Schools should be a place to learn interesting and helpful facts and skills. Sadly, it is often a place where kids learn instead that life is unfair and other people can’t be trusted to “play nice”. Bullying is a pervasive problem and one without a quick fix. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) states that as many as half of all kids are bullied in school. One out of ten kids endures constant bullying. Even those who aren’t the direct targets often witness this behavior and feel powerless to help.
Not all kids who have painful experiences in school need to see a professional. However, the AACAP does recommend seeking the aid of a specialist in child psychiatry if your child is the target of persistent or severe bullying. “Seeking professional assistance earlier can lessen the risk of lasting emotional consequences for your child.”
A child psychiatrist or other mental health professional can:
- Help your child develop strategies for coping with bullying on an individual level so they feel more empowered
- Assist you in identifying signs of emotional distress in your child including those that might lead to self-harm
- Coordinate with the school and parents to come up with a lasting solution to limit bullying behavior among your child’s peers