Is your child being bullied?
Are you on feeling unsure as to how to handle it?
Bullying is a very difficult subject to have with your child as this subject often inclines your child to feel insecure, embarrassed or sensitive to it. A clear fact about bullying is that a gentle non-aggressive form of it has more then likely already taken place during your child’s schooling. Most kids experience name calling, rejection from social groups, or teasing at one point or another. Some of the kids that experience these things are able to continue forward without experiencing bullying. Other kids experience bullying.
What tends to happen is that the child continues to be targeted on a higher frequency and more deliberately. In addition, the child’s bully is often support by common peers which enhances the bullies verbal or non-verbal form of bullying
Often kids experience bullying in two forms:
Verbal bullying can be seen when your child is emotionally attacked by a peer or peers in a manner that is negative. Examples that you may witness include:
- Your child not having friends.
- “No one wants to play with me”.
- Name calling.
- Rejection by social groups at school.
- Physically being attacked.
- Negative gestures such as: “the middle finger”; “eye rolling”; “emotional avoidance”; “not paying attention”
- Your child not wanting to engage in school activities.
How parents can support their child with bullying:
- Make it a priority to be involved in your child’s academic life, social relationships and recreational activities.
- Be aware of verbal and non-verbal changes. Compare how your child communicates with you know versus a few months ago. Compare your child’s behaviors and habits now versus a few months ago. Does your child go straight to his/her room? Is your child more likely to be withdrawn after school? Does your child hate or dislike going to school? Does your child avoid talking about school?
- Be proactive when you notice a change in your child’s behavior or emotional state. If your child is withdrawn or not wanting to go to school, ask questions. Visit the school and find out what the teachers know. Call your child’s friends parents to see if they have noticed anything going on. Spend more time at your child’s school by visiting during lunch or observing classes. Contact your child’s teachers or the school counselor with your concerns. The more you do the faster the problem will be addressed.
Strategies to communicate with your child on bullying:
Motivate and support your child to verbalize their feelings in a healthy and safe manner. Encourage your child to talk about:
- Personal negative thoughts.
- Self-defeating thoughts.
- Problems at school.
- Feeling comfortable communicating with you.
A great place to start is by asking “how was school today?”. If your child responds “fine“. Follow up with more detail in an open ended question format. “fine, that sounds great, so why was it a fine day?”
More common questions to ask your child include:
- Anything crazy happen to day? I really want to hear an great story.
- What was the best part of your day?
- What was the worst part of your day?
- If you could tell me one thing that really made your day awesome, what would it be?
Become involved in your child’s life. You can do this by:
- Joining their school PTA
- Signing up to be a coach for their team
- Having a date night with them
- Asking them about their day each and every day
- Emailing their teachers and community supporters
- Becoming friends with them on Facebook and other social media
The final recommendation in supporting your child with bullying:
If you feel that you are not able to support your child know that asking for help is a true form of support. You are supporting your child by seeking outside support. Counseling can provide your child with education and guidance on their problem while also supporting you, the parent, in learning strategies that you can implement at home. These strategies will allow you to help your child with difficulties that are taking place.
cover image by laith abuabdu; london scout