Bullying is a growing problem in our society and its effect is more devastating, especially on our kids. Recently, there has been a rise in cases of bullying in schools, homes, workplaces, and social media (cyberbullying). Bullying can take different forms: physical, verbal and emotional. For kids, this can be as small as throwing something at another child or even yelling hurtful words at them. It’s important to understand the warning signs of bullying and how to handle them. Remember, bullies can be relatives, fellow students, neighbours or even teachers. Here are some tips to help you conquer your child's oppressors and build better mental health.
Build your child's confidence
Confidence is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child. When a child feels good about himself, a bully can't trample on his self-esteem. Encourage hobbies, extracurricular activities and social occasions to stimulate the child's best potential. Hype your child! Make them say their daily affirmations. Let them know that no one can have their unique potentials. Doing this goes a long way to boost their ego and keep oppressors far away.
Build a warm relationship
First, create a friendly relationship between you and your child. A warm atmosphere makes it easy for them to express themselves without fear. More so, in a case where your child doesn't want to talk about the bully or the incident. Be patient with them. Give them time to process what happened and allow them to speak when they are ready.
Get a school guide to keep tabs on your child
Get a trustworthy person to be your child's guardian in school, this has become necessary even in Primary schools as well. A guardian acts as a parent to your child in school. They inform you about your child/ward's school activities. They make sure your kids are on the best behaviour. They also protect your child from bullies. Bullies stay away from kids who are close to their guardians.
Encourage your Kids to be an upstander
One thing that you can do is to encourage your child to stand up to bullies. Being an upstander means a child can take positive actions against bullies. Enlighten them about their rights and responsibilities. By so doing, they can defend themselves and their friends from any intimidation. When this happens, it becomes difficult for tyrants to intimidate them.
As we have earlier established, educators too can be bullies. The adults in our home are not left out either. This is the part that parents overlook. We must watch out for signs that the child’s immediate caregivers may be bullies and the reason the child is not performing optimally. As soon as you spot that, take action. Your actions and inactions are also keenly observed by the child. Since many bullies don’t change, it may be best to distance such perpetrators from the child.
Finally, parenting is a tasking job. Bearing in mind that children are born with inborn temperaments, help us create a preferred style of relating to them. Studies have also shown that parents often become less involved in the lives of their children as they enter the middle grades. Please know that your young adolescent needs as much attention and love from you as he needed when he was younger—and maybe more. Paying attention is the key.
Have you or your child experienced bullying before? How did you handle it? Share your experience in the comment section.
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