Just like we come across a plethora of personalities amongst the people around us, children too, like adults start displaying their little personalities very soon. In schools particularly, where they are given the independence to be on their own, many children tend to display toxicity and bullying. Whatever the underlying issues these children go through to act in this manner, your child might become an unfortunate target of them. Bullies can employ any means of torturing the seemingly timid ones around them.
Teaching Children About Bullying
It is important to make children understand the importance of treating others with respect. As adults, we need to engage in healthy conversations with our children about how everyone is different and the need to accept these differences without mocking anyone. We also need to have a candid discussion about bullying and explain what behaviour is considered as bullying. This will help children understand what is happening if they observe it around themselves and also discourage them from taking an active part in it.
Signs your Child is being Bullied at School
Bullying can be physical or emotional. Verbal slurs can be equally traumatizing for children if they are being aimed continuously. Victims of bullying may not be able to share their concerns with their parents or even friends. In particular, younger children are less likely to be able to share this issue clearly with their parents. Look out if the following signs are showing more frequently and in connection with each other.
- Is your child presenting excuses to skip school? It is not uncommon for children to be averse to the idea of waking up early or studying, but they generally look forward to meeting their friends. However, if a child is being bullied at school, their social confidence might be taking a hit. Note if your child is not excited by the idea of meeting his peers at school or even worse, becomes timid when you mention school friends.
- Next step is to look out for any physical bruises or cuts showing up on your child’s face or body more often. See if there is a pattern to some injury occurring over and over again. Small scuffles amongst school children are common and usually parents are notified about it. Children being bullied, however, might keep it a secret from their teachers under the pressure of the bullies.
- Notice if any of your child’s belongings are not returning in the condition they were sent in. His clothes might appear more worn out or notebooks rougher than usual. Lay out a casual feedback question about the lunch at school (bought or sent from home) to see how the child reacts.
- Overall mood changes are a significant indicator of being bullied at school as well. The child being bullied starts appearing moody at home since they are not sure how to process their suffering. If you notice general anxiety building up for no apparent reason, give a little attention to their sleep patterns. Children developing anxiety usually start exhibiting night terrors or odd sleep patterns.
What to do if your Child is being Bullied?
If you have somehow determined and confirmed that your child is the target of some mean bullies at school, take a step back and instead of instantly lashing out at the school, start tackling this issue from within your home first. Give your child a safe and comfortable environment to share his everyday school stories with you. Alongside, start developing his physical and mental confidence. Practice hypothetical mean-kid scenarios with him at home and teach him some passive responses. Help your child develop a strong and positive physical posture when confronted with the bullies. Teaching your children to tackle a problem themselves is a significant life lesson.
However, sometimes a situation may be more problematic and you may need to interfere. If you see your suggestions do not help your child face the bullies at school and the situation keeps aggravating, act timely and contact the school and respective parents to deal with this issue.