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Help Your Child Stand Up Against Bullying

Help for a child who is bullied, is my child being bullied, help for bullying Fayetteville NC, counseling for Child Behavioral Issues, Child Counseling Fayetteville NC

Help Your Child Stand Up Against Bullying

 

The chant “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” still reverberates in your “ears” reminding you of a sad part of childhood. You may not have been bullied, but you have likely seen a lot of vulnerable children being tormented by bigger ones on the school or neighborhood playground. You were sad because you saw them crying or watching from afar, missing out on all the fun. You were also sad because you felt helpless, not being able to help them.

You don’t want the same thing to happen to your child, now that you know that “words can hurt” anyone, especially children. You want your child to grow and develop as a happy child, not fearing other children because they are bigger or stronger. Bullying can impact, not only their “now,” but their future, as well. It can lower their self-esteem and confidence, so that they don’t maximize their potential. The impact can be so deep the effects can last beyond their childhood and adolescence – they can last for life.

As a parent who has big dreams for your child, bullying is an important issue that you must recognize early for it to stop. Though there are efforts to stop it from happening in the school and community, you must still know how to address it at home to empower your child. If you feel that you are not ready to create a bully-free environment in your household or help your child to stand up against bullying, shutting down is not a choice. You can seek help from someone who understands bullying – a counselor can help.

 

Bullying 101: The Basics

What is bullying? According to Good Therapy bullying constitutes “an attempt, usually a systematic and ongoing one, to undermine and harm someone based on some perceived weakness.” The acts of bullying are always premeditated and planned and accompanied with abuse, force and pressure to sow seeds of terror. Psychology Today says that for the behavior to be considered bullying, it must be aggressive and include an intentional act to hurt or harm someone, an imbalance of power, and repetition.”

Bullying is not a recent human experience. It has always been here; it is as old as human history. Human awareness, however, has only been heightened, now that people are starting to fathom the extent of its potential damage to a person, especially a child. Presently, it is taking a lot of forms – verbal harassment, rumor mongering, abusing victims, physical torture, threats, gossiping, etc. With the rise in the use of communication technologies and social media, bullying has also taken the forms of cyberbullying.

 

What You Need to Know About Bullying

 

  • It’s widespread. A significant number of children and teens are involved in bullying, either as a victim or as a bully/perpetrator. Many more children are aware of it as they witness smaller, weaker or younger children being bullied by the bigger or stronger ones. According to the Center for Parenting Education over 3.2 million youngsters fall victim to bullying. It is highly prevalent in schools, affecting the majority, or about 75% – 90% of the students. About 15 % generally end up having serious emotional and physical injuries.

 

  • Nobody is immune from bullying. Any child can be a victim, including the bright or popular ones. A child is bullied if someone targets him/her or made a choice to make his/her life miserable. It isn’t true that there is a “victim personality” that causes a child to be more vulnerable than the others. Such a mindset is inaccurate because it is placing the blame on the victim, rather than on the tormentor.

 

  • Boys and girls are equally exposed. The victims have varied profiles, but they are commonly perceived to be deviants or weaker. In many cases, though, both victims and bullies tend to be underachievers, but they can come from all “walks of life” or socioeconomic strata. The boys, nonetheless, figure more frequently in incidents, especially the direct attacks. The girls, on the other hand, often fall prey to indirect attacks, such as the spreading of gossip or rumors, verbal abuse, and social exclusion.

 

  • Bullies “wear different hats.” They come in all shapes and sizes. They are not necessarily loners, poor or without good looks or talents. There are tormentors who are popular, rich or well-regarded, and want everyone to feel their importance. There are bullies who want to better their status or want to earn respect and recognition. Those who were once victims may too become the tormentors.

 

  • School is a germinal ground for bullies. Your child’s school isn’t the haven that you may think it is. It isn’t a safe place all the time. A number of studies, in fact, show that it is the breeding ground for bullying. This is so because school is the place where there is a gathering of a large number of children with different backgrounds, abilities, and possessions. This is where children first realize that they are different.

 

  • The victims belong to all ages. Bullying does not only happen to teenagers. It can happen to very young children in preschool. According to studies, however, it is more rampant between the 5th and the 8th Bullying isn’t as strong or physical after Grade 10. There are, however, youngsters who are being targeted throughout most of their young life.

 

  • Bullying can have serious consequences. The effects of bullying can’t be underestimated. Victims often have poor self-esteem, feeling alone, singled out and unfairly treated. They may also feel afraid, self-doubting, and may have eating and sleep disorders. They may not finish school as they skip school to evade their tormentors. They may also become susceptible to emotional conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Bullying may interfere in their development. Meanwhile, bullies can become “over empowered,” so that they adopt or develop unhealthy or unacceptable values.

 

  • Victims are usually silent about bullying. They will not tell you/the parents or report to school authorities that they are becoming the targets of school bullies. The primary reason for not reporting or telling is because they are afraid of their tormentors. They fear that their bullies will hurt them more. The older victims may also decide to keep it to themselves because they don’t want to be perceived as weak, or because they think reporting it won’t make a difference anyway.

 

  • Bullying has telltale marks. It should not go unnoticed because it has signs, whether your child is the bully or the victim. What “telltale marks” should you look out for? The Center for Parenting shares some of these signs:

 

At home

 

  • comes home from school with torn clothes, bruises, or injuries
  • does not bring classmates home
  • does not have a single good friend
  • is never or rarely invited to parties
  • is reluctant to go to school
  • chooses an illogical route to go to and from school
  • experiences restless sleep
  • loses interest in schoolwork
  • steals extra money from family members

 

At school

 

  • repeatedly teased in a nasty way, made fun of, or picked on
  • not able to defend himself or herself
  • has belongings taken
  • is often alone and excluded
  • is chosen last for team games
  • tries to stay close to the teacher
  • has difficulty speaking up in class
  • appears distressed or depressed
  • school work deteriorates

 

If your child is becoming a bully, the signs or behaviors to heed are:

 

  • physical and/or verbal abuse
  • overconfidence or boasting
  • imprudence
  • impatient and easily frustrated
  • preference for violence
  • strong desire to control
  • shows little compassion
  • physically tougher
  • could be popular
  • manipulative
  • blames other people
  • has role models that bully in his/her immediate environment

 

Stop Bullying with Counseling

When your child comes home unhappy, distressed, with torn clothes, missing things, or they attempt to avoid school altogether, pay attention. These behaviors could be signs of issues, such as bullying that must not be ignored. Bullying is an important concern that all parents must recognize and act upon with haste.

Bullying can have serious short-term and long-term repercussions on the life of your child. Though the school may have intervention programs, it is best that you stay involved in matters of this importance. As a parent, the burden of ensuring that your child is emboldened to stay away from bullying still lies on your shoulders.

To help your child fend off tormentors or not become a bully themselves, they need to be empowered. Standing up against bullying starts with emotional wellness. Boost your child’s emotional health. You are not without help – you can do this with the assistance of a counselor. Call Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC to find the right-fit independently contracted counselor/therapist to help you and your child.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Cumberland, Hoke, Bladen, Sampson, and Robeson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Hope Mills NC, Raeford NC, Rockfish NC, Sliver City NC, Linden, Cedar Creek NC, Bowmore NC, Autryville NC, Parkton NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Broadway NC, Pineview NC, Lumber Bridge, NC, Rex NC, Lemon Springs NC, Johnsonville NC, Eastover NC, Stedman NC and Wade, NC
Zip Codes: 28301, 28302, 28303, 28304, 28305, 28306, 28307, 28309, 28311, 28312, 28314

Counseling Information

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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road
FayettevilleNC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Shnika Davis LCSW, LCAS-A

    Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Depression, Substance Abuse, Life transitions, Grief and Loss, Trauma, Anxiety, Adjustments Disorders, Family, Couples and Marriage
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC
  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare Select, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC