Bullying is intentionally tormenting someone in a physical, verbal, or psychological way. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extortions. Bullying can leave a child deeply hurt and victimised, frightened, angry, depressed, and totally undermined.
Speaking about bullying, over the weekend, in a report by the DailyMail, a 15 year old boy, Logan Clark, was shot in the shoulder by a school officer at Procter R. Hug High School in Reno, Nevada, after wielding a large blade at his fellow students. Reports confirmed that the teenager ‘snapped’ on that fateful day as a result of being bullied for days by his classmates. He is reportedly in a critical condition at the hospital.
This is one of the far-reaching consequences of bullying if not properly handled.
While some children report bullying, others may suffer in silence. When a child a reports a bullying, believe him. Here are a few ways to help your child deal with bullying.
1. Start talking
A child that is most likely being bullied, will be withdrawn, not just from friends but from you too. Ask your child questions, if there was ever a time to probe into your child’s life, the time is now. Find out why your child all of a sudden, doesn’t want to go to school, find out which friends your child gets along with and which ones they don’t, try to find out the reason behind this. Just start asking questions.
2. Boost your child’s self confidence
Studies show, that children tend to thrive more when their positive abilities, are reinforced. Help to build your child’s self esteem. The better your child feels about himself, the less likely the bullying will affect them. Encourage strong relationships, hobbies that can help to keep your child busy and improve their own self worth. A child with a higher self esteem is more likely able to stand up to a bully when the need arises.
3. Teach your child how to cope
A sufficient coping mechanism will help your child through this period. Yes, nothing lasts for ever, but the worst thing you can do as a parent, is to assume that its a “situation” between kids and will sort itself out. Find out what areas your child is being bullied, help the child to feel better about themselves in that aspect. Teach your child how to be able to talk about how they feel, how the teasing or bullying makes them feel. Once they learn to express their feelings, half of the coping process is done.
4. Teach your child to stand up to a bully
Let your child know that it is okay to report to a teacher, or a supervisor, when they get bullied. This is where boosting your child’s self confidence comes in to play, as they would have the courage to call a bully out in the open. Most children who are bullies cannot take as much as they dish out.
5. Prevent Bullying at Home
Try to ensure that your older children are not bullying the younger ones. A child that gets bullied by their elder siblings at home, might get to school, and transfer their aggression to another child they perceive as weak. Ensuring that the right level of peace reigns in your home, will help to minimize the vicious circle of bullying.