Dealing with Bullying / Relational Aggression

Everyone Plays. Everyone Loses.

Image of a saddened girl with gossiping girls in the background When confronted with situations involving bullying, many parents who have previously felt capable helping their children navigate life find themselves feeling befuddled, even helpless, in knowing how to address the situation. It is difficult to know what to do to prevent your child’s social well-being from unraveling before your eyes. Bullying may take the form of physical or relational aggression, undermining the child’s self-concept and self-esteem. And it is heartbreaking to witness. I really get this.

You may have recently become aware that your child is involved in a bullying situation. If so, you may have observed the three different roles that exist and that can rotate within the group:

  • The bully
  • The victim
  • The bystander

Although children often hesitate to tell their parents about these detrimental situations, it may be that you have had your child confide in you directly. Perhaps you heard information slip out in passing. You may have had recent concerns about changes in your child’s mood or demeanor, desire to go to school or be with a peer group, ability to concentrate, or eating or sleeping habits.

No matter how you have been alerted, the situation cannot be ignored with the misguided hope that the harmful group dynamics are simply a stage of development that will soon pass. Make no mistake: situations of physical or relational aggression damage everyone involved in the situation whether we realize it or not.

Everyone plays. Everyone loses.

Please do not hesitate to seek help for your child and for yourself. Take the first step by picking up the phone or emailing me.