My son come home the other day saying he had been hit in the face by a class mate, today he come home saying he had a tummy ache and he has been sick. I have tried asking him if anything is happening at school but he won't or is unwilling to speak to me. Even his dad has asked but he won't speak to him either. I am worried he is being bullied but cannot do anything about it until he talks to me is there anything I can do to get him to talk or do I just have to wait until he speaks to me?
What a frustrating situation for you. It sounds like you're very concerned about your son and you have very valid reasons for feeling that way. Ultimately, you cannot force your child to talk if they don't want to, but there are a few things you can do to make him a bit more comfortable and more likely to open up about what he experienced. If he was bullied, it's very likely he's feeling embarassed about what happened to him. When you talk with him, remind him that what happened wasn't his fault. Explain that nobody deserves to be hurt, made fun of, or bullied. Explain that the only way he can get help is by telling you what happened. Ensure him that he won't get in trouble and that you just want to make sure he's ok. Encorporate a story about a time that you were made fun of, or bullied as a young child. Tell him how it made you feel and what you did to help yourself feel better. Also tell your son what you did to stop others from bullying you.
If you son is still unwilling to talk about it, but continues to have behavior problems or physical complaints, ask the school counselor to speak with your son during his school day.
Remember that you or your son are welcome to call our hotline anytime to speak with one of our crisis counselors. We talk to kids that are being bullied everyday, and it may help your son to speak with someone other than his parents, who can provide him with additional support and guidance.