About fifty per cent of the LGBT people have reportedly been bullied in school because of their sexuality.
What would you do as a parent in this situation? How does it make you feel if your child comes home on a daily with black eyes? The mental implications are considerable huge, and it could be depressing all of the time.
Bullying isn’t a minor issue that should be taken lightly. The stigma linked with LGBT and bullying is so severe that if not treated immediately, might get out of hands.
You need to step in
Ireland report had it in 2016 that more than 50% of LGBT people experience bullying in school because of their LGBT status.
It is entirely heartbreaking knowing that your kids go through this phase in life.
No one is ever mentally prepared to get bullied because of their sexuality; however, you could always intervene and make things better. Pay attention your child physical state, which is the obvious.
Check for bruises, for injuries
Ask questions. Why do they have so many marks on their skin? How did they get it? Where are they coming from so late? Why the hesitation in getting ready for school?
Knowing the signs
Children tend to hide things out of the fear that parents might react wrongly. They tend to lash out in anger and become detached. They would always want to be left alone and become antisocial because they feel the rest of the world is against them. You need to play your part and step in as wisely as possible.
Don’t expect your child to open up and confide in you just as easily as you ask. You have to make them feel safe and trust you enough to tell you.
Identifying the reason for the bullying is very important. It is a huge step in solving the problem.
You should know something is wrong if your child shows the below signs;
- Mood swings
- Quick anger
- Poor academic performance
- Minor health issues (migraines and fever)
- Disinterest in social activities
- Complaints when it is time for school (teachers may call to let you know your child is skipping classes)
Learn to listen
You need to learn to be patient enough to fully understand the pain your child is going through because, at this point, he or she chooses to be vulnerable enough to let you in on what is really happening in their lives.
It is critical that you don’t rush it when they lay it out in details without interruption, anger and negative remarks. Listening to them pour their out alone goes a long way in helping your child feel better.
Parents should understand that bullying isn’t a part of growing up experience. It does more harm than good, this means, you need to take the issue very personal.
Make your child understand they aren’t the problem. The fact that they are being bullied doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them.
Point out the fact that the act of bullying is terrible but the bully or bullies might actually be going through things on their path, and the only way to feel better is by being nasty.
Teach them not to feed the anger and depression they feel and assure them you would be with them all the way.
Report to the school authorities
The safety of your child is very critical, and you should take quick steps into ensuring that. Go to the school immediately and report to the necessary authorities.
You could go as far as calling for a meeting with the bully/bullies involved, so the school understands the severity of the situation. Immediate actions should be taken by the school to put a stop to the act and to get your child out of harm’s way.
If you have concerns with the way your child’s school handles an incident as sensitive as LGBT bullying, then you can contact the LGBT Ireland helpline or in your country.