Five steps to help a child bully victim

Los Angeles
by Gayla ONeal

The following are 5 steps can successfully help the child victim of bullying:

1. Listen! The damage that occurs during a bully episode is the fear that a child feels when their cry for the pain to end is not being heard. This act of not being heard can destroy their self-esteem and the effects last a lifetime. Try to avoid adding to the child's trauma by refusing to take the time necessary to hear their pain. When a child cries to you about a peer teasing or bullying them, listen carefully to the situation not just the dramatic telling of a story.

2. Don't forget the impact of a HUG. Holding a child after they have shared a difficult problem is crucial to the success of any interaction with a child. The hug although momentary, has the effect of allowing the child to feel the support rather than simply hear the support in their time of need.

3. Reassure the child that they have been heard and that together you will face the bullies of the world.

4. Decipher as only an adult can the serious nature, if there seems to be a genuine problem, make a plan with the child to eliminate it together. Let the child know that realistically, it may take a time or two for the plan to work its magic healing of the problem but that you both will be strong and committed to solving it. Involve those necessary to solve the problem; a principal, a parent, or even the PTA to come to a resolution to the bullying not just in your home but also in your community.

5. Help the child to realize that this happens to a lot of children and teach them to be on the look out for behavior towards others that might need to be reported. Shoud you find the problem too much for you to handle as a parent, don't forget that there are professional that can help.
Revisit with your child and others with a conversation to make sure that the plan is working.

Following these steps can make the world of difference in your child's happiness.

Another blog on topic: Bullying Prevention-Life's Lessons on Good and Evil.