Suddenly, Emily noticed that her son doesn’t want to go to school. Everyday, he complains of tummy ache, nausea and headache, just before school time. There are many parents, whose children might have given similar excuses for not going to school. Instead of scolding them, or forcing them to go to school, have you ever delved deep into the situation? Your child may be a victim of bullies or child sexual abuse. In this segment of parenting tips, I would like to talk about only bullying and how you can help your child to deal with bullies at school.
Before helping your child, you must know what bullying is, and how it is harming the self-respect and psyche of your child.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is the act of traumatizing and harming a peer or a classmate (usually), either by words, or by actions for gaining some devilish pleasure or satisfaction. The bully may adopt several techniques to disturb and traumatize your child.
Types Of Bullying
Based on the actions, bullying can be classified into 4 classes- physical bullying, verbal bullying, relational bullying and cyber bullying.
Physical Bullying: When the bullies beat, scratch or hit the target child. This means, the bully causes or tries to cause physical harm to the child.
Verbal Bullying: Here, the bully won’t hit but will abuse verbally, assign humiliating names to the child based on his looks, height or weight. The bully will laugh and say every possible thing to humiliate the target child.
Relational Bullying: When the bullies, who were once friends, suddenly isolate the child, form a group and giggle, laugh, seeing the target child. This gives a tremendous pain to the child, a pain of rejection.
Cyber Bullying: This is presently a growing menace in our society and occurs usually among the teenagers. The target teen is being harassed over Facebook, WhatsApp, or other social media in every possible way.
What Not To Do When Your Child Is Being Bullied?
Don’t teach him/her revenge: Revenge aggravates the bullies and at the same time imparts a thought of violence in the mind of your child. So, giving suggestions of hitting back or taking revenge from the bullies is a big NO!
Do Not Ignore: If your child complains of being bullied, do not ignore her words. Take it seriously.
Do Not Take Hasty Decisions Or Involve Yourself Directly In It: Just like ignoring is a terrible thing to do, involving yourself personally into the fight is a worse thing to do. It will break your child’s confidence, and when you won’t be with her in class, she will feel more threatened and scared.
How To Help Your Child Deal With Bullies?
Spend Quality Time With Your Child: Spending quality time is the most vital aspect of parenting. No matter how much busy you are in your professional life, you must give your little one time, where you can bond with each other. If you are a close confidante of him, he will open up to you what is happing in his school, or in his life. Usually child tries to hide any school problem from adults, because they feel the adults won’t understand. Break that barrier and talk to him about his likes and dislikes, his homework, his friends, his teachers and everything else.
Tell Your Child To Stay In Group: Survey has found that the child who is lonely, timid and quiet is the one often bullied. So, teach your child to remain in group. Unity is strength and staying in groups provide a mental strength and confidence. And above all, bullies never attack children who are amicable and stay in groups.
Take Your Child For Outdoor Activity: Take your child to park where she can make new friends, mingle with new children. You can enrol her in a karate or self-defence class, swimming or dance class. Physical and mental activity triggers confidence in them.
Teach Her Assertive Communication: This is the most important point. Teach your child in a simple way- calm and emotionless expression disarm the bully, whereas tears make them a winner! Your kid should stay calm and composed, look into the eyes of the bully, tell in a firm voice, “No, you can’t do this”, “I don’t like what you do”. This may not seem convincing, but assertive communication has been found to be the best way to deal with bullying. If your child gets scared, bullies attack them more. If you child gets angry and hit back, the bullies become more revengeful. So neither positive nor negative, but assertive and emotionless firm communication is the key.
It is not as easy as it sounds. It is very difficult to execute especially for a kid. So, to help her out, play role-play games and pretend games, where you act as the bully, and she acts as the survivor. Make her practice to look into the color of the eyes of the bully, talk in a firm voice, control tears, laugh off at verbal bullying. Teach her, if the bullies call her names, just laugh off and walk away. Practise with her to say out phrases like, “Back off”, “Leave me alone”, “Don’t”. Even if your kid is not bullied, you can still alert her.
Tell Your Child To Keep Safe Distance: Inform your child to always keep a safe distance from bullies, if possible sit at a desk away from them. In many classes, children are not allowed to swap sits. In that case, you can talk to the teachers without letting your child know, so that the teacher allows your child to sit at a different desk.
Cyber Bullying: If the bullies harasses by comments, or textual messages, or obscene pictures, you must seek help from police and report to cyber crime department of your respective area.
Hope the above tips will help you !