It is a sad day when your precious child returns from school emotionally distraught, possibly even physically harmed.

The immediate reaction differs for all but usually involves, anger, sadness, frustration and revenge feelings. The desire to retaliate can be intense and irrational.

More than anything, at this moment, your child needs you to be calm, rational and comforting.

One thing we tend to do when confronted with a hurt loved one is ‘buy into’ their story by reliving the drama and identifying with them as the ‘victim’. This serves little purpose on our journey to true healing.

A bullied child has a self-esteem issue- they are not aware of their personal power. This lack of awareness is being reflected externally in situations where they assume the role of ‘victim’.

Steps To Change

– Allow your child to relay their experience. Try to remain silent and refrain from expressing horror or taking sides at this point. Your child knows you are on their side.

– Ask questions like ‘how did it feel when that happened?’ ‘Could you have said or done something differently?’ ‘Is there something you could have done that may have protected you?’ ‘Is there another way for you to act if something like this was to occur again?’ These questions are designed to encourage your child to be creative and powerful. Hopefully they will not need to experience this behaviour in the future but if they do it is best that they have a broader perspective on their options.

– Tell your child that together you will grow stronger and more secure so that these sorts of things will be less likely to occur.Facing up to our part in our child’s problem can take courage. We need to be prepared to step out of denial and acknowledge our need to be more proactive than we have been in alerting our child/children to their personal power. The challenge is in facing our own chronic dis-empowerment.

– Congratulations!!
You are facing your disempowerment and choosing to change and this is the single most powerful technique in effecting true and permanent healing within yourself and your family.

– It is important for us as parents to make time to reflect on our level of self-love and care. Do you feed and hydrate yourself adequately? Do you breathe deeply? Do you speak lovingly of yourself and your life? Do you feel secure or anxious? Below are a few easy steps to help you and your child regain awareness of personal power.

  1. Make a pact to spend a small portion of your day, every day, with each other. You might take turns deciding what to do. Simple, pleasant tasks like watering the garden or going for a walk is enough to begin establishing the connection and security you seek.
  2. Decide to take up a physically challenging activity together. Martial arts is recommended as it is an all ages activity that develops strength, emotional and kinetic awareness and confidence; Body, mind and spirit.
  3. Listen to the thoughts that flow through your mind; is there a large amount of negative self speak? Spend some time journaling your thoughts. Encourage your child to be aware of negative thought patterns. Before change comes awareness and acceptance.
  4. Concentration or fantasy around negative thoughts and scenarios grow particularly, unhealthy memory clusters and dendrites in the brain making it easier to fall into habits of low self-care, and self-victimisation.
  5. Concentration on positive thought, however, grows positive memory clusters making it easier to follow the neural pathways to positive choice and healthy response to circumstances
  6. Practice positive affirmations everyday and reprogram your brain toward happiness and high self-esteem. I AM Calm, I AM Strong, I AM Confident, I AM Loved, I AM Happy are just a few examples of affirmations that when repeated often and with intention, will direct you into a positive state of mind that will eradicate self-victimisation and the projected experience of it.
  7. Make sure you are drinking enough water. This may seem simplistic but severe depression can be triggered by consistent dehydration.
  8. Check your food for ‘numbers’ as preservatives and additives can accumulate in the system and give a general feeling of anxiety resulting in a lack of clarity and fearful energy. Bully’s are unconsciously scanning for fearfulness as this shows a weakness in the system. Someone that is choosing to bully is also working from fear and powerlessness so they need to target weakness; they are not powerful enough to take on somebody who is strong and confident.
  9. Take the time to relax around your child- help them to feel safe and secure in the knowledge that their parent is strong and calm. Within this time of relaxation speak honestly and lovingly. Make sure you listen without judgment and with an open heart.
  10. Be sure to have checked your parenting for subtle bullying habits and address them immediately as this will add integrity to your words when guiding your child.

All you need to start seeing a difference is a strong intention to change and the courage to follow through.
Suggested reading- HomeFun affirmation Booklet, 52 simple activities to strengthen and empower.

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About the Author:

ArnaBaartz is a mother and a self-esteem author.

For more information on growing emotional intelligence in your child or your child’s school please go to or contact