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Back to School Stress: What to Do If Your Child's Being Bullied

Bullying is such a hard conversation to bring up at home, especially if your child is suffering from emotional or physical abuse at school. One of the best ways to deal with bullying is per-emptively. Make it easier to tackle by talking about what it is before your children might come into contact with it.

If you feel that your child is suffering from bullying at school, you are not alone. More than 50% of parents will have to deal with their child being the victim, or witness to bullying, at some stage in their school lives. While this is upsetting, there are things you can do to help.

What is bullying?

Bullying can happen in the playground, in class or online. It’s often defined as unwanted, aggressive behaviour, but can also include the purposeful exclusion or persistent teasing or ignoring of your child.

Online bullying is often thought of as taking place in chat rooms or over social media platforms like Snapchat or Facebook, but it also includes 'text chains', and WhatsApp, or messaging groups. These are group messaging platforms individuals can create to talk to multiple friends and once, and these can also be used to exclude or antagonise your child.

How to Tell if Your Child is Being Bullied

If your child is being bullied, they may become more withdrawn than usual. In complete contrast, a quiet child may start lashing out or becoming angry and bad-tempered at home. Both are ways of acting on pent-up emotions of stress and hurt they may be feeling due to bullying.

Other symptoms of bullying can include:

  • Losing or breaking a lot of possessions (they could be being stolen or taken by bullies)
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Erratic sleeping patterns
  • Increase in illness or feigned illnesses
  • Bruises or reluctance to explain injuries.

How to Help Your Child if They Are Being Bullied

Remember that it’s not their fault

One of the most important things to teach your children is that being bullied is not their fault. Bullying is not directed at a child because they somehow 'deserve' it, and in many cases, this is exactly how a bullied child feels. Reach out to your child and explain to them that none of what is happening has anything to do with who they are, or how they behave.

Build their confidence

Confidence is a big factor in who gets chosen as targets by bullies, according to Bullying.co.uk. Explain to your child that bullies are not brave or powerful and that they only choose people to bully because they feel like they can get away with it. You could also talk with your child about what makes them feel good about themselves and when they feel the most confident. This will help them to feel stronger and encourage them to act more confidently at school, which can deter bullies.

Behaviour

Your child may be getting into trouble at school for trying to fight back or lash out at bullies. Explain to them that, while it’s good that they are trying to stick up for themselves and others, there are better, more grown-up ways to deal with bullies than fighting or lowering themselves to their level.

Role playing scenarios

To really understand how your child is being treated at school, you could ask them to play out some scenarios. This will also help you to teach them how to react better if they happen again - such as counting to 10, walking away, or remaining calm and reporting the incident to a teacher.

Ways to manage stress caused by bullying

Being bullied is a horrible experience for anyone of any age and it can cause stress and anxiety to build up over time. The physical symptoms of stress can include:

  • Erratic sleep
  • Stomach cramps or an upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Low energy
  • Muscle cramps.

If your child is struggling to sleep at night, try a herbal remedy such as Nytol Herbal Elixir to help them drift off, or run them a soothing bath with lavender Epsom salts to help them to relax.

To aid with stress at school, you could both look into the Rescue Remedy range which can help reduce the effects of stress and frayed nerves. To tackle low energy, a vitamin B complex supplement can help replenish essential nutrients in the body, helping your child to feel more energised.

Of course, the best way to tackle bullying is to talk about it with your child and find out what they want to do. After that, it’s a good idea to visit their teacher for a meeting, to discuss with them the best course of action. Bullying is a sensitive issue and although you may feel like time is of the essence, insisting on immediate, direct action could make things worse for your child.

Make sure you spend time with your child, make them feel loved and supported at home and keep communication open and non-judgemental. That way, they will always have a safe space at home to come back to, and dealing with bullies will seem that little bit easier.

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs stop using the product or medication immediately

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