First, don’t be surprised if the kids in your care get bullied.
Here are some suggestions for healthy responses for dealing with bullying:
- Calm down. Pause and take a deep breath before you do or say anything.
- Listen and focus on the young person. Learn what’s going on and show with facial expressions and active listening skills that you want to help.
- Understand that it may be difficult or shameful for the young person to talk about what’s happening. Offer to include a social worker or mental health professional.
- Respond in terms of safety of the young person, saying something like, “I care about you and want to help you stay safe and have a good life.”
- Give advice about what to do. Offer to do role-play with the young person to let him or her get feelings out in a safe way.
- If the child is considering retaliation, ask what the young person is trying to achieve from the behavior he or she is considering.
- Ask the young person for ideas on what he or she could do differently to feel better, fit in, or whatever other result he or she hopes to achieve.
- Make it clear to the young person that you are on his or her side. Do what you can to help the young person to not feel so alone.
It will take time, patience, and a commitment to love and listening to heal the youth in your care. They are worth it.
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Provided by Successful Survivors Foundation
Affiliated with Successful Survivors Foundation Parenting Video Website