How Parents Can Deal With Bullying

bullies beating up a classmate | cyberbullying | workspace bullying

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Bullying is a repeated aggressive behaviour in physical or verbal form by a person or by a
group towards a comparatively weaker person or group to cause physical and
psychological harm.

In a survey done by The Indian Journal of Pediatrics in the year 2011, 60.4% of the Indian students came out to be the victims of bullying. It also showed that most parents are unaware of this harassment of their kids. Just 39% of parents were aware that their kids are being bullied.

Bullying is quite a serious issue than most parents think it to be. It has a deep impact
on the physical and mental well being of a kid. Dr Dan Olewus, the developer of Olewus Bullying Prevention Program, remarks that bullying “chronically harasses someone
else either physically or psychologically”. It is important to keep a watch on your kid’s behaviour to recognise signs and symptoms of bullying.

Make a rapport with your kid that they feel free to share their problems with you. Bullying can take place in places like schools, playgrounds, workplace or the internet. Therefore, if you are a parent, talk openly about cyber and workplace bullying.

It is important for parents to help the kids differentiate between a bully and a buddy. Many times, a bully enters the life of kids in the disguise of a buddy and harms their self-esteem over the period of time.

A
Bully

A
Buddy

Tries to hurt you intentionally. Is kind and loving.
Says mean and demotivating words. Motivates and compliments you.
Makes fun of you. Supports you when others make fun of you.
Hits or pushes you. Has a respectful behaviour towards elders and other classmates.

 

If you notice any of the below-mentioned symptoms or anything unusual in your kid’s behaviour, take proactive steps to know the reason of such behaviour or damage at the earliest.

Some of the major symptoms of bullying are:

  • Avoiding school or the school bus.
  • Unexplained physical injuries like cuts, bruises, marks or scrapes.
  • Repeated destruction or loss of personal items like books, clothes, toys, lunch boxes, water bottles, etc.
  • Sudden change in eating habits, like loss of appetite.
  • Change in sleeping pattern. Screaming and crying due to nightmares.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Preference to stay isolated away from friends and other social gatherings.
  • Decreased general well being. Feeling nauseated and having headaches.
  • Reduced academic performance. Less concentration on work and lower grades than before.
  • Use of washroom only after returning home as washrooms are a critical bullying spot.
  • Depressed, anxious, and scared behaviour.
  • Seeks your presence everywhere.

Bullying can be traumatic for your kid. It is natural that you may get upset by
listening to all that is happening with your kid, but you need to stay composed
and calm to help the kid heal and overcome this distressing phase of their
life. Here’s what you can do:

  • Calmly talk to your kids and listen to them.
  • Discuss the problem with your kids’ teachers and school authorities.
  • Escort your kids to school, playground, or hobby classes to know about their friends.
  • Ask the bus driver and attendant to give attention to any activity of bullying inside the bus.
  • Keep a check on your kids’ internet usage.
  • Assure your kids that no matter what, you are there to support them.
  • Make your kids aware of cyberbullying and cybercrime. Ask them to not accept any unknown friend request.
  • If your kid is showing signs of depression and anxiety, don’t delay to book an appointment with a counsellor or a psychologist.
  • Make your kids aware of their strengths; it makes them feel confident. This will help your kid deal with the effects of bullying.

Bullying can make kids feel helpless and lonely. They might prefer not to share this bad experience with anybody to prevent further bullying or due to the fear of being dismissed or rejected. As a parent, it is important for you to develop a comfortable relationship with
your kids. If kids feel secure and confident enough to share their problems
with their parents, many unfortunate incidents can be prevented.

 

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