A way our children may be trying to avoid being bullied is to tell us that they are sick.
Have you noticed your child telling you that they are not feeling well, more often than normal? Do their symptoms seem real? Make sure to check them all over for any signs of something that could cause them to be ill.
If you don’t find anything that would cause them to be sick, it’s probably time to sit down and have a talk about what’s really going on. Let him/her know that you love them and want them to be open with you about what’s really going on. Assure your child that you want to support them. Make sure she knows that faking being sick isn’t going to solve the problem.
It needs to be faced and work things out with the bully and/or school officials. Keep the lines of communication open by asking questions every day. Things like:
- How was school today?
- Do you have homework?
- How are your friends doing?
- Is anyone having any trouble at school?
- Has anyone said bad things to or about you?
Hopefully if you have these kids of conversations it will help when there is a time you really need them to open up.
If you had an experience of being bullied share this with him. Seeing that you were vulnerable too, can help the conversation be more open. Sometimes it’s easier if your child can talk with someone else. Our girls sometimes talked with my sister. It’s not always easy speaking with a parent. The girls and my sister had a close relationship when they were young, and still do to this day.
A friend shared about a situation her son had with a bully. The big kid pushed her son down and causing him to hit his head on the ground. The next day the mom went to the school office to find out what was to be done about this situation. It wasn’t the first time this child had hurt someone. The principle said that the boy was going to be suspended for two days. Also, that the boy had problems at home.
When bully’s father came to take him home, the principle and father talked about what could be done with his son’s behavior. The two came up with a plan of action.
With a two-day suspension, which had never happened before, the boy began to think more about what he was doing. My friend’s son tried to be nice, and talk with the bully. Slowly things began to be better. They aren’t best friends, but they are nice to each other.
There are resources available at the school and with doctors. Use the resources at school as a starting place. Usually they have staff at the school or people that can come to the school to visit with the children. If they don’t feel like they are able to help your child they will make a recommendation as to what the next step should be.
Make sure you don’t just answer your child with “You’re just fine,” or “You’re not sick, just go to school.” This isn’t going to help their situation.
Talk with your friends and see if they are going through any similar situations. You can also see if there is a support group for you to learn how to share your feelings and how to answer your child’s questions.
Do you have some advice you can share with us? Your voice can make a big difference in a child’s life.