It can start from teasing or spreading mean gossips, but it is not uncommon for bullying to escalate into violence or threats of such. It is very difficult to give one, definite picture of how bullying works and how it can be prevented. Each case has to be approached individually, but there are a few things every parent can do to help stop the bullying.
Recognizing the signs
Most children, who are bullied at school are too scared or ashamed to talk about it to parents or school officials. Be prepared that your child is going to hide the fact from you as long as they can. Look for potential signs of bullying. Apart from the most obvious – bruises and injuries – look for sudden mood changes.
Once enthusiastic about school, now hesitant and visibly shaken every morning before school – that should raise a red flag in every parent’s mind and this sudden change of attitude is something you should talk to your child about. Self mutilation is also a common sign of something traumatic happening to your child.
Talking about bullying
If you see some worrying signs do not let your nerves get the best of you, stay calm and try to talk to your child in a non-judgmental way. Many parents commit the same mistake by either accusing their own child of doing something wrong that caused the teasing or taking the child’s side before they even now what happened.
Start from discussing the matter calmly with your child, encouraging them to tell what happened and if despite few attempts at talking they don’t want to open up ask other family members for help – maybe your child will feel more comfortable talking to an uncle or older brother.
When your child opens up to you it is a clear sign that they are seeking advice and help. Some parents treat these matters very lightly and think that teasing is simply a part of growing up, others think that only by standing up to their peers the child can deal with the problem effectively. Both approaches are wrong. Bullying is not normal and no children should be allowed to torment their peers.
On the other hand, violence leads to more violence and it is difficult to predict how the bullies react if your child fights back. The best response to bullying is to simply walk away, without engaging in an argument or a fight. Bullies feed on the suffering and angry responses of the bullied children, so assuming cold and distant approach will most likely discourage the bully from trying the same stuff again.
Alarming the teachers
Engaging school in the fight with bullying is not overreacting. Most schools have anti-bullying programs and counselors trained in solving this type of problems. If seeking help from the school officials doesn’t help and the bullying gets worse, escalating into threats of violence you should inform the police about the matter and seriously consider moving your child to a different school.
The article was offered by Irina Kovalyova, a manager at iSingapore Math LLC. Irina helps to provide children with math educational programs and courses using Singaporian methods. To know more visit iSingapore Math LLC website. She is a professional blogger, marketer and social media enthusiast.