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How to help your child deal with bullying

bullying

How to help your child deal with bullying

Being a parent can be challenging. There is so much that you need to look out for. You have to make sure that you are providing everything that your child needs. One of those needs is being able to get an education. Once you get everything in order, you send your child to school. However, you notice your child’s behavior change as the days go by. You start to wonder if something is happening at school, such as others bullying your child.

What is bullying? 

According to Stop Bullying, “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance” (2020). Bullying can be expressed in different ways. There is verbal and physical bullying. Verbal bullying is when the bully is verbally mean. It can be expressed by name-calling, teasing, and spreading false rumors. “Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions” (StopBullying, 2020). A bully can hurt others by hitting, pushing, and tripping others. Bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone.

Warning signs that your child is being bullied:

Physically: If your child has “unexplained physical marks on their body, such as bruises, scrapes, and other injuries” (Hutton, 2013). Also, if your child seems to be in pain or in discomfort when you try to hold them.
Loss or damaged personal items: If your child seems to be missing items after coming home from school like clothing pieces or school supplies. Also, if you notice any damaged clothes or school supplies.
Changes in eating habits: If you notice that your child is extremely hungry right after school. It could mean that they didn’t eat lunch or that they have their lunch to someone else. If you notice that your child doesn’t have an appetite or is binge eating could be a sign of bullying.
A decline in school performance: If your child seems to not want to go to school and tells you that they want to stay home. Also, if you notice that your child isn’t doing so well in classes and is receiving bad grades.
Changes in self-esteem: If you notice that your child’s personality has changed dramatically. If they once were very happy and social and are now very introverted and even seem sad. According to Hutton, “A child who continually comes home sad, depressed, or teary-eyed could be facing some form of emotional or verbal harassment at school” (2013).

How to help your child

Listen and offer support: Children might be hesitant to tell their parents about what they might be going through. They might think that the parents might get mad and punish them. But you should listen and tell your child that you are there for them.
Open communication: Making sure that you are communicating with your child. It could be as simple as asking how their day went at school or if they need help with their homework. It will let the child know that you care about their day.
Contact school: Contact the school’s principal and your child’s teacher to let them know that your child is being bullied. They will let you know if they have a bullying policy in school.
Build confidence: Since your child’s been bullied, they might not have much confidence and might have low self-esteem. You can remind your child that they are an amazing child and say all the good qualities that you see in them. If your child keeps on hearing this, then it can boost their self-confidence.
Role-play: Create scenarios with your child. The scenarios can be of different situations that could present themselves at school. You can teach your child a different way to react when being in that particular situation.

Hutton, L. (2013). 11 Warning Signs That Your Child Is Being Bullied. Retrieved from https://www.familyeducation.com/school/dealing-bullies/11-warning-signs-your-child-being-bullied

StopBullying. (2020). What Is Bullying. Retrieved from https://www.stopbullying.gov/bullying/what-is-bullying

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