How to Handle It When Your Child Is Being Bullied:

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Bullying typically occurs within schools from elementary school all the way through high school.
Today bullying affects the lives of many kids, making daily activities like going to school or
extracurricular activities, a dreadful experience. If your child is one who has been bullied and
felt this way, there are a few steps that you should take to make sure the issue is addressed

The first thing that you need to even before your child is bullied is to learn about bullying and
understand the causes and symptoms. You should be aware of the policies regarding bullying,
within your school and your state. Bullying can come in many forms including verbal abuse or
physical attacks, Internet based, theft of personal property and threats. This type of behavior
can stem from any number of conditions for the bully, and they can target children based on an
equally numerous number of reasons.

If you suspect that your child is the victim of any of these types of harassment, then the first
thing you need to do is bring up the topic with them. It does not have to be a direct question,
but you should begin to open strong lines of communication. You can do something like bring
up a recent story of bullying in the news, or just casually ask them about school or their friends.
Children often will not immediately divulge what is going on, but the more comfortable you
make them feel about it, the more likely they are to open up about it. In the event of them
revealing what is going on at school, you should commend them for their bravery in sharing.
Once you know about the harassment, it is your job to make your child feel as comfortable and
supported as possible. Make sure they know that it is not their fault that they are being treated
this way. Once they are certain of your support, you should provide advice on the best way of
dealing with this. The best thing to do in this situation is to take the high road. Avoid the bully,
walk away from them/ignore them when they harass, and get rid of things that might cause
them to target you (things like lunch money).

Along with this, you should immediately involve the school. Approach a teacher or school
administrator and inform them of what’s going on. This is important to provide adult
intercession in the process in order to fully stop the problem. You should also be very explicit
that you want to see efforts to curb the bullying. This is especially important because you do
not know how many people are being affected by the situation.

It is important to always remember to remain calm and do your best to be supportive. This
is a difficult time for your child, and matters will only be made worse if you are reacting too
strongly or not taking them seriously. In closing, you simply must make sure that you child
knows that you are there for them and you will help them make it better.

Tyler Clark is a staff member at Liahona Academy in Hurricane, Utah and is a strong activist in bullying awareness.