Is your child coming home from school and heading straight to his/her room without even saying hello to you?
Is your child refusing to go to school in the morning?
Is your child withdrawing from friends or activities and isolating in his/her bedroom?
Does your child look upset and on the verge of tears?
Is your child angry and snapping at you or other family members for no reason?
If you are a parent and answered yes to any of these questions you must be feeling deeply concerned and confused about what is going with your son or daughter. Not knowing what your child is feeling and going through outside the home can be extremely stressful. You are probably missing that happy go lucky child who was so much fun to be around.
Any significant changes in your child’s mood or behavior is a red flag that does warrant your attention.
There could be many reasons for this sudden change (e.g. depression, social anxiety etc.) but you have a gut feeling that your child might be getting singled out or picked on. If that is the case, then it might be that your son or daughter is being bullied at school, after school activities, during sports, or on social media. Many kids who are bullied are too ashamed to report it to their parents or to their teachers.
In addition to my work as a therapist, I am also a school social worker and Anti-Bullying Specialist. I have worked with many students who were victims to bullying. They expressed to me what it's like to be bullied which includes feeling:
Like a burden
Even worse, sometimes a child who is being bullied can have suicidal thoughts and/or a plan to end his/or her life.
No child deserves to feel like this. Being a child who is a victim of bullying can be heartbreaking not only for the child but for the parent as well. So, what do you do?
First, you need to talk to your son or daughter to find out exactly is happening. Even if he or she seems reluctant to talk or tells you everything is fine, you know in your heart it isn’t. Keep talking and If it is in fact that he or she is being bullied then you need to reassure your child that you love him or her and that it’s not his or her fault. Then you need to take the necessary action at school. There are serious HIB policies at school that deal with this. However, these policies do not take away the emotional pain that your child is feeling.
It is so important that your child’s thoughts and feelings are recognized, validated and processed. If not, then it could possibly lead to more serious mental health issues such as clinical depression or anxiety.
As a qualified mental health professional, I can help relieve your child from his or her emotional pain. With empathy and support I will provide your son or daughter with the tools, strategies and coping skills necessary to build his/her self-esteem and feel good again. I will also help him/her navigate the, at times, challenging school system. After short-term counseling, I can bring your happy go lucky child back home to you.
Your child may not ask for help but you need to help him/her by getting the help he/she needs.
Don’t wait until it’s too late!
Modern Familiy Counseling
And ask for an appointment this week with
Carly Herschman, LSW