, but don’t force a discussion about bullying before they’re ready. Keep them involved in family, community, and other group activities while they works through some of the pain from the bullying. Knowing that they have family support can be a big source of comfort during this awful time.
Tip #5: Stand Strong with Others
If your child is the victim of bullying or knows of another child who is, they need to learn that silence in this matter is not OK! This is not an easy task, but if enough peers stand together and show support for the victim, it sends a message to bullies that it’s not acceptable and won’t be tolerated. It’s empowering to be pro-active instead of a bystander. For more information visit Stopbullying.gov
Has your child been bullied online? How did your family deal with it? Please share your thoughts in the comment section or post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. You can also connect with me on Twitter @MightyMommy or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.
Please check back next week for more parenting tips and until next time…happy parenting!
Cyberbullying image from Shutterstock