When I was bullied in school I always wished there was someone who could have helped me. A teacher, another student or one of my parents. But I never told them about how bad it was, they’re only finding out now.
I’ve been thinking about what I could do to help another kid that is taking the abuse like I did.
I came up with 10 things that could help someone that is being bullied. These are for mostly for parents.
1. Talk to your kids. If you think they’re being bullied talk to them. This is huge. I had no one to talk to. The friends I had didn’t do anything, the teachers didn’t care and my parents were oblivious.
2. Let them know how much you care about them, and tell them daily. Let them now that you will help them with whatever they do.
3. Don’t judge them. If your kid is being bullied, don’t tell him, “it’s because you’re smaller than the other kids. You just need to bulk up.” This doesn’t work, didn’t for me. It only made me feel worse.
4. Watch them for signs. This could be a change in attitude, skipping school, possible drug use. The drugs used are usually from a medicine cabinet, or in my case cough medicine. Talk to them if you’re concerned, but don’t judge. As parents we often forget how hard school was.
5. Listen to them, this is different from talking to them. Listening to them means listening to what they want out of life. Kids know more about life than adults give them credit for.
6. Find out their interests, this goes along with five but is different. You may not like their music, but knowing what they’re into musically will help you decide if they’re depressed or thinking about suicide.
7. Find out who their friends are. I’m not saying have them over for a barbecue, that would be awkward for your kid and their friend. Knowing their friends parents will help you all understand your kids, and help you both look for warning signs of depression.
8. This one is for teachers: Pay attention. Don’t be the teacher bullied kids hate going to. The one who gives them the lesson, then buries his head in a book or puts on his headphones.
9. Find out what your kids are reading. There are a lot of books that help kids get through the trauma of school life. Speak, Catcher in the Rye, Looking for Alaska, Lovely Bones are some of them. I am not saying don’t let them read these books, that’s censorship. Ask them why they’re reading them. Maybe think about reading them yourself.
10. Listen, I said this before. But listening to them, finding out who they believe they are. What they want out of life. What they want to be when they’re adults. Don’t use the term, “Grow up”, ever!
Anything you would add to these? Respond in the comments.