Many parents like to think of their kids as able-minded, independent individuals who will hold their ground and stand up to other kids who are mean to them. Your own child may very well match these characteristics, but sometimes even the most independent and strong-minded child will meet his match. Once another child learns that he has some power to make your child miserable, sad or upset, that other child may continue on with this process. Ultimately, your child may turn from a happy-go-lucky, carefree child to one who is being tormented by a bully. In fact, this often happens without parents even being aware that it is happening.
Why You May Be the Last to Know
Some kids are open and honest with their parents, and they will tell their parents about the very first incident of bullying. Even when parents are made aware of an initial situation, many will write the situation off. They may think of the event as a normal part of childhood, and it may be something that they want their kids to handle on their own. Every child does need to stand up on his own two feet at some point. However, sometimes situations get out of hand and adults do need to step in. These are, after all, just kids, and they are not fully capable of handle serious relationship issues with their peers. This is especially true when the situation involves a power control situation, and your child is in the position of being tormented.
While some kids do tell their parents about the issue, others will hide this issue from their parents. They may believe their parents will make them feel ashamed or that their parents will be upset with them because of what is happening.
If You Have a Suspicion
There may be numerous reasons why you suspect your child is being bullied. You may notice that he is withdrawing from social activities, is not interested in spending time with certain friends or groups of friends, doesn't want to go to school and more. All kids go through phases, and this may simply be a phase. However, these can all be warning signs as well, so it is worth looking into. You can contact your child's teacher to learn about any issues. If the teacher is not aware of any issues, you can ask her to keep a closer eye on your child. You may also suggest that your child visit the school counselor so he can take to another adult about the issue. Sometimes kids do feel more comfortable talking to other adults besides their parents about these issues.
All suspicions should be investigated. You may learn that your suspicions are unfounded, or you may learn that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Bullying can make a child absolutely miserable, so it is important to look deeper into this suspicions and determine if they are justified.
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