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A Time of Healing: Recovery after Being Bullied

Whether or not the bullying stops and the child stays in the same environment, or the child/teen is removed, there is a need for healing after being bullied.

boys in the creek

Time To Recover

Whether it is a child, teen, or adult, a time of healing is needed after they have been ostracized and/or bullied. Some people have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder where they have flashbacks and nightmares of the bullying. This may last two to three years. In a nurturing environment, these will recede with time.

What Your Child Needs to Understand About Bullying

  • Bullies want power.
    They get that by stepping on others. It is wrong. Unfortunately, you were the person who was stepped on. Many others have been. It is not a reflection of who you are, but who they are.

  • Most bullies stop bullying at some time.
    This behavior is most common between 8 and 16. The bully wants to be on top and often claws and bites to get there. But as their horizons broaden, they realize it is one thing to be on the top of the grade school classroom, harder at the middle school or high school campus, and probably impossible after that. Moreover they often get a taste of their own treatment by other competitors clawing their way to the perceived top. Meanwhile, the bullies have the opportunity to see some of their former victims come into their own domain and excel and take off in their strengths. They will need to give up bullying to succeed in life. Most do.

  • A few go on into adulthood as bullies.
    They never give up the grasp for power. They are mean, they spread gossip, and often lies. They feel justified in what they do because they see faults in others that makes them feel they have the right to tear the person down. They destroy friendship, families, and other people's careers. They are miserably unhappy people and quite pathetic.

What is hard to make children understand is that the bully is themself weak because they seem so strong and so in control of the situation.

I've heard this compared to being in a wheel chair because of a drunk driver. They were the ones that did wrong, but you are the one who suffers. Your child will not be limited forever. They can laugh, make friends, and soar again.

Developing a Social Network

Sounds easy, doesn't it? Make friends. But it's possible some of your child's friends turned against him or her and they don't know how to start over.

Make a time investment in social activities they enjoy. That is where like-minded peers may be found.

Be the host and invite others over. Or invite then on outings which may or may not be related to their area of interest. By taking the initiative and being the host your child will feel less vulnerable.

Rebuilding Self-Confidence

Being bullied takes an enormous toll on a person's self-confidence. Here are some strategies on building self-confidence.

Forgiveness and Restoration

Children are naturally forgiving, but it gets harder as we get older.

On the one hand, we want to remind our child that the person(s) who hurt him or her are just people; they need forgiveness too. On the other hand, we don't want a naturally trusting child to end up again under the domination of a subversive individual.

Jesus is a good role model for those who are being bullied. At the height of his popularity it said He did not trust the crowds, because He knew what was in the heart of people. Indeed, a week later those same crowds were calling for his death.

He loved them unconditionally, but He didn't trust their popularity contests - even when He was winning it. He forgave them for killing Him, but He wasn't swayed by their opinions.

It is a high goal for any of us to reach.

"Consider Him who endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:3

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