Bullying means intentionally hurting a person by someone who is, in simple terms, more powerful. It can be physical, verbal or emotional. Although there is some bullying in the adult workplace, bullying most often starts at school as kids.
Bullied children can be called names, laughed at or made to feel rejected by their mates at school.
Bullies make their victims feel vulnerable, afraid and often helpless to fight back. No child should go to school in fear. As Parents, we are often in two minds about whether to take up the issue on our own or help the child deal with it on their own.
So what are some ways to approach this issue if your child is getting picked on?
Speak to them
It is important to try and understand what they feel and why this is happening. Many times children don’t open up easily as they are either afraid or ashamed to tell parents. Your approach to your child will vary, but generally, a delicate approach is helpful to get them to open up.
Understand what they are going through
What the child feels is most the most important issue. Fear, shame, anger, rejection or anything else. Listening to what is happening and what how your child reacts to being bullied can give you more insights into the situation. Understanding their reaction to the situation is key to understanding the situation.
Now that you know what the child is going through, explain that they have your support on this and that they are not alone. Make sure your little one knows that you will work together to sort this problem.
What is the focus of the bully?
Ask about the behavior of the bully. What is the focus of bullying? Knowing how the bully acts can help understand why it’s happening. All the ugliness of the real world can filter into the school. Racism and similar types of bullying must be addressed with the school and others as needed.
Appreciate his courage
It takes courage to survive bullying. Show your child that you admire and appreciate their courage and strength. Hearing this type of encouragement can go a long way to solving the issue.
Help him deal with it
Sometimes just being assertive is all it takes to ward off a bully. After all, a bully is dealing with his or her own problems that they unable to express. Often times bullies hide their weaknesses behind their bully facade.
Do NOT ignore bullying
Do not brush off your child’s experience as part of growing up. Your child needs strength and support to resolve issues of being bullied now and in the future. It’s a team effort!
Don’t encourage physical fighting
It is important not to encourage the child to fight the bully to stop the bullying. Violence rarely cures bullying (which in itself is a form of violence).
Willingly or unwillingly, children become victims of bullying. As Parents, our mission is to find a way out of the problem safely and effectively. If you feel it necessary to involve teachers, do not hesitate. At the very least, they can at least offer support to the child.
Try not to fall into the trap of focusing on your emotions, but instead focus on the solution. Help your child find by building confidence and staying engaged. Most importantly, make sure they know that being bullied is NOT their fault. Give them love and positive motivation to go back to school each day happily!