How to Handle Childhood BullyingNo matter which side of the bullying arena your child falls in, it can be difficult to talk about it with him or her. Read on to learn a few pointers for dealing with the bully in your life.
“If your child begins to come home complaining about having a bad day at school or saying other children aren’t treating him or her well, it may be a sign to talk with your child and find out what’s happening,” says Syed Quadri, M.D., medical director of the Adolescent Behavioral Program at Harris Methodist Springwood Hospital. “Don’t tell your child to ‘toughen up’ — really listen and help your child create useful strategies to deal with the bully.”
According to Quadri, incidents of bullying are most common in unsupervised places, such as the hallway between classes, the cafeteria or the locker room.
“Informing the school makes the bully accountable,” says Quadri. “If the school is made aware of the problem, teachers and other staff members can help the situation.”
According to the Nemours Foundation, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to improving children’s health, these strategies may help your child deal with bullying:
• Encourage your child to ignore the bully. Many times bullies tease for a reaction — if they don’t receive one, they may move on.
• Help your child gain confidence through sports, art or another activity he or she enjoys.
• Talk with your child; kids want their parents’ support and advice.
• Tell your child to use the buddy system when going to the restroom, cafeteria, playground or other areas where they may be bullied.
For more information about behavioral health services at Harris Methodist Springwood Hospital, call 1-888-4-HARRIS (1-888-442-7747) or visit www.TexasHealth.org/Springwood.