All about the bullying victim

Parents are often confused about why their child is a bullying victim. Parents can change your childs' experience of the bullying, help them reduce the risks and cope more effectively with the effects.  

There are as many reasons for bullying as there are bullies and while we cannot change the bully we can help our child. There is hope.

Bullying is not the fault of the target

Let me start by saying the bullying your child is experiencing is not the fault of your child. Bullies are choosing to target your child to meet their needs based on some superficial "difference"

However,  it is a good idea to look at possible reasons to see if there is anything your child can do to avoid becoming a bullying victim. 

why is your child the target of a bully?

There are many bullying beliefs today that allow bullies to target any child because they are different.

Some differences could include but are not limited to:

  • being smaller, weaker, frail or pathetic
  • Insecure, loner, scared, easily intimidated
  • loser, deserving of contempt
  • different religion or culture 
  • different economic situation (too poor or rich)                 
  • being the new kid
  • dressing differently, too independant or being non-conforming in some way
  • being autistic or having some disability that creates an identifiable difference
  • different skin color
  • smelling funny or eating different smelly foods
  • poor hygiene
  • submissive, lacking confidence, people pleaser
  • kid who has different physical traits: braces, big ears, acne, too tall, too short,
  • Too emotional, sensitive, reserved, shy, timid
  • gender or sexual orientation 
  • being in the wrong place at the right time for the bully to catch them on their own
  • a child who is slower intellectually or gifted 
  • a child who has annoying habits 

You name it...a child can be targeted by a bully for it. 

Moving from Target to bullying victim

Never be bullied

How your child and the witnesses of the bullying react to the bullying determines whether your child will continue to be bullied and become a bullying victim or not.

In all of life's challenges we have choices. We can change ourselves, change the situation or ignore it.

Your child has several choices when the bullying starts. The beginning of the bullying in Level one is the best time to try various Bullying Solutions  including: 

1) He can change the situation by seeking help from a caring adult.  

2) She can fight back...using witt, humour, being assertive, or physically defending herself.

3) She can ignore it all together and just walk away.

4) He can change (when possible) whatever triggered the bully to target them...Ie: bath more often or change clothing.

5) She can accept the bullying by giving into the bullies demands thus leading her down the path of becoming a Victim.

Once your child accepts the bullying by giving the bully what they want from lunch money to showing fear, apathy, tears or complies with the intimidation then they begin to change.

 They begin to feel they deserve what the Bully dishes out. They may feel shame or failure and less worthy. They hide their bullying secret and suffer in silence. This is a downward spiral and leads to the more serious long term effects of bullying.

Each attack weakens them more and makes it less likely they will choose to deal with the bullying. It can get very bad very quickly as they have gone from being a bully target to being a bully victim. 

As the bullying continues through the various levels of severity the child will become more victimized and start to feel hopeless which is the first step down a dangerous path:

  • Your child may internalize the victimization and have that attitude through life or it could lead  to bullycide 
  • Your child may externalize the pain and decide on retaliation to get revenge. 
  • Many children who are bullied become Bullies. 

dealing with bullying

As concerned parents we can play a large role in helping our children deal with the bullying effectively and avoid becoming a bullying victim. There are many supports and solutions that will help parents work with their children to problem solve and minimize the effect of the bullying.

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Bullying Facts

How to talk to your kids 

Bullying levels


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