Bullying can be one of the worst childhood experiences your child may go through and your child being bullied can be one of the worst things you’ll ever want to know as a parent. Even with various efforts to spread awareness and raise advocacies against bullying. It’s saddening to know that bullying is no longer a concern starting in the middle-school years. Overt and subtle hints of bullying are even found in the youngest grades.
As a parent and a young child once, you are aware of the lasting effects bullying can have on your life. You’ll do your best to protect your child from this psychologically scarring event.
Read on as we discuss more on the issue of bullying and what to do if your child is being bullied at school.
Know the Scope of Bullying
You have to know as a parent the various forms and manifestations of bullying in this day and age. It may share some similarities to the ones you experienced or witnessed during your childhood or could have differences as the time and environment changed. One thing we should know is that bullying takes on different forms: physical (hitting, shoving, punching, etc), verbal (cursing, name-calling, etc), social (various forms of discrimination at school, playgrounds, and public places), psychological (threats, blackmail) and emotional (spreading rumors, ostracizing from activities and conversations). Bullying has spilled over to social media and the internet (cyberbullying), where hurtful, threatening, and harmful messages, emails, and posts are sent and exchanged. As a parent, you need to know these forms of bullying so that you can think of effective measures to protect or help your child.
Open Up Your Communication With Your Child
It can be pretty hard for your kids to walk up to you and say that they are being bullied at school. You may notice that your child frequently complains about tummy aches, headaches, or not feeling well and not go to school. While it’s normal for children to feign illness every once in a while, seeing this happen quite a lot should alert you to find out more about what truly ails them. Be easy and general with your questions and ask them about how your child gets along with their classmates, schoolmates, or playmates.
Get them to tell about who they made friends with before slowly changing the topic about the ones they are having problems with. Be patient, open, and comforting in your talks with your child. Let them speak freely and comfortably. You’ll learn more about what your child has gone through when they speak with you naturally about their experiences. You are also building a good line of communication with your child in the process, where they will more openly talk with you as they grow up.
Teach Your Child Constructive Ways of Handling Bullying
As parents, we sometimes can’t help but become overprotective of our children that we think of rushing to the school and complain or confront the parents of the bullying party. It’s during these times that we need to be calm and collected and think of the best approach and solutions we can provide for our kids.
You need to first let your child know that bullies themselves are having problems with themselves and they do not know how to properly handle these problems and vent them out by harassing, controlling, or hurting others. You also need to empower your child and help them try to handle their problem first. You are not only showing your trust and support to them, but you are also developing independence and strength of character in them. You can teach some of the strategies below to your child:
Teach positive body language and reactions. Bullies often tend to single out shy, timid, and easily agitated children. Teach your child to look into the eyes of people they talk with so that they’ll appear more confident. Encourage your child to be honest and vocal about their feeling, especially to other people. This way, they will be able to fend off bullies by telling them how he/she feels and she can tell her teachers if needed.
Encourage positivity in your child. Always remind your child to stay positive and remember their positive attributes even if someone says something bad about them. Teach them to hold on to these attributes so that they won’t cry or feel bad and become emotionally strong.
Encourage good judgment. Teach your child not to be confrontational or tolerating when being bullied. Teach them to protect themselves by knowing when to let go and ask for help.
Teach your child to be proactive. Encourage your child to stand up for themselves and others. Let them know that they have the power to break the cycle of bullying by standing up for others who are being bullied encourage other kids to stand up for each other.
Being picked on or bullied is the last thing you want to happen to your child in school. If your child is bullied, be prepared to give your full support to your child. Your child will not only need someone to talk to, but they also need someone to encourage them and protect them. As a parent, do your best to be a good role model by showing your child positive and constructive ways as you talk with them, stay with them and act around them as you jointly handle the problem of bullying.