How to Deal With Bullies
One in four children are bullied at some point in their lives. As a parent, it hurts to watch your child hurt. This is why it is important to watch for signs that your child is being bullied. Here we will help you learn how to deal with bullies.
Signs Your Child is Being Bullied
Often, your child may not tell you that they are the victim of being bullied. Yet, you can watch out for the warning signs. These signs may include:
- Damaged, torn, or missing belongings
- Cuts, bruises, or scratches that are unexplained
- Fear of going to school or the playground
- Comes up with excuses not to go to school
- Is sad, angry, or upset when they get home
- Has nightmares, bad dreams, or difficulty sleeping
- Decreased appetite
- Frequent complaints of a headache or a stomachache
They may also start to detach themselves from activities or areas where they feel particularly stressed about being bullied. If you are unsure, ask other parents, teachers, or children. Find out who is getting along and who is not. That way, you will find out if your child is really being bullied.
How to Approach Bullying
From the get-go, you should establish open communication with your children. Family should signify trust, openness and non-judgement.
If you are worried that your child is being bullied, consider asking your child if there is any bullying happening at their school. Also, make sure you find out who your child hangs around with and who their parents are. This can help confirm whether or not your little one is getting teased at school.
If they open up to you and tell you they are being bullied, do not overreact. That is the last thing they came to you for. Show them you care and tell them you love them and support them. You can even encourage them to open up about it more.
After the initial discussion, contact the school. It may be in everyone’s best interest to set up an appointment time between the teacher, you, your child, the bully and their parents. This can halt the bullying before it escalates.
Building Confidence: A Tactic to Cope With Bullying
You can also help your child prevent bullying from the get-go, as well as help them recover from a recent bully. How can you do this? By building their confidence!
Help your child try new activities or sports. Guide them toward their interests and allow them to flourish. For example, if your child loves reading, help them find a book club or other peers that enjoy the same. If they love soccer, sign them up for a recreational soccer league.
You can also help them build confidence via proper communication tactics. These communication tips can help your child appear confident to others and also feel more confident. Here are some tips for confidence-building.
Teach Eye Contact
Tell your child that looking into other people’s eyes as they talk shows that they are listening and also that they are confident. It also forces them to hold their head up as opposed to looking at their toes.
Learn Facial Expressions
Ask them to show you their sad, happy and brave face. Have a discussion where you tell them that when they feel bothered, they should show their brave face. This also may help boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Teach your children to openly communicate how they feel. Do this in a way that ensures your child remains calm as they communicate their emotions. They can then do this when they deal with bullies at school, such as telling them it hurts them to call them by another name and they have a real name which they would prefer they use.
In addition to this, show them the right way to react to a bully. Help them understand that the bully is likely lacking self-control and may feel angry about something happening outside of the school setting. Tell your child that what the bully says is often nothing to do with the person they are bullying. Further, teach them to say something positive to themselves when someone else says something negative.
Most importantly, instill in your children from early on to treat others how they want to be treated. No matter what, violence is never the answer.
How to Stop Bullying
If you suspect your child is being bullied, approach the conversation in a kind and compassionate way. Let your child know that it is not their fault. Help them sort through their feelings by allowing them to communicate them to you.
Then, take action. Contact the school or the other parents. Ensure the situation does not get worse by taking the proper steps toward squashing it in its tracks. Then, work on building your child’s confidence and self-esteem through extra-curricular activities and open family discussions. Remember, bullying is not normal, nor should it be. If you suspect your child is a victim of bullying, do not brush it off!