Being bullied can be very traumatic for kids. It doesn't matter if they were physically bullied or mentally bullied as both experiences have the same effects and can make a deep impact on a child. It can affect the way they view the world for the future and how they overcome new challenges. It can make them become fearful of everyone and anything and they may develop severe anxiety when they are faced with new situations and people. Self-esteem can drop and many kids who experience bullying may lose their self esteem altogether.
If your child was bullied in the previous school year, you may wonder what obstacles your child might face in the upcoming school year. How can you help your child feel stronger for the new school year so that they can face challenges and help them be confident in who they are as an individual?
Parents can help their kids break free from the effects of bullying and encourage self-esteem to develop by supporting their child in a variety of ways.
Build on Their Strengths
Kids always feel more confident when they feel they are skilled at something. If your child has a specific talent or if you can help them develop one by letting them try new things over the summer, it may help dramatically. Once your child has faith in themselves through a sport, creative arts, music, or something such as karate, they will have room for self-esteem to grow. This can help them believe in themselves again so that they feel stronger for the next year ahead.
Role-Play with Your Child
It may help your child if you do some role-playing with them when it comes to dealing with bullies. Some children feel more confident if they go into new situations knowing how to deal with these types of scenarios. Show your child how to respond to bullies with confidence. Teach them how to look their bully in the eye and speak with a strong tone, (not yelling) and they might feel more confident and ready to face the upcoming school year.
Help Your Child Interact
Some children who are bullied by their peers tend to withdraw and become distant. If you have the means, get them involved in social groups over the summer. Church groups, sports teams and community activities are all great ideas. Most likely, they will meet new friends from their school and this can encourage new self-esteem to develop. Bullies do not usually prey on kids that have friends to "hang out" with. They usually pick on the kids that have no peer support or who are socially withdrawn. In addition, having friends at school will make your child feel as though they have some support if a bully ever tries to pick on them again.
Focus on the Positive
Teach your child about the power of positive thinking and how it can help anyone master their personal events in life. It is the root of confidence and if your child can think of all the amazing things they have accomplished in their life so far, they may see their previous bullying experience as one-time negative event that lies in the past.
Teach your child to challenge their worries and negative thoughts. Express to them how great the new school year ahead can be if they go into it with a positive outlook. Let them know that every situation in life changes and that we only grow from the obstacles we encounter and overcome. Give your child the gift of a fresh positive outlook on life and remind them about the adventure that waits in the new upcoming school year.
How have you helped your child after they have been bullied? We would love to hear your thoughts!