Bullying is a common and serious issue in our society today. Many kids suffer from bullying at school, on the web, or even in their own neighborhoods. You might be shocked by why kids who are bullied and cyberbullied don’t tell their parents about it. Here are the top four reasons kids share for not telling their parents about bullying.

They Are Scared Of What The Bully Will Do If They Tell

One of the main reasons kids don’t tell anyone about bullying and cyberbullying is that they are scared of what the bully will do to them. This is especially true if the bully is someone who is popular or powerful. Kids don’t want to be seen as a “tattletale” or a “traitor.” They might even think that if they let the bully keep doing what they want, they might get to be friends with them or their group. Tell your kids to tell a trusted adult about bullying. Telling is not “tattling,” it’s the right thing to do to help someone who is in trouble. Let them know that telling a trusted adult is the best way to deal with the problem.

They Might Not Realize They’re Being Bullied

Sometimes, kids might not open up to their parents about bullying or cyberbullying because they don’t always realize it’s happening. Bullies can be clever and subtle, engaging in actions that aren’t easily identified. For instance, they might spread untrue stories at school or online, or purposely leave certain children out of activities or group chats. Even though these actions may not seem like direct attacks, they can still be hurtful. It’s important for parents and schools to help kids understand what bullying and cyberbullying entail. When children can recognize these situations in both their real and online lives, and know how to respond, issues can be addressed more promptly.

They Experience Shame

Around the age of 10, children may begin to feel a sense of shame in connection to bullying. Surprisingly, many kids at this age express a belief that they somehow deserve the mistreatment. It’s also during this time that bullies might realize that engaging in negative behavior can yield rewards. Some children may be kinder to bullies out of fear of facing similar treatment. It’s crucial to remind your kids that being bullied is never their fault, and nobody deserves to experience it. Make sure they understand that you are there to offer support and assistance.

They Believe No One Will Offer Help

Bullying can deeply affect children of all ages, so it’s crucial to approach it seriously. Recognize that bullying and cyberbullying differ from typical peer conflicts. If your child opens up about being bullied at school or facing online cyberbullying, listen calmly and ask questions. Encourage your child to report any incidents to a trusted adult. Collaborate with them to find a solution, empowering them and maintaining open lines of communication. Boost your child’s self-esteem through positive reinforcement, reminding them that they don’t have to tolerate any physical, emotional, or verbal behaviors from other children that make them uncomfortable.

According to a 2010 report from the Institute of Educational Sciences, a concerning 64% of bullied children never disclosed their experiences. While this is a troubling statistic, it can improve with time. Openly discussing bullying and cyberbullying with children, both at home and in school, is a crucial first step to make them feel comfortable reporting such incidents. Additionally, keep an eye on their online communications, utilize alerts to spot potential issues like cyberbullying, depression, or thoughts of self-harm.