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How to Support Your Children in Dealing with Bullies at School

Dealing with Bullies

William and Jeremy were close friends before Bill began abusing Jeremy. It initially appeared as though Bill was attempting to elicit laughter from the other youngsters on his soccer team. To garner a chuckle from the other boys, he would make fun of Jeremy. Bill has been acting in this way for weeks, but it has become worse to the point that he now calls Jeremy derogatory names every day at their soccer practice. Since things have gotten so awful, Jeremy is considering giving up socc.

1. Bullying Defined

Bullying involves persistently hurting another child. For instance, Sara is bullied daily by the girls who pick on her in the hallway by throwing her books, pushing her, and shoving her. Yet, bullying is not always physical. For instance, in the case of Jeremy, his teammate Bill is continually calling him insults and tormenting him. The US government maintains the bullying prevention website StopBullying.gov. This website offers the following precise description of bullying:

Bullying is unwelcome, violent conduct displayed by school-age youth that incorporates a real or imagined power disparity. The action is repeated throughout time or has the potential to be repeated. Children who bully others or who themselves are bullied may experience severe, long-lasting issues. Bullying must be forceful, have an imbalance of power, and be repeated in order to qualify as bullying.

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A Power Disproportion: Bullying occurs when children use their own power—such as physical prowess, access to humiliating information, or popularity—to damage or control others. Even when the same people are involved, power dynamics can alter over time and in various contexts. Bullying activities are repeated or have the potential to be repeated several times. Making threats, spreading rumors, physically or verbally assaulting someone, or purposefully removing someone from a group are all examples of bullying behavior.

2. Intervention

Bullying needs to be stopped right away, especially when it involves children. A talk should take place if your child decides out of the blue that they no longer want to attend school or participate in a certain activity. Ask your youngster about their life as you sit down together. In order for your child to open up to you, show compassion, empathy, and care in your words and tone of voice. If they don’t open up to you and tell you what is going on in their lives, you will never know if they are a victim of bullying.

Some youngsters delay sharing because they are ashamed of the bullying. Others keep their parents in the dark out of fear of the bully. They fear that if they come forward, the bully’s anger would only grow. The parents ought to be worried about this as well. Every intervention must be successful in eliminating the bully’s threat. The intervention has failed if talking about it worsens the bully’s conduct.

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3. Bullying Can Have Serious Effects

Bullying victims may experience anxiety and sadness. Long-term effects of persistent bullying on a child’s mind and emotions are possible. According to studies cited by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, suicide rates are higher for bullies than for their victims.  The suicide rate among preteens and teenagers has risen recently. Bullying, especially cyberbullying, is one of the main reasons why suicide rates among young people are rising.

All parents should take into account the detrimental—and perhaps fatal—effects of bullying. Parents and adults must step in if a youngster discloses a bullying scenario that is impacting them or another person. Schools have policies and procedures in place to deal with these situations. Because bullying can have serious effects, the majority of schools have taken steps to establish anti-bullying policies.

4. Signs of Bullying

Not all children will come forward to report bullying to their parents. Children who exhibit behavioral changes, such as depression, anxiety, sorrow, loss of interest in hobbies or school, trouble sleeping, not eating, impatience, or moodiness, should have their parents’ attention. It’s important to have a conversation with your child about their lives if they exhibit any of these behaviors for two weeks or longer.

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If a parent believes their child is being bullied, they should talk to them about bullying in general. The parent might describe what bullying might look like or give an example from their own experience. They can justify it by saying that the victim is not at fault. Tell the youngster that they must report an adult if they witness other kids being bullied or if they themselves are being bullied (preferably you as the parent). A child is more likely to talk about something when they feel that sharing can make things better.

5. How to Help Your Kids

You should and can intervene if your child is being bullied. You can accomplish it by assisting them in coping with the circumstance as well as by intervening within the school. In order to help the youngster develop ways to stop the bullying, the first step is to have them open up and talk about what’s going on. If you don’t understand what is genuinely going on, you can’t assist them.

Here are some additional suggestions for supporting your kid who is being bullied:

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ADVISE THEM TO AVOID THE BULLY

Bullying frequently stops if the target is removed from the bully’s environment. This is frequently the case, necessitating school intervention to keep the children apart and from interacting.

If your child is being bullied online (for example, on social media), they may need to block the bully or suspend their own account if it is cyberbullying.

ADVISE THEM TO WALK AWAY AND NOT ENGAGE

Many bullies enjoy getting a response. Bullies are motivated by the response of the victim of their behavior. They can be doing it to make other people laugh or to feel like they have control over someone else. Bullies may lose interest if the victim stops responding when they are being bullied.

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Your children need your advice on how to deal with bullies. A decent method to deal with the bully is to walk away without retaliating.

LET THEM KNOW IT IS OKAY TO GET HELP

The kid should have the confidence to ask for assistance when they do. For instance, if Jeremy continues to play soccer and the coach is made aware of the situation, and the bullying recurs, Jeremy should inform the coach.

He can discuss it in private following practice, or if possible, he can speak to the coach in private during practice. If Jeremy needs to step in to get Bill to stop, he should do so when it does.

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BUILD THEIR CONFIDENCE

Bullies frequently pick their victims because they believe them to be helpless or easy targets. In some cases, a youngster may be teased because of a unique characteristic. To assist your child become better equipped to deal with bullying in the future, focus on boosting their self-esteem and confidence.

ENCOURAGE THEM TO HAVE POSITIVE FRIENDSHIPS

Youth and children require peer bonds. They can live a balanced and healthy life as a result. Bullies are more likely to target a child who lacks close friendships and relationships with their peers.

Help your child to develop pleasant and benevolent friendships. Assist your youngster in acquiring these abilities. If you can’t be a friend, you can’t make friends.

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6. Be There for Your Child

Youth and children require peer bonds. They can live a balanced and healthy life as a result. Bullies are more likely to target a child who lacks close friendships and relationships with their peers.

Help your child to develop pleasant and benevolent friendships. Assist your youngster in acquiring these abilities. If you can’t be a friend, you can’t make friends. Be prepared to act decisively. Take the issue further if your school’s principal is not treating it seriously. Describe the situation to the school board or officials. Tell them you want the bullying to end right away while maintaining the truth. Be prepared to withdraw your child from the situation or the school in order to protect them from danger if the school does nothing and the bully continues to pose a threat to your child. Our responsibility as parents is to safeguard our children above everything else.

7. GET ADDITIONAL HELP IF NEEDED

Your child should seek professional assistance if they have been bullied and are experiencing depression, anxiety, or other emotional distress as a result. To find a licensed therapist nearby, go to Psychology Today and input your area. This website also lets you search by treatment age and issue. This can assist you in locating a therapist in your area who can assist your child with their particular problems.

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Another website that offers assistance and information on bullying is called Stomp Out Bullying. For teenagers who are being bullied, they provide a free chat line. Visit their website right away if your teen is experiencing bullying and needs extra support.

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