Being bullied can make someone feel helpless. That is why it’s important to take bullying seriously and find ways to help your child deal with bullies.
Thompson, 12, always had a smile when getting on the school bus as he waved his mum goodbye. Lately, this cheerful kid has gotten 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. In addition to that, the bigger kids have been collecting his lunch money every school day.
Sadly, this situation has become common in many homes. As parents, it is essential that you come up with assistance for your kid to get the better of bullies. If you are to help your kid, you should 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 means bullying.
Also, not all rude characters or behavior can be qualified as bullying. It is normal for kids to quarrel with their friends sometimes, so help your kids to be able to identify when their friend says a rude word to him in anger.
Bullying can take the form either in physical, verbal, or psychological/emotional forms.
Physical Forms of Bullying
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.
Verbal Forms of Bullying
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 to harm their reputation. This has led some to lose the trust and respect of their friends through a spread of lies.
Besides, bullies often use deliberate acts to exclude your kid from a group activity like sports or make others ignore them during conversations.
It might be difficult to identify what is going on 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 being afraid of your reactions. So you have to be observant and look out for warning signs.
Warning Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied
- Your kid starts behaving differently from his normal self.
- Normal situations begin to make your child seem anxious, and they start to avoid these situations. For example, your child becomes worried about taking a ride on the bus to school.
- Loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping at night
- Your child starts dodging from activities that they normally enjoy participating in.
- He suddenly avoids unsupervised activities and places.
- He regularly becomes upset after taking a phone call, getting a text, or an email.
- Suddenly loss of their friend without any meaningful explanation or occurrence.
- He becomes more isolated. For example, he spends more alone time in their rooms.
- He speaks increasingly negative ways about himself
How To Help Your Child Deal With Bullies
1. Listen patiently to your child
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, give them more attention than you usually do.
This shows your child that you believe them and you are concerned. But 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.
It will help if you get all the facts before reaching 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 whole picture, 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 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, 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.
Evaluate the situation with the teacher and school administration to see possible methods to put an end to the bullying. Ensure you 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 reactions.
Below are some tips you can teach your child to employ to handle bully confrontations
- 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 as the bully, you can link up with a friend.
- Refrain from showing anger as this plays directly to the bully’s objective. Don’t give them the joy to see that their remarks hurt you by crying, although this might take some time to practice.
- Ignore the bully and walk away. On seeing that you don’t care about his remarks, the bully will eventually get bored.
- Talk to an authority figure present. For example, you might talk to your teacher, principal, or school counselor in school.
4. Boost Your Kids Confidence
As already seen, bullies erode the confidence of their victims and replace it with fear. Encourage your child to engage in activities that they like and excel very well.
Remind your kid of situations 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. 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 retaliate for your child.
Seeking out a non-violent solution is always the best option. Also, you should report to appropriate authorities to help prevent and solve acts of bullying.
The effective ways to help your child deal with bullies mentioned in this article will go a long way to help your child. As with most things in life, your child will need some time and practice to achieve the desired results. So be patient.