Bullying is a part and parcel of school life. Usually kids are bullied at schools by other kids who may be their seniors or have a good image in the eyes of teachers. However when bullying crosses a limit, it can have serious implications on the emotional health of your child.
Studies have shown that kids who have been bullied at school suffer from depression and fear. Parents can play an important role in preventing such occurrences by being vigilant about their child’s behavior and looking for signs of their kid being bullied.
Create a friendly rapport with your child so that he is able to narrate the stories of school and his peer group to you. Incase your child is not open with you, initiate this practice of casually asking him what happened at school, what activities did he perform, etc.
Once your child starts talking, pay attention to his stories and show concern about his problems. Never interrupt your child or downplay any of his concerns. This can have a negative effect and your child will stop sharing things with you. Look for signs of bullying by reading between the lines.
Usually parents think that only boys have to face bullying at school. However this notion is wrong. Girls too can act as bullies. Boys, who can overpower their counterparts physically, bully them by passing spiteful remarks. Girls, on the other hand, hurl verbal abuses and cutting remarks about their appearance, etc to tease other girls.
So in case you have a girl child, then it doesn’t mean that your child cannot become a victim of bullying. Comfort your kid and make him understand that he is not at fault for being bullied. At times, kids develop this notion that their shortcomings are the reason due to which they are being bullied. This can be harmful for their self-image and self-esteem.
They might start seeing themselves as inferior to others. Children are vulnerable and might take the remarks being hurled at them too seriously. Make your child understand that people who bully others often suffer from insecurities and fears of their own and tend to pass on their fears to others by bullying them.
Usually it has been observed that bullies have a history of emotional insecurities and disturbed family relationships and use other kids as a vent for their frustration. If your child is being bullied and it is becoming serious, it is time for you to step in between and confront the bully.
Tell the bully that he/she should stay away from your child and in case he/she disturbs your child again, you will tell his/her parents and involve police if needed. The bully might get scared of targeting your kid again and will cease such practices.
However if the problem is not serious, you should allow your child to deal with it on his own. This will make your child confident and mature. As a parent, you need to take care that while protecting your kid, you do not become over-protective and hamper his personal growth.