Did your child suddenly become moodier and more upset than usual? You might want to monitor if he or she acts differently, doesn’t eat or sleep well, becomes anxious about little things and suddenly stop doing things that they usually enjoy because these may be caused by a bully. Some bullied children also begin avoiding situations, for example a ride on the school bus.
Many bullied children do not immediately speak about the problem, especially to their parents. That is why it’s the parents’ job to determine whether the child is being troubled by a bully whether a school or during playtime.
If you suspect a bully, try communicating with your child and probe what is happening to him or her when you’re not around. If your child becomes reluctant about his topic, find another time to investigate and go for a more subtle conversation starter by bringing up the topic with a similar situation you see on TV. If there is still no response, try bringing up your own experience. Doing this will make your child feel more comfortable and would also assure them that you would are there for them.
Once he or she affirms to being bullied, begin showing your care by listening without judgment and with sincere care and support. Children usually stop opening up to their parents once the latter gets upset, angry, disappointed or reactive to a situation so it is best to be calm, parents.
Often, the bullied children are led to believe that it is their fault, thinking that they somehow looked or acted differently. Some also fear their parents won’t believe them or would force them to fight back when all they want is peace.
The best first move is to applaud your child for having the courage to speak up and telling you the truth. This will ease the tension that they are feeling after being bullied. Also, try to remind your kid that he or she is not alone in this struggle and make sure they understand that the bully is the one behaving inappropriately and not him.
Since the term “bullying” had been used for a wide variety of situations, some approaches that may be effective to a certain instance may not be suitable for another. Victims of bullying also have a vast range of age which may greatly impact the effectiveness of a solution.
But one thing is sure—bullying is a serious case and should not be taken lightly. Take immediate action once you learn that your child’s bully has threatened to harm him physically. You may try to approach the bully’s parents, though this move doesn’t always work so it’s best to try and contact your child’s teacher or class adviser about the situation. Once you did this but are still unsatisfied with the result, you can initiate a talk with the bully’s parents under the mediation of a school counselor.
It is also wise to give sound advice to your kids such as:
- Refrain from making contact with the bully and look for a friend who can sit with you on the bus or at recess.
- Control your emotions. Never let your anger cloud your judgment because once you show the bully that he got through to you, he would continue what he’s doing. Though crying might help ease the stress you feel, try not reacting to the bullying by cooling down. To do this, you can count from 1 to 10 or write down what you’re thinking. You can also take deep breaths and put on a “poker face.”
- Ignore the bully. If you’re not really very tough, act tough. You should be able to convince him that you are if you show him that paying any attention to him is beyond you. Also try acting uninterested, and walk away as soon as you can.
- Discuss the situation to an adult. If you’re parents are not around, try and uncle or an aunt with whom you feel comfortable talking to. You can also tell it to your teachers who can do something immediately to stop the bullying.
- You may also speak with a friend about this, just to ease the pressure. Your siblings might be your personal bully, but when the time comes that you need them, they will surely have your back.