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September 6, 2020

How To Help Your Child Conquer Back to School Fear Of Bullying

As this school year begins and the boys and I are preparing for school this year it’s a little different. Usually, I’m just focusing on getting them excited about a new school year by school shopping and open houses. This year is different beyond the fact they are in virtual school. Last school year I was been able to overhear the boy’s interaction with schoolmates during lunchroom chats. I could hear how some kids were being bullied. When I first started to hear some of the conversations I asked my son Asar if was being bullied at school. He replied that he wasn’t and that he stays away from the bullies in school. While also reporting some situations to his advisor.

Why Having Bullying Conversations Are Important?

Going into this new school year either virtually or in-person one of the conversations that we should have with our children is about bullying. Even though most schools will discuss bullying at some point. It’s important that we have these discussions with our children as well. When you have opens conversations with your child about bullying they are more apt to share with you when they are getting bullied or in situations that someone else is getting bullied.

When I decided to have this conversation with my boys I reached out to Best-selling author, family therapist, TEDx speaker and Psychotherapist Jodi Aman, LCSW,. She was able to give us a few tips on how to help our kids navigate bullying impact in a way that empowers them.

Here are Jodi’s top tips to help parents prepare for their children returning to school when faced with anxiety and bullying:

  1. Go over some bullying scenarios with your kids and make them come up with ways to respond to each one. This brainstorming will open their problem-solving mind so when they are in a situation they will trust themselves and be able to think their way out, rather than freezing or doing something unsafe. Remind them where to go for help at school and that they can always talk to you when they get home. 


  2. Let them know why kids bully. Just saying that “they are jealous” isn’t enough to understand why someone might be jealous. Explain that miserable people are mean because they don’t like themselves. Go over examples from TV or movies so they understand this concept. This will help them not take the mean comments into their hearts.

  3. Some friend groups have cultures of drama and this may not be the best place for your child’s tender heart. If your kid is being excluded have them use their noticing skills to find the nice kids. They are always there and maybe just the friend group your child is looking for. 

  4. Ask your kids about helping their friends when they are bullied. Do they stand up to them? Do they check in with them? Make sure you go over these options for how not to be a bystander. 

Even if your child’s school has already started still take some time to use Jodi’s tips and have this conversation with your kids. Reply in the comments and let me know if you find these tips helpful.

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