Why Kids Have A Hard Time Talking About Bullying | Corona, CA

On any given day, approximately 160,000 students across the nation stay home because they fear being bullied at school. Unfortunately, many parents may not be aware that their child is experiencing bullying. Kids often feel ashamed or face social pressure to keep such issues to themselves. Some may even believe that speaking up will either not help or could worsen the situation. It’s crucial to recognize that bullying occurs, it could be happening to your child, and there are reasons why they might not tell you about it. Here are several factors that may prevent your child from sharing their experience.

Labeling: Children may not realize the significance of their actions and words, which can have real-world consequences. On the playground, a child’s reputation can be established in an instant and persist throughout their school years. Labels such as “timid” or “tattletale” can stick. It’s important to help children understand the difference between playground banter and what should be reported to an adult.

Retaliation: Adults can only do so much when intervening in bullying situations. They can talk to the bully to understand the situation and address the bullied child’s concerns. However, adults can’t always monitor behavior or intervene at all times. When a bully is confronted, they often know someone (likely the bullied child) reported them. Retaliation can occur when no one is watching.

Being Believed: Sadly, many children fear their parents won’t believe them or might even blame them for the bullying. Children might also internalize the bully’s actions, feeling unworthy of kindness or believing they caused the bullying. It’s crucial to listen to your child, validate their feelings, and then take appropriate action, such as speaking with their teacher or the bully’s parents.

It’s Useless: Research shows that telling a parent often does not stop the bullying. Children frequently hear responses like “toughen up,” “it’s part of life,” or “he’s only doing it because he likes you.” These dismissive responses teach dangerous lessons, making children feel their feelings and experiences are invalid and that they must accept mistreatment instead of addressing it properly.

Shame: Feelings of shame and embarrassment can prevent children from speaking up about their bullying experiences. When children feel ashamed or embarrassed by their peers’ actions, they are less likely to tell anyone. They endure these feelings at school and may fear similar reactions at home.

Bullying is never acceptable, and the victim’s feelings are always valid. Your child may not openly share their experiences, so it’s important to listen and encourage them to express their feelings. If your child hints at being bullied but doesn’t say it outright, consider talking to their teacher to gather more information. This can help you ask the right questions at home and understand any changes in their behavior.

For more information about simple acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org.