Bullying - how to deal with it
Witnessing your kid goes through the same physical and emotional torture every day is heartbreaking. Bullying is a very common problem faced by teens today, and many parents are unaware of it. Facing repeatedly bullying at school can leave deep emotional scars. It diminishes self-esteem and leaves kids feeling depression, social anxiety, and health issues; and decreases academic achievement. In this article, we are going to talk about what bullying is and as a parent what you can do to help your teenage kid overcome this traumatic experience. Read till the end if you want to save your child from this horrific situation.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is aggressive behaviour in school kids where one kid or group of kids repeatedly torments other kids physically, verbally or in psychological ways. It can range from physical harm, name - calling, mocking, and threats to extorting lunch money and possession. Some kids (especially girls) bully others by spreading fake rumours about them. It is important to stand against bullying. Do not just brush it out and consider it as a child’s game. The effect is very serious, harmful and permanent, it makes the kids doubt their self-worth and sense of security and sometimes this also leads to suicide.
What should you do to prevent your child from getting bullied?
If your child is getting bullying, as a parent you need to intervene and help to stop it. And even if bullying isn’t an issue at your home, you need to discuss with your kid what bullying is and how to face a bully.
- Stay connected with your child
kids are often ashamed about getting bullied that’s why they feel hesitant to tell adults about it. Some kids are worried that their parents won’t believe them or do anything about it. If your child believes you always listen and offer your support, they will open up about things that upset them. Create nurturing climate at home and use a friendly and calm tone with your kid. Remind your kid that they are not alone and you always support them no matter what.
- Teach your kid to take a stand for others
There is no one better at stopping bullying than kids themselves. Bullies need social validation, they need an audience; bystanders and if other kids oppose bullies’ behaviour, it can stop the mistreatment half the time. Encourage your kid to be an Upstander. Tell them how it would feel like if someone raises a voice for them and encourage them to do the same for others. Teach them to intervene when they see bullying.
- Teach your kid strong body language
Most experts agree on that 70 to 93 percentage of all communication is non-verbal. It is included in one of the most well-known research projects on nonverbal communication, led by Dr Mehrabian. Teach your child to practice strong body language in verbal communication. Some simplest strategies include:
- Keep constant eye contact
- Use bully’s name when addressing him
- Keep a calm and even tone of voice
- Standing at an appropriate distance from bully
- Show confidence instead of fear or anger (use unemotional language)
- Never hesitate to intervene
As a parent, you have to protect your kid. Never once let your kid feel that he is all alone to handle this. In addition to teaching your kid about necessary social skills to avoid bullying, you also need to take the matter into your hand whenever necessary. Never hesitate to intervene and call school authorities.
- Don’t fight alone
Bullying is a common problem faced by many teenagers in their school. You and your kid do not have to face bullying alone. If your child is hesitant to report bullying, be their support system, go with them to school administrators, teachers or principal. Now schools have a very strict code of conduct against both online and offline bullying. Take follow up to see what actions are being taken on your report. If necessary take help from outside, and use community resources to raise your voice against bullying. Bullying can be prevented if your child has strong social skills. We believe that these skills develop naturally but often child need supports from their parents, friends and family. Helping your child deal with a bully will increase their confidence and prevent any future mental or physical traumas.