If your child is bullying others, explain that bullying is not tolerated. Brainstorm better ways of dealing with the emotions that prompt bullying with your child. If he or she continues to struggle or is bullying others, visit your pediatrician and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist.
How can Parents Prevent or Stop Bullying?
The worst thing a parent can do in a bullying situation is promote violence. Never encourage your child to get revenge on a bully, pick a fight, or carry a weapon. Both children will often end up injured. Instead, talk with your child about bullying from a young age. Make sure your son or daughter understands the difference between harmless teasing and aggressive bullying, whether it is physical or verbal. Ask your child if he or she has seen bullying at his or her school, encouraging him or her to stand up for their classmates and tell an adult about the bullying.
This conversation allows kids to feel comfortable coming to parents if they are bullied. If your child does confide in you that he or she is being bullied, never blame or ignore them. Instead, offer advice on how to talk to the bully. Recommend reporting the bullying to a teacher, and exhibit compassion by explaining that bullies have often been bullied themselves. If the bullying persists or could cause physical harm, contact school administrators and the bully’s parents.
Your child might have low self-esteem after being bullied. Build up your child’s self-esteem with warm, sincere affirmation and praise. Encourage them to try new things and discover his or her special interests. If your child struggles with low self-esteem and seems overwhelmingly sad or anxious, visit your pediatrician and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist.
Bullying Among Adults
Though we often emphasize bullying targeted at kids, bullying doesn’t simply vanish after high school graduation. About one in four American workers have experienced bullying at work. Often, the bullies are bosses. Women are much more likely to be a bully’s target, regardless of the gender of the bully. If you experience persistent negative behavior from a coworker or employer, such as micromanaging, unconstructive critiquing, interruptions, exclusion, or undermining your abilities, take action to stop the bullying.
- Identify bullying and know this behavior is not okay no matter who is perpetrating it.
- Suggest to your employer that he or she schedule healthy communication training. During training, the whole office can learn to talk in a more compassionate and productive way.
- Check your employee handbook to see if making a formal complaint is an option.
- Talk with someone who is at a higher level than the bully and give this person an opportunity to put the bullying to an end.
- If you are being bullied at work and nothing seems to change, think about finding a new job. You deserve to be treated with respect. Bullying can be dangerous for your mental health, and your health is always a top priority.