Childhood is the most vulnerable stage in development. If a child tends to be shy, keeps to himself, is notably smaller in size compared to their friends, or exhibit traits that fall to the autistic spectrum, it increases the vulnerability of becoming a target by aggressive children. A bullying incident may affect a child’s vulnerable mental health. According to Kristen Fuller, M.D., clinical health writer, “Bullying is more than name-calling on the playground; it is a form of verbal, physical, and emotional abuse that can lead to the development of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety as well as behavioral disorders.” In the long run, it will risk with him or her falling into depression and obviously, lacking self-esteem. Parents, family, and teachers should be aware that despite the isolated case of bullying, a child may carry this pain as he or she grows up.
What Can A Parent Do?
It is crucial for a parent to create a comfortable environment for their children so that they can openly talk. A parent must always be attentive even to the slightest change of behavior in their children. “You can provide your child with a supportive learning environment at home, where there is no bullying, racism, violence, or other psychological abuse,” suggests Dona Matthews Ph.D.
A parent must talk to the child but must avoid nagging or using a preachy tone. It might take a while for a child to tell you everything, but you must be patient. Let the child cry if he or she needs to release it. Hug the child and comfort him or her. A parent consoling a child without nagging is already a great beginning to the healing process.
When you’ve already successfully established a safe place for your child to talk to you, you may begin asking questions even if he or she will disturbingly narrate the details. You must be prepared to hear the worst case scenario that your child might tell you.
It is essential for these kinds of conversations to be open-ended, non-judgemental and non-dismissive either. Let your child vent his or her pain, anger, and thoughts. Do not interrupt with your comments, even if it is constructive – just let him, or she gets it off. The pain has been inflicted already, and what you can do is to assist your child in processing his or her emotions to heal. Dr. Andre Sourander, an expert in child psychiatry at the University of Turku in Finland, reported that “children who are bullied in early childhood have an increased risk of depressive disorders and need psychiatric treatment later in life.”
Once the child has already released all of his or her pain, you should both talk about solutions to prevent the same situation to happen again.
What Can I Do If Talking Doesn’t Seem To Help With My Child?
What if conversations don’t seem to help my child heal? Talking extensively might not fully assist the child in processing his or her emotions especially if the damage is too much. Understand that some children will cope in different ways such as exhibiting bad behavior or might seem emotionally distant and depressive. There are other ways for you to help your child if these occur.
This is the time wherein your child can try other play therapy techniques. This technique uses dolls, toy cars, and others for him or her to use and simulate the incident.
What Are These Energy Therapy Programs?
Using traditional therapy program might not be enough in eliminating emotional trauma, but energy therapy programs may work. These are the Emotion Code, EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques (acupuncture, energy treatment, Thought Field Therapy, etc), .and EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. These therapy programs even apply to animals that were traumatized by violence.
There are no negative effects known for these kinds of treatment. Energy Therapy Treatment works immediately as witnessed with the sessions by Dale Petterson, a therapist specializing in Emotion Code and Energy Treatment methods.
Studies On Kids Coping With Bullying
Dale Petterson’s treatment is proven effective; even traditional therapists have provided feedback about it. There is not much research conducted with energy treatment therapy programs, but some specialists have witnessed enough effectiveness of its healing potentials. Susan Heitler Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, attests to that, as well.
One session with two young boys completely proved Dale’s work, according to Dr. Heitler.
One of the boys is attending the session because of a painful medical situation. The incident resulted in the boy being terrified. He experienced encopresis and only spent fifteen minutes with Dale with the results immediately revealed. The boy no longer felt terrified, and he didn’t have constipation problems anymore. Dale removed the terror in the boy along with the encopresis.
The other boy, who happens to be a second grader, is an intelligent one. But with his intelligence, it was ironic that the boy couldn’t understand the words he would read. This resulted in him getting low scores on his tests. He also showed signs of uneasiness and paranoia – thieves entering their house. He was always crying and fights with his peers.
Dr. Heitler has watched Dale performed the energy technique with the second boy. He identified the cause that led to these behaviors, and it was because the boy was bullied during his pre-school days. Dale managed to retrieve and release the suppressed emotions which made the boy cry. After the session, the second boy felt happier. In just a month, his reading level improved and the boy gained social status in his grade. He became sociable, friendly, and popular.
Therapy professionals are encouraged to research this and for parents to try these therapy programs since their children might need it.