Bullying can be physical as well as emotional. Usually, children don’t open up about being bullied for different reasons. Some might feel scared in sharing their feelings, some feel uncomfortable in repeating or even thinking about it and some victims are simply not aware that they are being bullied and that whatever is being done to them is wrong. This is where you, as a parent, need to step in and protect your child in a way that your child regains his/her confidence.
Here are some tips to help protect your child:
Listen to them: Your child might be too embarrassed or scared to share the experience so if they do gather the confidence to do that, take them very seriously. Hear them out without judgement or showing anger towards the situation.
Analyze change in behavior: Being bullied is a big problem but your children not sharing it with you is a bigger problem. To deal with that, you should keep observing their behavior. If at any point you see a change in their behavior, there may be something wrong. Most common traits of the behavior of a bullied child include; absent-mindedness, withdrawal, a drop in grades, loss of interest in things they previously liked to do and low level of excitement.
Approach the school: If it’s happening at school, the first person you should approach is the teacher. Explain your concerns in a friendly, non confrontational way and ask the following information:
- Ask the teacher about his or her observations:
- Has he or she noticed or suspected bullying?
- How is your child getting along with others in class?
Don’t scold the child: One of the most common signs of bullying is that they will not want to go to school. This is the quickest way of understanding that something is wrong at school. You should immediately inquire from your child what it is that is bothering him or her. Ask in a way that they don’t feel uncomfortable or scared in sharing with you. Also, let them know that they won’t be punished or scolded for speaking up.
Teach your child to deal with it: Encourage your child not to be scared of being bullied, instead, when somebody tries to bully them they should go and inform an adult instead of hitting back. Encourage your child to try to appear confident – even if they don’t feel it. Body language and tone of voice speak volumes.