You may wonder, is your child being bullied? You know that child bullying goes on and you probably remember your own childhood when you had to suffer in silence.
In this post, we shall be covering three aspects of bullying. The first is when you actually see your child being bullied, the second – is your child being bullied? The third is where your child may be the bully.
When parents were surveyed a surprising 33% said that they were somewhat worried about bullying at school and this no doubt was related to their own childhood experiences.
Here is my answer to the first question when you actually witness bullying taking place and your child is the victim. What do you do? This was first published on Quora.
What do you do when you catch another kid bullying your kid?
Sanket Jariwala so rightly points out, manhandling or physically dealing with the bully could land you in a lot of trouble.
Bullying is a fact of life and one estimate said that in 2012 over 13 million American kids were bullied.
The FBI Have even Made a Statement and They Say:
“Bullying remains one of the largest problems in schools, with the percentage of students reportedly bullied at least once per week steadily increasing since 1999.”
If the bullying happened in school, then you can report it because schools have an anti-bullying policy and some take it seriously but others are very lackadaisical about it saying that it will all blow over.
In the schools that do take it seriously, there are even “bully boxes” where notes can be left so that cases can be investigated. Sometimes questionnaires are used and some schools make sure that less supervised areas are monitored more closely.
If the bullying happened outside the school, you could tell the kid that his actions are just unacceptable and ask him to stop. Verbal confrontation is OK. If you know the parents, you could mention it to them.
There is some very good advice on the Bullying UK site here: Bullying advice | Bullying UK
Is Your Child Being Bullied?
Here are some warning signs that bullying may be a problem for your child.
Do you remember being bullied at school? Well, I do, but fortunately, it did not go on for so long and I actually survived. But what about our kids who may not be so lucky? Can we spot the warning signs? Here are some of the typical ones. They may mean that there is something else wrong at school, so it might not be this issue at all. Better to be forewarned.
Look out for warning signs because this will be the first step in trying to find solutions to bullying.
- The school loses its appeal and child may not want to go there anymore. Most bullying happens during recess
- The child feels less confident and this manifests itself in various ways
- Look out for changes in eating habits because kids often skip lunch to avoid a bully
- The child may be disturbed by a sleep disorder/nightmares which they previously did not have
- They may be self-harming and even talking about suicide
Also, watch some video about it to get a better idea of what often goes on in the school corridors.
Action Points to Take:
- Try to get your child to tell you what is happening and when it is happening and also, if possible, to find out is there any reason for it? Jealousy? Favoritism on the part of the teacher?
- Is your child being bullied? Be calm and supportive and offer to help. Ask the child about who is doing it and how often it has occurred. Forget about saying that it will all blow over.
- Talk to the headmaster, teacher or someone who is responsible for discipline generally
- Ask if there is an anti-bullying policy? Try to get a copy of this if it actually exists in a printed form. It should be readily available.
- Forget your emotions and hard as that can be, leave out anger, resentment and violent verbal outbursts. It will not help your child or in trying to get the issue resolved.
- If the principal plays it down, you may have to send a letter with the title Bullying Prevention Bill of Rights for Parents and Students. You can get a copy here.
- Agree on a plan of action with him or her. What are they going to do about it? Then write everything down and offer to contact him for a progress report after a few weeks to see whether all this has been implemented.
- Check with your child to see whether the bullying has stopped. if it has escalated and there are actual threats, you may well have to contact the police.
- If cyberbullying is happening, this may well not be under the school’s control. If cyberbullying is happening on your own computer at home or your child’s, then you will have to take separate action and get on to the police and the ISP provider and also the social media site to help stop all that.
Is Your Child the Bully?
Bullies have parents too! Could it be a reaction to an authoritarian style of parenting? There are various theories about this. But the lesson learned from a strict upbringing is that power and aggression are the ways to get what you want. Just following the example set by their parents!
When You Receive a Call From the School
Yes, that awful moment when they tell you that your kid is the bully rather than is your child being bullied. The terrible moment when your kid has been violent and aggressive towards some of his or her classmates. Boys are more likely to be bullies and also to be the victims. It is not just physical aggression either. It can be in the form of insulting, mocking, teasing and also ostracising victims so that they are excluded from the group.
Now, think about this. Have you noticed of your kid is talking about his classmates in a very insulting and aggressive way? That may well be a sign. Another alarm bell might go off if you see that they have money or gadgets that do not belong to them. How did they get them- maybe by bullying tactics?
Action Points You can Take:
- Talk to your child and ask him for his side of the story. He may think his behavior is perfectly normal as other bullies are also in the class or other classes.
- Try to find out why he is doing this and explain why this physical aggression is unacceptable
- Ask the school what their take on bullying is. Find out what they are doing to stomp it out
- Check regularly with the teachers to find out how things are progressing.
- Maybe your kid was once bullied and now has changed roles to help him get over it and avoid any further hassle.
- Guess when most of all this goes on? During recess. If you get an opportunity to volunteer for recess duty, then this is a great way of keeping a watchful eye on possible victims being bullied.
Teach Your Child to Become an Ally
Most of this nasty behavior will stop once someone intervenes. Bullying will persist if the bystanders do nothing! We can teach our kids to be a witness. If they are afraid of being bullied themselves, they can send an SMS to the child who is being attacked. But the more kids who support the victim, the better, as this is one of the most effective ways of stopping it.