October is Bullying Prevention Month!
When your child becomes old enough to go to school they automatically become at risk for becoming prey to aggressive other kids. Even the most socially successful kids can become the focus of a bully’s attention. Even just a single bullying experience can create a long-lasting depression, low self-image, emotional hypersensitivities and more. While prevention is ideal, there is much a parent can do to prevent lifelong impacts after a bullying incident or series of incidents.
If your child is verbal, the first thing to do after you suspect bullying would be to talk with your child. Sit down together, ask sensitively if someone at school has hurt their feelings, and if so encourage them to tell you about the incident. Ask what and how questions to help your child verbalize as many details as possible about what happened. Crying out the pain with a loving and comforting parent can further the process of washing it away. Warm hugs add the reassurance and emotional soothing that can enable even the most painful emotional wounds to heal. DO NOT minimize the incident by making comments like “there are always a few mean kids at every school” or “they probably didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” Minimizing the incident can discourage them from telling more. Instead, validate your child’s feelings by telling them how much you appreciate them telling you and how what they are feeling is normal and understandable, and explain to them that what the bully did was not right.
If you are not sure how to approach or talk to your child about the incident, we can help! We can work with you and your child to understand their feelings and help them heal from their bullying experience.
Call today to schedule an appointment! (813)244-1251