What to do when your child is being bullied

Bullying is one of the most widespread problems facing children today and can have far-reaching consequences later in life.  Parents can't always prevent bullying from taking place, but they can make sure children know what to do if it happens.

Houston Psychiatrist Stuart Twemlow made the point in an interview with the Houston Chronicle that the parents are likely the best source to stop the bullying. “How else to do this but through mothers and parents?” he said. Knowing what to do to deal with bullying can help things become resolved before they become long-term problems.

Contact The School
The first thing you can do is to contact the school. School officials can not help to stop the situation if they don’t know that it’s happening. Confronting the bully’s parents can often backfire. Allow school officials to handle the situation.

Follow Up With The School
Make sure that the school is taking appropriate actions after the report is made. Schools should be able to let you know what the plan is to stop the situation, and what steps have already taken place. If bullying seems to be consistent, you must be persistent with your attempts to have the school rectify the situation. In some states, such as Georgia, legislators have worked with Atlanta psychiatrists to craft anti-bullying legislation that includes provisions that the school must contact you if they find examples of bullying going on.

Your Child's Self-Esteem
One of the best things you can do is counteract the effects of the bullying by allowing your child to have the self-confidence to rise above the bullying. Often getting your child involved with sports, music or art can help them build confidence and self-image.

Know When To Seek Help
If your child has been a victim of bullying and has symptoms resulting from bullying such as anxiety, depression or low self-esteem, consider seeking professional help. Getting treatment early can avoid much longer lasting repercussions.

For more information on bullying and the lasting effects it can have on children and adults, check out this Long-term Effects of Bullying infographic and get informed.

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