ADHD and Bullying: How to Spot it and Stop it in its Tracks

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ADHD and bullying occur together much more often than we would like. For parents with children with ADHD, bullying sometimes can almost seem like a nonstop issue.

Many children with ADHD struggle in school. Many kids with ADHD often miss social cues. They often find it difficult to just to fit in.

The reality is that school is hard and more and more often kids are being mean and hateful to one another. For someone who struggles already, this makes the situation all that much more worse. As a result, children with ADHD are both more likely to bully and be bullied.

For parents with children with ADHD, hearing that can be devastating. Fortunately, through understanding more about ADHD and bullying you can help your child avoid some of the pitfalls at school. Read on to learn more about the causes of ADHD and bullying and how to resolve the underlying issues.

What causes ADHD and bullying?

As mentioned already, ADHD and bullying appears both in children with ADHD being the victim and with them being the aggressor. What causes either situation?

Child with ADHD as the Victim

The root of ADHD and bullying oftentimes occurs when kids don’t quite fit in or when they behave differently. For children with ADHD, fitting in sometimes presents a problem. ADHD children typically have issues socializing the same way other children do.

For some other children, this makes children with ADHD an easy target. Children with ADHD already don’t fit in. Additionally, they often have trouble making friends. This means bullies don’t have to worry about other children coming to their defense. Also, this means that ADHD children already stick out and can be made fun of for just not fitting in.

Children with ADHD oftentimes become the victims of bullies because they appear as odd loners. This doesn’t apply to every situation, but it occurs much too often.

Child with ADHD as the Bully

The other side of the coin occurs when ADHD children bully other kids. ADHD and bullying sometimes manifests itself when children with ADHD act overly aggressive towards their peers. A study from 2008 indicated that kids with ADHD were actually nearly 4 times more likely to bully others than their peers.

Sometimes, the hyperactivity and impulsivity present actions that appear as bullying. Hyperactivity might not constitute bullying in and of itself, but if others see the behavior that way you may want to still work with your child to resolve any issues.

Then again, aggression from ADHD among other factors does lead to intentional bullying. Sometimes ADHD children sense they don’t fit in and try to resolve this by bullying other children. Additionally, if they have been the victims of bullying in the past they might bully as a result of how they were treated previously.

How should I resolve ADHD and bullying?

No parent wants either situation for their child: being the victim or being the bully. If parents identify bullying going on, though, what can they do about it?

First and foremost, resolving ADHD and bullying starts in talking. You need to talk to teachers and administrators at school. Also, you need to talk to your child. You need to identify with what your child feels and help them address their situation as either the aggressor or victim.

When your Child is the Bully

When your child is the bully, you need to get involved and get hands on. You need to take the initiative in approaching your child about the issues.

Resolving ADHD and bullying when your child takes the role of the bully begins in confronting the behavior. You don’t want to accuse your child or yell at them. Nonetheless, you need to tell them you know of the behavior and that it is wrong.

Help your child replace the bullying with a constructive activity. Work with their teachers to identify when the bullying typically occurs. Provide your child with alternative activities to do when they tend to bully others.

When your Child is the Victim

For many parents, they possess a constant fear of their child being a victim of bullying. No one wants to hear that their child experiences bullying at school. Fortunately, there exist some strategies to help your child cope if they do face bullying at school.

Helping your child starts in talking honestly and openly about the bullying. You should never try to ignore the bullying or sugar coat what happened to your child. After addressing the bullying, work with your child and his teachers to come up with an action plan.

Your action plan could involve enlisting school friends to be with your child when the bullying normally happens. You could also enlist teachers to keep an eye out as well.

Teach your child that they can be assertive in confronting the bullies. Tell them the behavior is not ok, and they should seek help whenever it occurs. Help them to understand as well that they should not be ashamed. The bullying is never their fault.

Putting an End to ADHD and Bullying

Hopefully after reading this post, you as the parent, feel a little better about ADHD and bullying. Again, here at FastBraiin, we want to assure you that you can find a solution and help for your situation.

Most importantly, you need to recognize that bullying oftentimes occurs when children do not fully engage at school. To help your child, identify ways to help get your ADHD child excited about school. You can also use school success tips to get your child more connected at school.

When your child gets more engaged at school, they will find themselves less likely to be confronted with ADHD and bullying.