High school isn’t the best experience for everyone. An estimated 20% of teens reported being bullied, and 70% of students report having been witness to bullying.
If your child is being bullied by his peers at school, it may be hard for you to even know. Most teenagers feel embarrassed, isolated, and like somehow the bullying is their own fault.
If you do find out about the bullying, it can still be difficult to know what to do. As a parent, you can feel helpless and at a loss about how to best support your child.
Signs that your child is being bullied
Most teens don’t advertise if they’re experiencing bullying at school. It’s important to be aware and to pay attention to your child’s cues.
If your teen is exhibiting some of these symptoms or behaviors, it’s very possible that they’re struggling at school:
- Your child is refusing to go to school.
- Your teen begins to show signs of depression or anxiety.
- Your teen is experiencing trouble sleeping.
- You’re noticing that your child is feeling low on self-confidence and self-esteem.
How you can help
If your teen approaches you themselves, or you initiate an honest conversation on your own, you’ve already let your child know that you’re there to support them. Here are some additional steps you can take to practically help your child:
- Active listening is a crucial aspect in supportive, honest conversation. When you listen actively, you’re paying attention to what your teen is saying, but also to body language, facial expression, and subtext. Fully engaging with your teen’s emotions and fears will be of invaluable help to him/ her.
- Providing an extracurricular outlet where your child can develop a unique skill, while creating meaningful friendships outside of school, can help boost self-confidence, and create a space for blowing off some steam.
- Make sure home is a warm, stress-free, and secure environment for your teen to come back to.
- Let your child know about options for therapy, or approaching a counselor or administrator at school.
Reach out today
Bullying is never ok, and your child deserves all the support and guidance they need. To receive experienced, compassionate therapy in Flatbush or Borough Park, reach out to Dr. David Lefkowitz. Call, or fill out the contact form and click send.