Children have the potential to be harsh and relentless. If your child comes to you after being bullied, it can come as a shock. Parents tend to feel helpless when they realize their child is a victim of some sort of abuse at school.
Throughout this page I will explain what bullying and cyberbullying is and ways to talk to your children about these topics. As technology and social media has gained popularity, these topics are unfortunately very prominent in schools today. Many children deal with bullying issues at some point.
What is Bullying and Cyberbullying?
There are many forms of both bullying and cyberbullying. In recent times, cyberbullying has become a bigger problem than in previous years. These issues range from teasing to physical abuse. Common forms of bullying include:
- Name calling
- Derogatory comments
- Relational bullying
- Physical bullying
As a victim of bullying, a child might become ashamed or embarrassed and not come to you right away. Remember to have strong communication between you and your children with conversations covering their school or personal life. Some discussion points to consider bringing up include:
- Don’t have one big conversation covering bullying. It can be overwhelming to them and they could close off to you even more.
- Try to be proactive and have few conversations about bullying before you recognize any signs of your child being bullied or being the bully.
- Cover the different types of bullying because they might not know how something could be considered bullying.
- If your child is being bullied, make sure they know it is not their fault.
- Let your child know they can trust a teacher or yourself with the information they give you.
- Be there for them and answer any questions they have about bullying.
Signs of Bullying
As a parent, you know when something might be different with your child. Look for warning signs and watch for these signs that may point to your child being bullied at school:
- Injuries that your child doesn’t have an explanation for
- Missing items from their possession like textbooks, clothes, or valuables.
- Self-destructive behavior towards themselves or others.
- No interest in school or declining grades.
- Stress related issues like nightmares, moodiness, headaches, etc.
After noticing any of these behaviors with your child, speak to them about any issues they may be facing in school. It’s important to approach them in a way that doesn’t scare them and is welcoming.
If they do confirm that bullying is taking place at school, the parent or guardian should contact the school immediately.
What Are the Next Steps?
Once the school finds out about the bullying taking place, they should take action. The bully can face detention or suspension from the school but if the school doesn’t take any action, it might be time for lawyers to get involved. You can discuss the options you have with our attorneys here by contacting us at 203-208-3067.