3 Self-Care Strategies for Children Who Are Being Bullied
Let’s face it. Being bullied is a stressful situation for anyone but especially for children and teens. They don’t have the emotional maturity to know how to help themselves in this situation. That’s why we’re here! To help parents know how to help their children.
You hear a lot about self-care in the news and for good reason! It’s important to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. We can’t pour from an empty cup! (I’m looking at you parents. While this post is geared towards how you can help your child who is being bullied, you need to care for yourself as well!)
Self-care is described as “performing a series of actions to improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.”
So what does self-care look like for your child or teen who is being bullied? Today, I want to suggest 3 strategies that can help your child or teen when they are being bullied.
A note about bullying to start. If you want some suggestions on how to deal with bullying, you have come to the right place! Take a look at this article about going back to school with your bully, or this one about the 5 signs your child is being bullied.
Now, back to the self-care strategies.
I have personally been bullied as an adult and I found that these strategies helped provide calm and resilience amidst my adversity.
The first strategy is Affirmations, or what I like to call them, Power Statements. Affirmations are “positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome negative thoughts.” Basically, whether your thoughts are negative or positive, they are self fulfilling prophecies.
Research shows that if a child or teen spends a few minutes saying positive affirmations (power statements) before a test or big event, they will be calmer and have more self-confidence.
Affirmations can also treat low self-esteem, which as you can imagine, is definitely something that happens when a child is bullied.
We do repetitive exercises to build our muscles, why not our brains?
So pick a statement or 2 or 3 with your child that are positive and help them to know who they are and what they can do and practice saying them.
Strategy #2 is Mindful Meditation.
Slowing down and focusing on the present and taking the time to self-reflect has been shown to help the part of the brain that is responsible for learning, memory, and emotional regulation after only 8 weeks!
So help your child or teen find a quiet place, start with 5-10 minutes, and breathe. For more guidance on how to meditate, go here.
The last strategy I’m going to talk about today is Gratitude. Practicing gratitude, whether by writing thank you notes or keeping a gratitude journal, helps your child or teen to focus on what they have instead of what they lack.
A study was done where one group was asked to write down something they were grateful for everyday while the other group was asked to write down something that annoyed them everyday. As you can guess, the group who wrote down annoyances reported that they were less happy than the other group.
Focusing on gratitude makes you happier, so help your child find those things that they are grateful for!
Using these strategies can help your child or teen feel a little more self confident as you go through this difficult time. September is National Self-Care Awareness Month so it’s the perfect time to start practicing self-care for both you and your child!
Your child is not alone in this and neither are you!
RESOURCES FOR THIS POST:
Self-Care Awareness Month
Self-Care Awareness Month – September
7 Benefits of Meditation, and How It Can Affect Your Brain
Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier
Mindfulness: How to Do It