Bullying was once considered child’s play. Today, however, bullying has become a serious problem. A lot of children and teens have experienced being bullied, especially at school. A bully can turn a simple act, such as going to lunch hall or the bus stop into a huge nightmare for your child. Bullying isn’t only about verbal teasing. It can also escalate into violent threats, property damages, and it can eventually lead to someone getting seriously hurt.
Childhood bullying can have serious lifelong consequences. If you believe that your child is being bullied at school, there are ways to help your kid cope with it and lessen its lasting impact. To help your child in dealing with a school bully, you must learn how to recognize it, and how to respond to it.
Raise Awareness About Bullying
Bullying among children and teenagers is an aggressive behavior that is intentional, and this act involves an imbalance of power and strength. This act is an intentional tormenting in various ways including physical, psychological, and verbal. Bullying can also range from name-calling, mocking, and threatening, to hitting, shoving, and extorting money or other priced possessions.
Bullying can have serious consequences on a kid. Children and teenagers who are bullied at school are more likely to experience the following effects:
- Feel depressed, anxious, and lonely
- Have lower self-esteem than others
- Tend to avoid school
- Pretend to be sick, or is actually sick
- In worse cases, the child might start thinking about suicide
As a parent, you must keep a look out for any red flags that might indicate that your child is being bullied at school. It is a natural behavior in children and teens to remain quiet about bullying due to their fear, shame, or embarrassment. Since this is the case, you must be on alert for any warning signs of bullying, such as:
- Unexplained bruises, sprain, or other injuries
- Complain about headaches, stomach pains, or other physical pains
- Fewer friends or close contacts
- Poor school performance
- Damaged or missing personal belongings
- Trouble eating or sleeping
How To Help Your Child Handle A Bully At School
Encourage your child to share his troubles and listen. The first step you need to take is to remain calm, and listen in a loving and caring manner to your child’s whole story. Do not interrupt your child, and express your understanding, support, and concern. As your child gets into the details of bullying, you must keep in mind how and when the bullying happened and who are involved. You can also ask if there are witnesses involved. It is also important to remind your child that he/she is not to be blamed for being bullied.
Teach your kid how to handle bullying. You must explain that being angry is only natural; however, it is not good to get it out of control. You must not promote any form of retaliation that involves violence or teasing back. Instead, you must encourage your child to keep his/her composure. You can teach your child the CALM approach.
C- Cool down: When being bullied, stay calm and stay in control. Do not let the bully get the best of him/her. To help them remain calm, you can teach your kid to count to twenty inside their head. You must also tell your kid to find help if there is a chance that he/she might get hurt or injured.
A- Assert yourself: You can figure out different strategies that might win against a bully.
L- Look at the bully straight in the eye. You must teach your child to appear confident and stand tall against a bully.
M- Mean it! When your child says, “Stop!” he/she must use a firm, strong voice. It is also vital to encourage your kid to say what they feel, but avoid being insulting or threatening.
It is vital to take your child’s bullying complaint seriously, and never think for a second that bullying is a part of growing up. Bullying can escalate to serious violence; thus, your kid might get hurt. You must also avoid telling your kid, “Just tell them to stop”, because bullies are unlikely to go away. You must teach your kid how to deal with them to stop the abuse. You can also contact your child’s teacher or principal, but you must be factual, such as informing the teacher who was involved and when it happened, and not let your emotions run wild.
Kris Lim is a mother who is well aware of instances where bullying has occurred at school. She now writes for parenting websites to help spread awareness about bullying and other crimes that can land a person in jail. She also contributes her thoughts and ideas to bailbondsdirect.com.