With all the pressures children in life face today, the last thing a child needs is to dread going to school because of a bully.
Bullying is a serious topic. Being bullied can cause emotional, physical and mental damage to a child. A victim of bullying can become depressed, develop severe anxiety, feel extremely insecure or even commit suicide.
A bully is defined as an individual who displays aggressive behavior, intimidates or mistreats another person and intends to cause harm or distress repeatedly over a period of time.
Bullying comes in different forms: physical, verbal, emotional, sexual and technological.
As parents, we need to educate ourselves on the signs of child bullying and teach our children how to deal with a bully.
Here’s a list of signs that may indicate your child is a victim of bullying:
Sudden dislike of school
Anxiety or fear of going to school
Very few or no friends
Trouble sleeping or nightmares
Headaches or stomachaches
Unexplained cuts, scratches, or bruises
Damaged or torn clothing, personal property missing
If you think you child is a victim of bullying, don’t take it lightly or just think of it as “kids being kids.” It is very important to stop the bullying as quickly as possible.
Talk to your child about the situation(s) when the bullying occurred. Encourage your child to express how they were feeling when bullied ex. scared, embarrassed, angry, etc.
Do not criticize your child for the way they handled the situation at the time of the bullying incident. Your child may become discouraged coming to you if the situation occurs again.
Reassure your child they have your support.
Assess the situation and figure out a plan that best fits your child and the present situation.
Talk to your child’s teacher or guidance counselor.
Teach your child not to retaliate against the bully. Retaliation can result in your child being injured, punished at school or bring unwanted negative attention.
Do not contact the bully’s parents. Talk to school officials, local police department or an attorney.
Do not stop working on a solution until the bullying stops.
Working together as a community, we can educate ourselves and our children on how to deal with school bullying.