What to Do If You Suspect Bullying but Aren’t Sure?
Sometimes you get a feeling your child is being bullied but you have no proof, because your child will not speak about it. Your child is showing signs that there is a problem; this could be through depression, illness, not wanting to go to school, and even displaying anger and bullying behavior themselves to your other children. What can you do if you think it’s happening but cannot get confirmation?
* Proceed as If You’re Right – You don’t need to know who is doing the bullying to move forward as if it’s happening. Talk to the teacher and ask them to notice your child and what’s happening due to your concern about their behavior, moods, or grades. Ask them directly if they notice any type of bullying going on, without asking them who. Teachers may not be allowed to tell you that information anyway. Ask them about your child’s behavior and what’s happening to your child, not anyone else’s.
* Bring It Up at the Next PTA Meeting – Your PTA organization can help with anti-bullying training for parents and the children at the school too. If you dedicate some funding toward an anti-bullying program and get all parents involved, you may be able to stop the bullying without ever knowing why, when, or who. Even if you’re not sure whether your child is being bullied or not, someone’s kid is being bullied if there is no program. You can count on having a program being of assistance to stopping it. But, you may be the one who has to start it.
* Get Counseling for Your Child – If your child is acting out in a way that is dangerous to themselves and bad for their life and future (especially if you’re worried about suicide), the best choice is always to get some extra help in the form of counseling. The best counselor probably isn’t the one at school. Call your insurance company to get a good recommendation for counseling in your area.
* Spend Extra Time with Your Child – Anytime your child is not behaving properly or seems sad, depressed, anxious or is having a problem that you cannot figure out, the best way to deal with it is to spend more time with them. The more time you spend with them in a non-judgmental way, the more they may start opening up to you.
* Teach Your Child Self-Confidence – One thing that makes a child especially tempting for bullies to pick on is their level of self-confidence. A self-confident child will stand up for themselves, even when scared, and will tell on the bully. Bullies don’t want to be told about. Bullies want the make the child cry, scared, and uncomfortable – if they end up in the uncomfortable position instead, they’re not going to continue.
* Consider Homeschooling If Possible – If your child is especially unhappy with school, it could be bullying but it could be another problem. Not all kids do well in large classes with lots of people around. Some kids need homeschooling, a private school, smaller classes, or something else to thrive. Consider all the possibilities if your child is unhappy.
It’s not fair when a child must put up with bullying. But, you don’t even need to know who is doing it or what is happening to make a change for your child. Listen to your child about the other things they need. For example, if your child hates school and it’s affecting their will to live, consider making a serious change for them to help them even if you’re not sure why. They’ll feel listened to and loved, and it will make a difference.