Q: My daughter is being bullied and it is taking a toll on her self esteem. It hasn’t gotten out of hand but I was wondering if talking to someone would give her the tools she needs to cope with this situation. What I tell her doesn’t seem to be sinking in.
A: I think if a parent considers that a problem with their children may be brewing, it is always a good idea to find some professional help. I have seen increasing incidences of bullying over the years and its effect on a kid’s self esteem. However, effective tools on how to deal with bullies can be taught. The sooner the better. Even though,you know her best and can give her good advice too, there is often an unwillingness on the part of teenagers to include their parents or take advice without skepticism. A mental health professional can help improve those communication channels too. Children want the bullying to stop but worry that parental intervention will only make things worse. Therapy/ counseling can bridge that gap and make parents and their children allies.