Understanding Child Bullying, Signs And Helpful Tips
Bullying is when someone intentionally and consistently frightens, hurts, or threatens someone else, their property, status, and friendships.
According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF),
“Bullying is a pattern of behavior rather than an isolated incident. Children who bully come from perceived higher social status or position of power such as stronger children, perceived to be popular”.
Every bully’s intent is always to consistently cause pain through physical harm, behaviors, or hurtful words.
Children who are bullied constantly find it hard to report the bully for fear of retaliation or being shamed by parents for not fighting back.
As parents, we are expected to be our child’s support system; when they confide in us about incidents or worries they face at school, listen and don’t be judgemental.
If you aren’t sure your child is being bullied, the following signs could be helpful:
- Fear of going to school
- Low enthusiasm to join school social activities
- Always staying near adults
- Physical marks like scratches, broken bones, scratches, unexplained bruises, and burns
- Sleep insomnia
- Angry outbursts
Types Of Child Bullying
- Physical bullying:
This is hurting a person’s possession and body. It includes:
- Making mean or rude gestures
- Kicking or hitting violently
- Verbal bullying:
This is saying writing offensive and insensitive words to describe someone. It includes:
- Teasing and name-calling
- Social bullying:
This involves damaging someone’s status, reputation, and relationships. It includes:
- Spreading rumors
- Telling other kids not be friends with someone
- Leaving someone out on purpose
How Can Parents Help Out?
- Create a safe environment:
Build a safe environment where your child feels comfortable talking to you. Avoid shaming them for being bullied; ask questions calmly and gently.
Let them feel safe and ready to speak, don’t force it.
- Promise to settle the bullying issue:
Tell your child you’re going to handle it and ask for their opinions on how to report it without any retaliation from the bully side. Let your child know that you won’t let the bully be in control even after the issue is reported.
- Report the bullying incidents with the school personnel:
If there are bruises or broken bones from the bullying incidents, take pictures; if there’s a medical report that connects it with your child’s health, bring it along and show it to the school personnel.
Also, ask them if the school has a bullying policy or code of conduct and the next steps they will be taking to resolve the case.
- Motivate your child to stay with a friend at school:
Naturally, bullies are known to target children when they are alone. Encourage your child to always be with a friend at all times; if you can’t find one, ask the school personnel if they have someone who can be available for your child.
- Seek professional counseling:
Bullying can affect your child in different ways; recovering will take a long time.
Consider requiring a professional therapist to talk with your child and help them through the recovery process.