The teenage years can be fraught with confusion and tribulation. One unfortunate common reality for adolescents is bullying and even abusive behavior from their peers. These experiences can leave deep wounds that can be difficult to heal. If your child has been the victim of cruel treatment from peers or others, you have an idea of how emotionally and socially damaging it can be for them. The road to recovery can be long and difficult, but there are solutions. Here are a few helpful tips to ease this process and ensure your child can overcome these traumatic events.
Show Love and Concern – Empathy
Even in the best of times, people of all ages want to feel loved and appreciated. When your child has been bullied or abused, feelings of care and concern are especially needed. Teens who have been the victims of this sort of mistreatment often feel ashamed or embarrassed. They can also experience depression and low self-esteem. Reassuring your son or daughter that you love them and you are there for them will go a long way toward giving them confidence and a high sense of self-worth. Click here for a great video that describes empathy and how it benefits people who are suffering.
More than anyone, your child should be able to look to you as someone they can trust and talk to. With problems as significant as abuse and bullying, your son or daughter needs a listening ear. Let them know they can discuss any feelings without judging them or reprimanding them. It is important to not only offer a nonjudgmental, listening ear, but you have to follow through with your promise. Even if they tell you things that are alarming and unsettling, maintaining your composure will teach your children they can trust your reaction to not be explosive and intimidating. When it comes to bullying and abuse victims, the last thing you want is for the person to bottle up emotions inside and be afraid to express the hurt and pain they feel.
Make Sure Your Child Has Opportunities to Socialize
Often, bullied children or teens have few, if any, friends. Overtime, victims of bullying can turn inward and close themselves off from social interaction. Weak social skills can compound their mistreatment. If your child struggles to make friends, help him or her by giving them opportunities to meet children and adolescents their age with similar characteristics, interests, or hobbies. Get them involved in clubs and organizations that fit their interests. If they do have friends, and if they are friends you trust, encourage your child to strengthen these relationships. Provide playdates, opportunities for get-togethers, and get to know their parents. Strong friendships bread confidence which helps deflect and prevent the effects of bullying.
Seek Additional Help
Sometimes as a parent you need a hand to confront challenges your children and teens are having. Professional treatment programs are available to help with severe cases. Treatment centers offer one on one focus for your child in a safe environment. Professional staff can unbury deep-rooted issues and identify critical solutions to help your child in ways you can’t do on your own.
Bullying and abuse are serious problems that can adversely affect your child. But with your efforts and with the help of skilled professionals, your son or daughter can be on the path to being happy and self assured.