Most children have been teased by a sibling or friend at some point in time in their life. It is usually not harmful when they are teased in a playful, friendly, and mutual way. But when teasing becomes harmful, unkind, and continuous, then it crosses the line into bullying and which we need to stop.
Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extort money and possessions. Some children use social media or electronic messaging to harass others and spread rumors about them. Others may taunt or hurt their feelings.
It is important to take bullying intensely and not only brush it. This helps you to take the children “out of trouble”. The effect can be serious and affect the safety and self-esteem of children. In severe cases, bullying contributes to tragedies, such as suicide and the school shooting.
Symptoms of bullying
Unless your child tells you about bullying – or if there is no hurt or injury – it is difficult to find, what is happening with your child.
But there are signs of warning that parents can see in their children. The children acting differently or seem anxious, or not eating, or sleeping well. When children have mood swings or seem upset most of the time, or when they start to avoid situations (such as taking a bus in school), then bullying may be one cause for this.
If you are suspicious of bullying but your child is reluctant to open, then find opportunities to bring this issue in the crossroads. For example, you can see a situation on the TV show and use it as a conversation starter, “What do you think about this?” Or “What do you think the person should have done?” There can be such questions as: “Have you ever happened to do this?” Or “Have you ever experienced it?” You can talk about any other experience in the era that you or other family members had at their age.
Tell your children that if they are being threatened or being disturbed or this is happening to someone else – it is important for someone to talk about it, whether it is you, any other adult (teacher, school counselor), Or a family friend, or a relative.
Helping children with bullying
If your child tells you about being bullied, listen calmly and provide comfort and support. Children are often reluctant to tell adults about bullying because they feel embarrassed and ashamed that it is happening, or worry that their parents will be disappointed, upset, angry or reactive.
Sometimes children think that this is their own fault. They think that if they looked different or did different things, then this would not have happened to them. Sometimes they are scared that the situation will worsen when the bullies come to know that they have shared the happenings with anyone. Others worry that their parents will not believe in them or will do nothing about it. Or the children are worried because they think that their parents will urge them to fight back when they are scared.
Praise your child for doing the right thing by talking about it. Remind your child that he is not alone. There are many people who get bullied at some point in time in their life. Emphasize that it is the bully that is behaving badly – not your child. Convincing your child that you will understand and figure out what to do together about it.
Advice for kids
Parents can help children to understand that if bullying happens, then how to deal with it.
For some parents, it may be tempting to ask a child to fight back. After all, you are angry, as your child is suffering. You want him to stand for himself. You think that the only way is to fight back which will put bullying at its place.
But it is important to advise children not to fight with other children or give an answer to bullies by bullying them. It can increase the speed of violence, discomfort, and injuries. Instead of walking away from the situation, it is best to walk with others and tell the adults.
Here are some other strategies to discuss with children that can help improve the situation and make them feel better:
- Avoid the bully and use the buddy system.
- Hold the anger.
- Act brave, walk away, and ignore the bully.
- Tell any adult i.e teachers, principals, and parents. They all can help stop bullying.
- Talk to a person, such as guidance counselor, teacher, brother or friend. They can give some useful suggestions, and even if they cannot fix the situation, it can help you feel less lonely.
- Restoring confidence.
- Learn self-defense moves.
Hence one must always try to solve the problem of bullying at an early stage to great avoid losses.
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Disclaimer: All content on this website, including medical opinion and other health-related information, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
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