As a parent of two young boys who are entering their school-age years, bullying is a topic that is on my mind more and more. 

Over the summer, my 6-year-old son had problems with bullies at day camp. It caused him to him to act out aggressively at camp and at home. He would get angry easily over little things and would treat his younger brother similar to how his peers were treating him during the day. We brought it up to his teachers multiple times but nothing really changed. The only thing that helped was when school started and he wasn’t around those specific kids anymore. 

I know that not all children who are bullied will exhibit warning signs which means it is very important to always have an open dialogue with your child so they are comfortable talking to you openly about any issues that come up in their life – at home or at school. Encouraging them to do things they love and allow them to make friends with similar interests can have a positive impact even if they are experiencing a form of bullying. And as always, leading by example for your children and treating all people with fairness, kindness, and respect is key. 

Some warning signs your child could exhibit if they are being bullied include:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Lost or destroyed personal items (clothing, books, electronics, etc)
  • Feeling sick (frequent headaches or stomach aches) or faking illnesses often
  • Sudden changes in eating habits
  • Sleep issues or frequent nightmares
  • Loss of interest in schoolwork or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoiding social situations
  • Decreased self-esteem 
  • Self-destructive behaviors (self-harm, thoughts of suicide, running away from home)

If your child shows signs of bullying, open those lines of communication and ask them calmly about what is going on in their lives at school. Give them tips on how to prevent bullying such as being firm, telling an adult they trust, using humor to diffuse a situation, or walking away. If needed, a counsellor or therapist may help to talk about any issues that your child may not be comfortable sharing with you. 

If you believe your child is at risk of harming themselves or others in any way, getting them help is important. If you don’t know what to do you can find first steps here:  https://www.stopbullying.gov/get-help-now/index.html

Bottom line is, that our children depend on our help to keep them safe. Knowing the warning signs and opening up communication can help diffuse situations and prevent the situation from getting worse, for your child or the people surrounding the child. 

If you have been a victim of bullying, remember you are perfect just the way you are. If you thinking about suicide or harming yourself start a chat at http://www.imalive.org

One thought on “Bullying

  1. nesslee2013 says:

    I feel for kids today who are bullied. For the main reason that because of a thing called “social media”, they can’t escape the bullying once they get home.
    I was bullied, but because it was the 1970’s, it stopped once I got home.
    I think one of the reasons I was bullied alot was because I was always the “new kid in school”. I tended to gravitate towards other kids with similar issues, or even kids with special needs or disabilities. They didn’t bully or judge, and I felt safe making friends with them.
    The bullies now had another target because of me…. But I found strength defending them. If I was alone ane the decided to torment me…. I tried something that stopped them dead in their tracks ( at least where I was concerned…) That was… Making fun of myself. Yes…. Poking fun at my peculiarities. Suddenly, they were out of fire power and ammunition, and the just left me alone. There was an occasional fight I got into that ended up withem being taken to the nurse. I discovered a thing called the “flight or fight” response that all humans possess. Also known as Adrenaline. My fight reaponse kicked in out of fear and I went into a “blackout” state of consciousness, and unaware of what I was doing and would snap out of it after It was done. Because of my classmates witness testimonies to the principal, I was exonerated, my bully was suspended.
    Its too long of a story to go into, but I will say this… It left me scared, how was I capable of this. He’s twice my size! If it was someone my size, I could have killed him. It wasnt until I had another encounter where
    I knocked some girl to her feet after something she said, and I found myself thinking STOP, you’re gonna maim this kid if you don’t kill her.
    After that, I found myself avoiding confrontations, not for my protection but for theirs.
    My point is….. I found something to ward the bullies off… Laughter.


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