Is it bullying?
The very fact that you’ve sought out this article to get some advice says that yes, it is definitely bullying and you’re definitely not overreacting. Emotional and mental bullying by parents is not uncommon and can take many forms…
- Constantly commenting on your weight or appearance.
- Emotionally blackmailing you into doing something or behaving a certain way
- Repeatedly using demeaning or unkind language towards you
- Telling you that you’re unwanted or useless
- Saying that they don’t love you
- Belittling you or humiliating you
These are all forms of emotional and verbal bullying, and many of them are also classed as abuse. You do not deserve this or have to put up with it, and you are not alone.
What can you do?
We are powerless over other people’s behaviour. Chances are, you won’t be able to make it stop. What you can do is cope with it in ways that minimise the impact of the abuse and protect your emotional wellbeing.
Here are a few things you can try:
- Safe spaces – Establish a place that you can go to get away from it all. Whether that’s your bedroom, the garden, or a friend or relative’s house. It needs to be somewhere that is safe.
- Try not to be manipulated – Parents who are bullying can sometimes make you feel like a burden. It is important to understand that you do not owe them anything. Try to gain some independence and in doing so, you empower yourself.
- Strengthen other relationships – If you have a good relationship with another family members such as a sibling, aunt/uncle, or another parent then you should work on strengthening that relationship and building up a healthy level of trust. It doesn’t have to be family either; friends, neighbours and colleagues are good too.
- In the heat of the moment, don’t engage – When it turns in to a heated argument and voices are raised, don’t respond. In doing so you completely disarm them. Simply remove yourself from the situation and seek out your safe space.
- Understand that it won’t last forever – Soon enough, you’ll be able to move out, go to college/uni, begin full-time work and become fully independent. Hold on to that thought and put your all into your education and interests.
- Note that you are not your parent’s problems – What we mean by this is that you should try not to let your parent’s problems affect your own life. It’s easy for us to be affected by things that happen in our home life, but remember that your parents don’t define your personality, you are your own person.
- Seek out other support networks – family is often considered to be one of our main support networks but sometimes that just isn’t the case. There are so many other support networks out there full of people who truly care and want to help.
- Speak to someone at school – Believe it or not, one of the amazing things about school and college, (aside from getting to hang with your BFFs every day) that many people don’t know is that there are trained professionals on hand to help you at any time, for free. They don’t necessarily have to be a teacher. You can talk to the person who works in the medical room, or reception, or head of year’s office or a school counsellor.
Talk it out:
First things first is to understand that you are not the reason that this is happening. Sure, the bullying may feel pretty personal when it happens, but understand that the problem always lies with them, not you. It is never your fault.
No matter how lonely you might feel right now, understand that you are not alone. This is, unfortunately, something that loads of people have been through and go through every day.
The best thing you can do is talk to someone about it. Tell someone who is a trusted adult or even a friend who is your own age. Whether it’s a teacher, another family member, a sports coach, a care worker or a mate. People need to know what you’re up against.
Finally, understand that we understand. Ditch the Label have digital mentors who can help you get through your problems. All you need to do is join the community to get advice. What’s more, is that you can also use this safe space to speak to other people who may have been through the same thing.
Here are some additional places you can contact to talk things out with professional adults who care about your wellbeing:
The Samaritans – 116 123 (24 hour crisis prevention service)
NSPL (USA) – 1-800-273-8255 (24 hour crisis prevention service)
Childline – 0800 1111 (Working to stop child abuse)
Young Minds – Mental Health support for young people
Befrienders – Worldwide list of crisis lines
If you are in physical danger, or experiencing physical abuse or bullying at home it is really important that you speak to a trusted adult about it. You can reach out to any of the organisations above or talk to Ditch the Label, you are not alone ❤️
If you would prefer the easy to read version please click here.