I was speaking to a parent this past week who was feeling awful for not having listened to her child.
You see, her child had been bullied for a while. She thought that her incidents were not that bad. Then, months later she found out that her child was experiencing extreme symptoms from her bullying experiences.
Her child was having panic attacks, couldn’t sleep, and got physically sick often. Her child kept asking to stay home and then one day, her child just refused to go to school.
After long talks and some therapy sessions, this mom found out that the bullying experiences had been very consistent over the course of a year. Furthermore, she found out that teachers had been part of the bullying as well.
Sadly, this happens. That’s why it’s important for parents to ask as many questions as possible to find out what kids are...
I try to be as involved as possible in my children’s lives. I do not accept short answers when I ask them how their day has gone. I try to have conversations with them to know what’s really been going on in their lives, but it's not always so easy.
They are in their teens and sometimes, sharing about their lives is NOT something they're interested in doing.
Try A Different Approach
Since kids can be really stubborn about opening up, I've had to learn when to leave them alone and when to get them to engage without them realizing that they're doing it.
It has to be subtle and all about them!
For example, this morning, my younger child was very cranky and didn't want to talk. As I drove her to school, I asked her if she knew what was making her feel cranky. Of course, she gave me the usual teen answer, "I dunno".
Since I didn't want her to go off to school feeling down, I started telling her that I imagine that if her favorite stuffed animal...
Most kids NEVER tell an adult that they're being bullied because they try to handle the situation alone or they fear that telling an adult might make matters worse.
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