What to Do if Your Child Gets Bullied
Pennsylvania lawyer provides anti-bullying practical guidance to parents
Without warning, you might need to know what to do if your child gets bullied. Failing to take swift action could lead to additional physical and emotional harm for your son or daughter. You might also lose the opportunity to enforce your legal right to compensation against the liable individuals and institutions. The Pagano Law Firm, LLC in Radnor delivers insightful counsel on bullying issues to clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Attorney Marlo Pagano-Kelleher is a seasoned litigator who is committed to achieving justice for victims of bullying throughout the area.
How to help a child being bullied
Like each child, each instance of bullying is unique. There is no specific response that will be effective in every situation, which is why it is so important to get personalized guidance from therapists, lawyers and other professionals who have experience handling these matters. However, there are numerous steps you might consider taking in order to stop the abuse and address the effects associated with bullying, such as:
- Stay calm and supportive — Your reaction to bullying against your child will help to shape their reaction. As upsetting as it might be, remain calm and emphasize that there are ways to help them heal as well as hold their bully accountable. Don’t grill them on how they might have contributed to the abuse as they might feel like you’re blaming them.
- Listen actively to your child — When your son or daughter talks about being bullied, don’t just sit there, but be responsive and build trust by offering potential solutions, even if that requires you to reflect on the problem for a while. This is sometimes referred to as “active listening.”
- Document incidents of bullying — Bullies, along with the parents and institutions that protect them, frequently try to deny that any misbehavior took place. You should note each incidence of bullying along with the names of witnesses and any action taken by the school or another institution.
- Contact the school or other organization — The adults in charge of schools, sports teams, church groups and other organizations where bullying occurs have a responsibility to the young people under their care. Don’t hesitate to speak with authorities as soon as you suspect that your child is being harassed under their watch. This might lead to preventative measures and can bolster your argument if you choose to seek relief in a legal claim.
- Prepare your child — Depending on the particular circumstances, encouraging your child to stand up for themselves or teaching them some basic conflict resolution skills might alleviate the problem. Practicing ways to deal with uncomfortable situations can also be helpful.
- Collaborate with other parents — Often, bullies torment numerous children, so teaming up with parents in the same situation could provide an example of strength in numbers. You might even wish to bring in sympathetic families where the children have not yet been targeted. Upstanders in a peer group who support victims and discourage aggressive behavior can be very valuable.
- Speak with a therapist or counselor — Many young people feel embarrassed about being bullied and might resist seeing a therapist or counselor. Despite the difficulty, it is worth the effort to find someone your child feels comfortable with so that they can start the emotional recovery process after a serious trauma.
- Learn about your legal options — Victims deserve justice for the various ways they’ve been affected by someone who mistreated them. Speaking with a PA bullying lawyer will give you the insight you need about holding bullies and schools accountable.
Putting a stop to bullying usually requires patience, determination and a multifaceted approach. We understand the complex nature of these matters and provide effective, practical counsel designed to halt the mistreatment and secure compensation for the harm that’s been done.
Speak with an accomplished Pennsylvania lawyer if your child is being bullied
The Pagano Law Firm, LLC in Radnor handles legal matters arising out of bullying incidents in Montgomery, Delaware, Chester and Philadelphia counties. We also assist families in New Jersey. Please call 484-318-2561 or contact us online to make an appointment.