Bullying is one of our society’s main concerns. It can happen in two different states; direct and indirect bullying. Direct bullying involves physical and mental harassment such as hitting, making threats and insulting a person directly. While indirect bullying is an act of maltreatment through secondary action. Cyber bullying is an example of indirect bullying that can be done through internet, phone call or text messages.
Bullying especially for children is never ok. Parents must be aware about their kids and how they are being treated in school or anywhere they may be. If you notice there’s something wrong with your child, you must act right away before everything gets worse.
How To Help Your Child
There are many signs and unusual behaviour that you can observe to a child having such traumatic experience. They are usually shy and rarely talk to anyone. They have low self-esteem and as much as possible, they avoid mingling with other children. If the parent fails to distinguish this problem, the victim may acquire posttraumatic stress disorder which become harder for them to build a relationship. There are also some cases that you see visible bruises and wounds in some part of their body. As soon as you discover these signs, here’s what you need to do;
1. Try to talk to them and let them know and feel that they have your support and that you are very much willing to listen. They are usually hesitant to open up their feelings, but remind them that they are not alone.
2. Study and analyze the situation and encourage your child to tell how, where and when the bullying happens. You may politely ask his/her teacher, classmates, playmates or anyone who are involved in order to verify the incident.
3. Tell your child that he/she can do something to protect himself. Don’t tell your child to fight back, instead, teach them to stand for themselves, be confident and have a clear voice to tell the bully to stop. If the bully insists, tell your child to stay away and get a help from an adult.
4. Ensure your child’s safety and protection. If it happens in school and the bullying seems uncontrollable, better choose to transfer your child to another institution. As soon as your child has been transferred, don’t forget to discuss the situation to the school officials about your child’s history of bullying so they are more likely aware with what to do next.
5. Help your child bring back his self-esteem by finding group activities and workshops where he/she can enjoy.
It is very important to have an open communication between you and your child. Let them feel that they are loved and protected by you as their parents. Help your child understand about bullying and teach him/her on how to handle the situation particularly if they are alone. Counselling can also be an ideal option to help your child cope up from this traumatic circumstance. Preventing bullying requires immediate action and persistence in order to build a safe and peace environment where children can learn, interact and socialize without any uncertainties.
About the Author
Dr. Bob Connolly provides children therapy in Los Angeles. He is a Licensed Psychologist who can provide assistance for various psychological conditions.