Thompson, 12, always had a smile when getting into the school bus as he waved his mum goodbye. Lately, this cheerful kid gets agitated at the thought of going to school. His concerned mum finally gets to find out the reason. Thompson has been taking a beating from some other popular kids. Moreover, the bigger kids have been collecting his lunch money every school day.
Sadly, this situation has become common in many homes. Nevertheless, it is essential that as a parent you come up with assistance for your kid to get the better of bullies. If you are to help your kid you should be able to spot traits of bullying. Bullying is an ongoing and purposeful physical or emotional torment.
However, not every time a person uses an abusive word or behaves hostile comes to bullying. Also, not all rude characters or behavior can be qualified as bullying. Moreover, it is normal for kids to quarrel with their friends, so help your kids to be able to identify when his friend says a rude word to him in anger. Bullying can take the form either in physical, verbal, or psychological/emotional forms.
Physical, Verbal, or Psychological or Emotional Forms
This form of bullying is more likely to be noticed by you. It might result in physical scars and body injuries so they are easily spotted. Some common methods bullies employ are pushing, hitting, and punching.
It might be quite hard for you to notice this form of bullying if you are not present when it occurs. However, by carefully taking note of your child’s reaction and mood to certain words your attention should be aroused. Further, you can look out for threats, cruel taunts, and name-calling made about your kid.
Psychological or Emotional Form
Many kids have suffered immensely when false stories and rumors are spread about them with the purpose to harm their reputation. This has led some to lose the trust and respect of their friends through a spread of lies. Besides, deliberate acts to exclude your kid from a group activity like sports or make others ignore them during conversation have also been used.
It might be difficult to identify what is going on by you if your child does not have a physical bruise you can see. Also, your kid not being able to tell you about the situation might boil down to not knowing what your actions and feelings might be about it. So you have to be observant and look out for warning signs.
Warning Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied
1) When your kid starts behaving differently from his normal self.
2) Normal situations begin to make your child seem anxious and they start to avoid these situations. For example, your child becomes anxious about taking a ride on the bus to school.
3) Loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping at night by your kid
4) When your child starts dodging from activities that they normally enjoy participating in.
5) Sudden avoidance of unsupervised activities and places.
6) Regularly becoming upset after taking a phone call, getting a text or an email.
7) Sudden loss of their friend without any meaningful explanation or occurrence.
8) When your kids become more isolated. For example, spending more alone time in their rooms.
9) Speaking increasingly negative ways about themselves.
5 Effective Ways To Help Your Child Deal With Bullies
1. Listen patiently to your child
In order for you to successfully help your child deal with bullies, you have to pay more than the usual attention and listen very patiently to your child. Remember that it takes courage for your child to confide in you about having bully trouble. Therefore, you want to give them more attention than you usually do.
This shows your child that you believe them and you are concerned. But you want to avoid coming off as too worried about what they are telling you as they may stop talking because of fear of upsetting you.
Furthermore, try to ascertain
- What is happening and
- Why he is a subject to the bully target.
You must get all the facts before you reach conclusions on what is happening. You might ask yourself thoughtful questions to help you picture what is going on, ‘could there be more to this story?’ To get the full circumstance, you might need to talk to an adult or authority figure where the bullying occurs.
You must show support and provide comfort for your child as he expresses the situation he is going through. It might be embarrassing and make them feel ashamed so you want to be careful about the mood you express as you listen to them.
2. Report acts of bullying to appropriate authorities
In cases of bullying in schools, you want to speak first to your kid’s teacher privately since they are in the primary position to observe and prevent such acts. Also, many schools have varying bully policies.
You want to evaluate the situation with the teacher and school administration to see possible methods to put an end to the bullying. You must keep the record and documentation of the report. For severe bullying, it is most important you report to the police and get a family therapist depending on the circumstance.
3. Teach your child how to deal with bullies
One of the most effective ways to help your child deal with bullies is to teach them how to handle bully confrontations. Parents should not make bullying look less important. It is noteworthy for you to nudge your kids that it is not their fault but the fault of the bully. Bullies get their satisfaction mainly by their victim’s reaction.
Below are some tips you can teach your child to employ to handle bully confrontations
i) Refrain from places the bully likes to hang out and where no adult will be around to supervise. Moreover, if you find yourself in the same place with the bully you can link up with a friend.
II) Refrain from showing anger as this plays directly to the objective of the bully. Don’t give them the joy to see that their remarks hurt you by crying, although this might take some time to practice.
iii) Ignore the bully and walk away. On seeing that you don’t care about his remarks the bully will eventually get bored.
iv) Talk to an authority figure present. For example, in school, you might talk to your teacher, principal, or school counselor.
4. Boost Your Kids Confidence
As already seen, bullies erode the confidence of their victim and replace it with fear. Encourage your child to engage in activities that they like and excel very well. As they participate in this activity with their friends who have a positive influence their confidence and self-esteem will improve.
You want to remind your kid of situations which they have handled well in the past, this will help grow his confidence as he manages the bully.
5. Involve The Bully’s Parents
Instead of trying to retaliate on behalf of your child, it would be better to contact the offender’s family to help in resolving the situation. For instance, you can use it through the school or contact the parents through an email or phone call. Moreover, make sure you speak politely and explain that you aim to find a solution.
In conclusion, remember to be observant and listen to your kid when they try to talk to you and never overreact. However, do not take the matter personally and try to retaliate for your child. Seeking out a non-violent solution is always the best option. also, you want to report to appropriate authorities to help prevent and solve acts of bullying. As with most things in life, it will take some time and practice for your child to achieve the desired results. So be patient. The effective ways to help your child deal with bullies mentioned in this article will go a long way help your child.
Nanna Daniels is a legal practitioner and writer. His practice as a lawyer and a writer is as diverse as his client base. His client ranges from government bodies to banks, private companies in real estate, energy companies, telecommunications to small businesses, families, and individuals.
He is a passionate and diligent analyst of family, sports and business concepts, providing in-depth knowledge and analysis. He has covered topics ranging from family, parenting to entrepreneurship.