Strategies for Coping with Bullying
Going to the bus stop or having recess can become a terrifying experience for kids who are bullied. Traumatic emotional wounds are a common consequence of bullying. And in the worst case, actual physical harm or destruction of property may result.
You should do what you can to stop the bullying if your child is a victim of it. As a parent, you have the power to decrease the effects of teasing, bullying, or bad gossip on your child. Even if bullying isn’t an issue in your home today, it’s still a good idea to have the conversation so your children are ready if it ever becomes one.
Just when does Mean-spiritedness Become Bullying?
Whether it’s a brother or a friend, most youngsters have experienced teasing. When both kids are enjoying themselves and being playful, polite, and respectful, there is typically no harm done. When teasing crosses the line into bullying, though, it is no longer acceptable.
Aggressive behaviour directed toward another person, whether verbal or physical or both, is considered bullying. This includes anything from physical contact to verbal abuse, threats, ridicule, and the taking of personal belongings and money. Some bullies in school choose to isolate and smear their victims. Some people even go so far as to harm someone else’s feelings by teasing them on social media or in an email.
It’s crucial that bullying not be dismissed as something that youngsters just have to “tough out.” The results can be devastating to children’s feeling of security and self-esteem. Suicides and school shootings are only two of the extreme outcomes that can be a direct result of bullying.
A lot of people have wondered what causes bullies to be so prevalent among youth.
There is no single cause for bullying among children. Often, bullies target younger children because they need a “mark,” or someone they can use to boost their own self-esteem by making fun of their perceived differences. There are cases where bullies are physically superior to their victims, but this is not always the case.
When children have been bullied themselves, they may take their aggression out on others. They may consider their actions typical since they were raised in homes or communities where anger, hostility, and name-calling were commonplace. Some mainstream TV shows even appear to encourage cruelty, with characters routinely being “voted off,” ignored, or mocked because of their outward looks or perceived lack of aptitude.
Where Can I Find Help for Bullying?
It might be difficult to detect if bullying is occurring at school for your child unless they tell you about it or show physical signs of being bullied, such as bruises or other injuries.
But there are several red flags to look out for. They may pick up on their children:
behaving in unusual ways, showing signs of anxiety, such as: avoiding particular circumstances, appearing agitated or irritable more often than usual, or not eating or sleeping as well as they normally would (like taking the bus to school)
Find strategies to bring up the subject if you suspect bullying but your child is hesitant to talk about it. To illustrate, consider the following: you’re watching a TV show and you want to know, “What do you think of this?” or “What do you think that person should have done in this situation?” It’s reasonable to wonder if the speaker has ever witnessed or experienced something similar. You could share stories about your own or a family member’s experiences at that age.
Tell your children they can confide in you, another trusted adult (such as a teacher, school counsellor, or family friend), a sibling, or anyone else they feel comfortable confiding in if they experience bullying or witness it in another person.
Issues That Familiar Face Parents Face
If your youngster confides in you that they’ve been bullied, listen patiently and console them. The shame and guilt that kids feel when they’re bullied, combined with the fear that their parents may be disappointed, unhappy, angry, or reactive, keeps them from coming forward and telling an adult about it.
When something bad happens to a child, they may attribute it to themselves and think things would be better if they were different. They worry that if the bully finds out that they told, things will only get worse. Others fear their parents won’t accept their story or take any action. Children may also worry that their parents would encourage them to fight when they are too terrified to do so on their own.
Recognize the positive action your child took by coming to you to discuss it. Your youngster needs to know that they are not alone; most people experience bullying at some point. Tell your child that the bully is the one doing badly, not him or her. Assure your youngster that the two of you will work together to find a solution.
Most children and teenagers who have been surveyed have reported seeing bullying at school. Share the news with an adult at school, such as the headmaster, nurse, or a teacher or guidance counsellor. In many cases, they can observe and intervene to head off any more complications.
The term “bullying” can be used to represent a wide variety of behaviours and situations, hence there is no universal solution. What functions well in one setting might not in another. The appropriate response will depend on a number of factors, including the ages of the children involved, the seriousness of the problem, and the nature of the bullying behaviours in question.
If your child tells you that the bullying will grow worse if the bully finds out that your child told, or if your child has been threatened with physical violence, take this information very seriously. It can be helpful to talk to the bully’s parents in some cases. However, in most instances, the best people to talk to first are teachers or counsellors. After exhausting those options, if you still wish to meet with the parents of the bully child, it is best to do so in a neutral setting where a school official, such as a counsellor, may act as a mediator.
Anti-bullying initiatives and rules are commonplace in today’s schools. Moreover, anti-bullying legislation and/or regulations exist in several jurisdictions. Do some research about the regulations that apply to you. If you have legitimate fears for your child’s safety, you may need to involve the police.
Guidelines for Young People
If bullying does occur, parents can teach their children coping mechanisms. A parent’s natural instinct might be to encourage their child to defend themselves. After all, you feel helpless as you watch your child suffer, and you may have been taught to “stand up for yourself” when you were younger. Or you may be concerned that your child will continue to be bullied and believe that retaliation is the only solution.
However, it is essential to remind children that they should not retaliate to bullying with violence or further aggression. When tensions rise, aggression, disruption, and possible injury can all follow rapidly. It’s better to get away from it, talk to an adult, and be around other people.
Besides those already mentioned, here are some additional techniques to help youngsters feel better:
Stay away from the intimidating person and work with your friends
If you know a bully is in the area, you should probably avoid going to your locker or the restroom if you know you won’t be joined by other students. Don’t face the bully alone; bring a friend or relative along. Team up with a pal to confront the bully in the classroom, in the playground, or on the school bus. Give a buddy the same deal you got.
Relax your wrath
It’s understandable to feel anger against the bully, but keeping a level head is the best defence. It gives them a sense of superiority. Refrain from obvious signs of distress such as tears or a flushed face. Keeping a bully from noticing you is difficult, but possible with practise. Kids may benefit from “cool down” techniques like counting to 10, writing down their angry remarks, taking deep breaths, or walking away. There are instances when teaching children to keep a poker face until they are safe is the best course of action (smiling or laughing may provoke the bully).
Use your courage and just ignore the bully
Tell the bully to stop, and do it firmly and plainly, then go. Rehearse techniques to tune out the negative comments, such as acting disinterested or sending a text message. You can show the bully that you don’t care by ignoring them. The bully will likely tyre of harassing you at some point.
If you need help, go tell an adult. Bullying can be prevented with the aid of school administrators, teachers, parents, and cafeteria workers.
Discern the best course of action by discussing it
If you need to talk to someone, find someone you can trust such a parent, teacher, friend, or guidance counsellor. They could provide some useful advice. Even if they can’t make things better, at least you won’t be in this struggle alone.
A child’s self-esteem can take a hit if they have to deal with bullying. You may aid in its restoration by encouraging your children to hang out with like-minded peers. Strength and companionship can be gained through joining a group or participating in a sport.
Listen intently when your children share their concerns about the challenges they’ve faced, but also encourage them to share the triumphs they’ve experienced. Make it clear that you support them and will intervene if bullying occurs.
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