Bullying: How to Spot It & What to Do About It
How to tell if your child is being bullied.
It is not always easy to find out about bullying, and if your child is experiencing it or part of it. Bullying can happen in school or even online. Let’s talk about some ways to spot bullying and how to handle them properly.
Bullying is defined as “the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.” More often, your child will not directly tell you that they are being bullied in school ; this can be a result of several factors like your child being afraid they might be seen as a coward, or maybe they fear that telling their parents will worsen the situation, or it can be as simple as they just don’t know how to tell you.
There are several signs you can observe when your child is being bullied. They can make excuses not to go to school, even when they were perfectly fine during the weekend, they can have fits of anger or tears, they can seem like they would do anything just to avoid school. When you notice these things, it is important to sit down and talk to your child. Make them feel that your home is a safe place where they are loved and they can speak their minds. This will build their confidence and will make them realize that it was the right thing to tell you as you can work on solving this problem.
Empower your child to deal with bullies
The old-fashioned way to deal with this issue is “If they hit you, hit them back.” However, this may not be the best solution to deal with bullies especially in the long run. It encourages bad behaviour and your child will most likely carry it into other areas of his life upon adulthood.
The goal is to encourage a confident mindset, build resilience & nurture their self-esteem. Tell them that is it important to speak up and show assertive body language when they are being bullied. They can say, “That wasn’t kind” and then walk away. Remind them that whatever the bullies say to them is not true.
Working with the school
It is always best to inform the school once you have suspected or are sure that your child is being bullied. Schools have a lot of experience in dealing with bullying and they have protocols in place. Confronting the parents of the other child can lead to worsen the situation, because often, they will get defensive.
What if your child is being a bully
While often times, the problem parents face is that their child is being bullied, it can also be the other end of the stick. Your child may be the one bullying another kid.
When your child’s school or another parent informs you that your child is a bully, stay calm and listen carefully. This will enable you to characterize your child’s behaviour and review past experiences or situations that may have led to your child acting this way.
Sit down with your child and talk to them. Be honest about what their school had said & let them speak their minds. Tell them that you would want to hear their story and make them feel that you are there to support and help them instead of being angry or disappointed.
We hope this blog article was informative and helpful. While no parent wants their children to become bullies or experience bullying, we cannot guarantee it won’t happen. Being aware and knowledgeable is key.
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This article contains general information regarding health and well-being. This information is not intended as advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to advice from medical or educational professionals.