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What to Do if Your Child Is Being Bullied

by on July 23, 2016 » Add the first comment.

Bullying can take a toll on your child’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. It’s more than a childish lark: bullying is defined as acts that are meant to intimidate, threaten, or inflict harm. Here are a couple scenarios:

Kyle, 10, is asking his mother for more lunch money every day, but he seems to be losing weight. He eats ravenously when he gets home from school. When his mother asks him how things are at school, he becomes increasingly withdrawn. She asks a teacher to investigate, and they find another student has been stealing his lunch money through threats of physical violence.

Kayla, 14, used to love playing on her computer. After school, she used to close herself in her room to get on social media. Now she doesn’t even ask for computer time. She increasingly wakes up in tears and asks to stay home from school. After checking her social media accounts, her mother finds evidence that her peers are teasing her about her weight.

Know the Warning Signs

Children aren’t likely to tell their parents that they’re being bullied at school. It’s often up to the parent to recognize the signs. For most kids, asking to stay home from school repeatedly is a red flag. Self-mutilation may be another sign. For boys, they may be terrified to go to the bathroom, since it’s a prime place for teasing (only one way in and one way out). Girls may become obsessed with their diet or weight. Any behavioral disturbances should be a reason for a bullying investigation. If you think your child is being bullied contact an experienced Little Rock personal injury attorney for help with any legal questions or concerns you may have.

What Should I Do if My Child Tells Me He or She Is Being Bullied?

If your child comes to you, let him or her unload. Don’t take a “what did you do to make them tease you?” approach. Listen—don’t offer suggestions at first. Ask simple questions, like “What happened? How does that make you feel?”

As parents, we feel fiercely protective of our children. It’s easy to condemn the bully, but this isn’t productive. Don’t fall into the trap of belittling the teaser in front of your child.

Once you have all the information, get the school district involved. Make an appointment with the teacher as soon as you suspect there’s a problem, and keep a cool head. More often than not, the teacher doesn’t know there’s a problem. Kids are smart; they know better than to bully in front of an adult audience. Once the teacher’s informed, see if the situation improves.

If you’re not noticing any difference in the teasing, get the principal involved. Explain that you brought the issue to your child’s teacher a while ago and you’re not seeing any improvement. Getting an administrator directly involved may hasten a resolution between your child and the bully.

When the School Doesn’t Do Enough

If dealing with the school system doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere or your child is receiving threats, it’s time to go to the police. Many schools have zero-tolerance policies when it comes to bullying, but when their efforts go unanswered, involve the authorities. Having a police report on file may help if you decide to pursue further legal action.

Is Your Child Being Bullied?

Bullying can lead to long-term side effects: emotional and mental suffering, depression, and anguish are hidden symptoms. If your child has experienced physical or emotional harm as the result of a bully, you may have legal grounds for a personal injury claim. Parents are obligated to monitor their children’s behavior, and schools have a legal commitment to maintain safe learning environments. Contact us for a free initial consultation if your child has been injured as the result of negligence.

Find more like this: Child Injuries, Helpful Articles, Safety

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