Is your child at the receiving end of bullies at his or her school? Don’t dismiss the situation by saying ‘the kids will sort it out amongst themselves’ or ‘it happens to everybody’. Bullying is a serious problem that leads to depression, violence and even suicide.
A child may not open up to parents about being bullied but there are telltale signs that can help you identify the problem. A child being bullied often becomes too quiet or too aggressive. They may eat less, fall sick often or show signs of physical injury. Avoid scolding them in such situations. Show love and affection and learn about what is bothering your child.
Ascertain the nature
Find out what kind of bullying the child has to face. Is it verbal teasing or physical abuse? If your offspring doesn’t have many friends, then the bullying may be worse as lonely children are an easy target.
Assure, encourage and inspire
Your child probably feels alone and scared because of the treatment he or she receives at school. You need to make them understand that you are always on their side and will help them in whatever way possible.
Teach them to be brave. Instill a good dose of positive attitude and confidence. However, skip the ‘tit for tat’ lesson. It’s never good to encourage violence in response to violence. Ask your child to stand up to the bully without fear, or ignore his or her remarks completely.
The principle’s office
Inform the school authorities if the bullying gets out of control. Make sure that the offenders are caught and punished. Often the bully may not be as tough as he seems but may be facing trouble at home. Counseling helps in this case for all children involved.
A new path
Help your child to put the bullying behind them. Nurture their talents and hobbies; encourage them to join clubs and groups where they can make new friends.
Most importantly, be with your child all along the way. You are their strength, even if they like to be independent.