Bullying is fast becoming a widespread epidemic in schools. In fact, the ordeal of these bullied kids go through in the hands of bullies will scare you as a parent. Being bullied is not just about the intimidation or disgrace that kids suffer.
It might also have traumatic consequences on the affected child, thus leading to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and even poor academic performance. Therefore, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure their kids are rescued from the hands of bullies and given the best support they can get. Know that these developmental stages in your child’s life are crucial. If you are kids are being bullied at school, or you feel they might be, here are simple ways to help them.
1. Encourage your child to speak out
Bullied kids are quite timid. You can say it is the result of being bullied. Many lack the boldness to tell their parents, teachers or higher authority in school about their ordeal. They prefer to keep things to themselves and play along with those oppressing them at school. Sometimes, you will find them looking sad and lost especially after returning from school.
It is evident that these set of kids need help. But you might not know what the problem is unless you go close to them to find out. As a parent, try to encourage your child to tell you what the problem is. And assure him or her that you have the solution right away. Most kids won’t speak for fear of their bullies unleashing more harm to them. But you can break this fear in your child by assuring him or her of your commitment to put an end to whatever the problem might be.
However, if your child refuses to tell you what the problem is, you have to deal with the fear in him or her. Try to divert the child’s attention for a while and bring back the subject of discussion again when he or she is happy. You can even hit the nail on the head by telling the child you know he or she is being bullied at school. And if that is true, you might get a confirmation. But persuade the child to inform his or her teacher or school authority about the situation to show respect for them.
2. Report the issue to the appropriate authority
As a parent, you need to encourage your child to report to his or her teachers. Anyone in these positions should be able to handle the situation. But if you feel the teacher is not doing enough to help your child then report the issue to a higher authority such as the head teacher or school governors. But before doing so, inform your child about the decision and make him or her to understand it’s the best step to take.
Avoid reporting to the bully’s parents directly even if you know where they reside, as doing this might have negative consequences on your innocent child. The thing is every school has its anti-bullying policy in place. And it would be wrong not to follow due processing when reporting such issues. If possible, ask the school authority to direct you on what to do and how to report the matter. Also, request for feedback on how those you reported to will handle the issue.
3. Support the school to help your child
Even if you have reported the issue to the school, you still need to support them to make it work. No school will like to treat a bully case lightly. But they might easily forget to follow up on your child if you don’t remind or follow them up as well. Understand that the life of a teacher is quite a busy one. And there are hundreds of other kids they might also be monitoring.
As a parent whose child is being bullied, you can also come up with a strategy to put an end to the issue. But whatever you plan on doing should be in line with the school’s policy. And inform your child’s teacher to get more suggestions. On the other hand, you should also endeavour to keep records of bully cases your child reports to you like; the name of the person (s) involved, when it happened, why it happened, where it happened, how often, comments made, social media comments and postings, and what the bully did to your child. If there is a scar on your child, take pictures of it and store for later use.
4.How to help your child avoid bullying at school
It is possible that your child might grow up to become a bully. So don’t get surprised when you start getting reports of your child bullying others. It happens to many children who are past victims of such assaults while they were still at a lower academic level. When they eventually get to a higher level, they might want to treat others below them the same way.
However, one of the things you need to do as a parent is to instil discipline in your child. Make him, or her to understand that bullying others doesn’t pay and is against school laws. Ask the child not to hit back when attacked by a bully. And if possible, give examples of people who were once bullied in school but came out as best graduating students, and also became very successful in life.
Words have powers and can transform a person’s mind in a minute. You can use positive words to fill your kid’s mind before he or she leaves for school and when the child returns home. Also, make the child understand that the reason he is being bullied is that others are jealous of him.
5. Don’t let the fear of a bully disrupt your child’s education
Most parents take the wrong action when their child reports this kind of issues to them. They prefer to take their child to another school instead of solving the problem. But know bullying is a widespread epidemic in schools parents need to fight to a standstill instead of running away. In fact, there is no guarantee that there won’t be any bully in the new school.
Instead of removing your child from a particular school because he or she is suffering in the hands of bullies, think of a better way to resolve the issue there. It might take a little bit of your time and effort, but you will achieve your aim at the end of the day.
There are bullies in almost every school. It is just that most schools have been able to tame theirs. But if your child happens to be a victim, then take the right steps to render support. Children dealing with bullies needs all of the help, love, and encouragement they can get from the people around them. So put in extra effort to help your child adapt well in school no matter how much time and discomfort it would cost you.