Bullying is a serious health problem that is prevalent in schools all around the world. This issue has been around for so long.
It can be defined as intentionally and repeatedly causing injury and discomfort to someone else. I have heard of too many situations where children are often teased and insulted by other children and the teachers refuse to address the problem.
“Just kids being kids,” they say. Whenever a child gets physical, says mean and insulting things to a child or spreads false rumors this is bullying. Period.
It’s really sad that children have to be the subjects of this kind of hatred. Parents, you have to teach your children about these things. You should help them to deal with bullying in a positive way. When a child doesn’t know what to do in a bullying situation it can lead to them doing something drastic.
I wrote a story about a cyberbullying situation that helped to shed light on what a lot of children deal with on a daily. Click here to check it out!
I will share 3 tips that you can use to find out if your child is being bullied and 9 tips with you that will show you what you need to do to protect your child from bullying.
1. Play Your Part
Become a part of your child’s daily routine. When they come home from school ask about their day. And really listen.
Don’t ask and then become distracted with something else. Give them your full attention for as long as they need it. Don’t interrupt. Allow them to pour out their feelings if they want.
Be understanding and supportive.
2. Pay Attention
Sometimes the sign is right there in front of you. All you have to do is pay attention. You are the parent and no one knows your child better than you. Remember that.
If your child says nothing is wrong but you feel like it’s something, chances are you’re probably right.
Many children feel that they have to pretend and cover up bullying issues.
Knowing your child on a deep and personal level will ensure that you know when something is not right and when they aren’t being honest with you.
3. Be Persistent
It is important when you do sense something may be wrong to get to the bottom of it. Don’t allow it to linger for days and days. Address the problem at an appropriate time during that same day.
You could discuss it over dinner, a walk in the park, or while planting flowers. It may be more appropriate to pull them to the side and make time to discuss the situation.
Don’t be pushy and try to force them to say something is wrong if it really isn’t. And it could be something that they aren’t ready to talk about just yet.
Leave the door open and let them know that they can talk to you about anything.
If you find out that your child is being bullied there are a few steps you can take to help them.
1. Let Her Know She’s Not Alone
Children who are being teased and made fun of at school often feel alone. Some children often standby and watch without trying to help and others join in on the teasing and aggressiveness.
Let them know from the very beginning that you are there for them.
Keep reminding them of this.
2. Hold Her Hand
Yes, you should hold your child’s hand every step of the way. It doesn’t matter if they are 6 years old or 16 years old. Your child needs you.
She needs to know that you are not behind her or in front of her but you’re right next to her.
3. Meet With Those in Charge
Bullying is a situation that cannot and should not be overlooked. Your first contact should be with the principal of your child’s school. If the bullying is taking place around certain teachers in particular then ask the principal to include them in the meeting.
If you plan to reach out to the parents of the child who is doing the bullying, do so in a meeting with the principal and teachers. When it comes to such sensitive subject things can easily get heated and out of control.
It is important to have witnesses when getting involved with parents of the alleged bully. Parents know when their children are misbehaving but they don’t want to hear it from someone else. Why? Because it often reflects back on them as a parent.
Avoid altercations at all cost.
4. Limit Social Media Activity
If social media or the internet are involved in the bullying situation in any way it is best that you limit the time your child spends on social media.
It is not unusual for children who bully to be upset that their behaviors were reported by the bullied child. They may try to retaliate in other ways and places where they feel like they won’t be under the scope of the parents.
5. Keep Records
In cyberbullying cases, children will post things online and try to delete it when they get wind that adults are now aware of their online activity. Keeping a close eye on your child’s social media if they have one and screenshotting any messages or statuses that would serve as evidence in this situation.
6. Contact Law Enforcement
Unfortunately, you may have to get the law involved. One would hope to speak with the principal, teachers, and parents and the bullying stops.
However, sometimes you have to take it a step further. The principal, teachers, and parents of the bully may not do enough and the harassment continues.
It’s at this point and time that you should gather all the evidence you have collected and head to the police department to file a report. Each situation is will be handled differently by law enforcement so it is important to speak with a police officer about what your next steps may be.
Remember, the aim is to save your child from a lifetime of pain, not to hurt the other child.
7. Be Her Shoulder to Cry On
No parent wants to see their child in any kind of pain, physical or emotional. But the truth is that bullying hurts and when a child goes through such a situation they may need to cry and release some feelings.
Hold them, hug them and wipe away their tears. Let them know that everything is going to be okay really soon.
8. Keep Her Informed
There will be a lot of things taking place when handling a bullying situation. Don’t just assume that she’s not interested in what is going on. Nine times out of ten she likely wants to know what is happening or soon to happen.
It may even bring her some relief to know how the bully is being dealt with and how things will be back to normal for her.
9. Let Her Know She is Loved
When it’s all said and done, her little self-esteem could be damaged and it may be hard for her to feel love.
Your job is to reassure her that she is loved very much by so many people.
The power of love can protect your child from lasting damage after a bullying situation.
Tell her she’s loved but most importantly, SHOW her just how loved she truly is!
Bullying is a difficult situation for any child to face. You are doing such a wonderful thing by taking time out of your day to look for ways to help your child. If your child is being bullied, do not ignore it or wait until it’s too late to take action. Immediately begin applying these 9 tips to make sure your child is protected.