No matter how quickly bullying is addressed it can leave your child feeling stressed, anxious or down for a long time to follow. If you notice the signs of stress the first step is speaking opening with your child about their feelings and reassuring them that they can and will feel better.
Contact your child’s GP if stress, anxiety or depression is a concern and is prolonged.
Experts agree that the signs of stress in children can include claiming to be ill and wanting to avoid school, becoming withdrawn, nervous and losing confidence, not eating or sleeping well and academic performance suffering.
Spend as much time as possible with your child and show an interest in what they are thinking, doing and interested in. They’ll be more likely to open up to you and share their concerns when they feel comfortable and are having fun with you.
Eating well is a key component of boosting your coping skills at every age. Try to find the time to prepare them the recommended variety of foods, including at least 5 portions of fruit and veg every day, and sit down to eat as a family whenever possible.
Exercise is a well-known tonic for stress so it’s recommended you drop any other plans you’ve made in favour of letting them pop on their trainers for a jog, a kick about on the park or a nature walk.
Breathing and mindfulness
Ask children to focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving the body, then watch the rise and fall of the abdomen. These simple steps can help children move away from a moment of stress and calm their adrenal system. Techniques such as this are taught within yoga, an activity which is supported by an increasing number of schools.
For NHS advice on childhood anxiety, visit – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/anxiety-in-children/
Helplines available for young people: