Parents make an oath to protect your child in every situation, the minute they were born. Then they send their kids to school and hope the strangers they meet will be kind to their beloved ones. Once the child is out of the home, there is very little a parent can do to protect them. They might be facing bullying also.
According to a survey conducted by care.com, parents have revealed that their kids being bullied is one of their greatest fears. 1 in 4 kids are being bullied in the US every month, around 160,000 kids do not attend their classes in fear of being bullied. 1 in 10 students drops out due to bullying.
What is bullying?
Bullying is a mental or physical abuse which is done intentionally and repeatedly. It might occur in the form of physical harassment (pushing, poking, hitting, etc), verbal bullying (name-calling, taunting, etc) or cyberbullying (sending hurtful texts, spreading rumors online, etc) or in the combination of these.
How to find if your child is being bullied? Try answering the following questions with either yes or no.
- Do you have to force your child to take part in school activities or to play with their friends?
- Do they have any unexplainable bruises or injuries?
- Are they showing any distress like stomachache or a headache?
- Did your child’s academic performance drop all of a sudden?
Be open about bullying
There are situations when children think it is necessary to get bullied or feel ashamed about being bullied. Educate them about bullying and make sure their rights.
Always remember home is the first school, and children always learn what they see in their parents, so make sure providing them a positive home they deserve.
Coach them by roleplaying.
Train your kids how to get away without being bullied. The best strategy is always not to show the emotions a bully is expecting them to show.
What if your child is not being bullied, being a witness of bullying is also equally wrong. Teach your child to help the kid being bullied by getting adult help.
But, what about the parent of a bully? People always question the parenting of a bully-kid. And let us admit it, no parent would like to believe that their beautiful sweet child is a bully. It is always better to know what your child is up to.
- Are they intolerant about few kids in their class who are different?
- Are they worried about staying popular in class?
- Are they the first to attack in confrontations?
If you understand from these questions that your child “might be” a bully, here are some things you can do as a parent to bring them out of this mindset.
Have a conversation.
It is important to let your child know, whatever they are doing is wrong. Make them understand what it feels like to be bullied by roleplaying. Ask them questions like “What if someone did the same thing to you?”
Intention or disability?
Some kids with disabilities bully others to feel better about themselves. It is better to make sure if the bullying is either intentional or because of a disability. Emotional or behavioral bullying can always be tackled by Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Though the bullying behavior cannot be corrected overnight. You can always try to replace one bad behavior with a good one. Have patience and wait for the change, when you see it make sure you appreciate it.
The main problem found in most of the bully kids is that they have a very little or no awareness about how people feel upon being bullied. Make sure they realize others’ emotions matters too.
Show your child the act of kindness by helping your neighbors. Teach them how to get out of tussles without bullying or fighting. Make sure they are not dealing with any anger or frustration or depressions. If yes, teach them how to deal with them and appreciate them when they are successful.