Dealing with bullies is unfortunately, a challenge that many parents and students deal with. The negative impacts of bullying can impact the academic progress of students along with mental health.
Counselor Samantha Straub, MS, LCPC provides tips and strategies for dealing with bullies. Straub says that bullying happens when there is a power imbalance between kids. Adolescents especially, are in a development phase when they do more comparisons between their peers but are unable to completely regulate their emotions.
Parents need to modulate their response when kids come to them because they’ve been bullied. The most common reaction from parents is outrage towards the bully, and comfort to the children, which is reasonable but sometimes parents’ outrage can cause kids to withhold information.
When possible the best solution is to help your children figure out how to deal with the bully, while also considering how and whether to involve outside supports such as school personnel. Maintaining a calm demeanor so that your kids will feel like they can come to you with any problem is the objective..
- Help kids figure out why there is a power imbalance between them and the bully
- Have the kid being bullied figure out what power they have in their life
- Help kids determine a powerful way to respond to the bully
- Try role playing so that the bullied kid can learn to speak assertively
Resources for dealing with bullies