What to do when your child is being bullied

by BabyYumYum
A bully can turn something like going to school or soccer practice into a nightmare for kids. Bullying can leave deep emotional scars including stealing your child’s confidence. Child bullied
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A bully can turn something like going to school or soccer practice into a nightmare for kids. Bullying can leave deep emotional scars including stealing your child’s confidence. How best can parents deal with your child being bulllied? Written by BabyYumYum.

You can help your child cope with teasing, bullying, or mean gossip, help to stop it, and lessen its lasting impact. If bullying isn’t a challenge at the moment right now, it’s essential to discuss it so your kids will be prepared if it does happen to them and to open the lines of communication so they feel they can confide in you.

When exactly is it bullying?

  • Most kids are teased by a sibling or friend at some point. It’s not usually harmful when done in a playful, friendly, and mutual way. But when it crosses the line into being hurtful, unkind, and chronic, it becomes bullying. 
  • Bullying ranges from hitting, pushing, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extorting money and possessions. Some kids bully by isolating others and spreading rumours and about them. Some use social media (cyberbullying) to taunt or hurt their feelings.
  • Bullying is when peers intentionally use physical, verbal, or psychological means to torment someone. They use a real or perceived power imbalance between the bully and the victim.

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Signs your child is being bullied

Unless your child tells you about the bullying or has visible bruises or injuries, it may be difficult to tell it’s happening. But there are warning signs:

  • Avoiding certain situations (like taking the bus to school)
  • Regressive behaviours like bedwetting or tantrums
  • Getting sick more often or saying they feel ill
  • Acting differently or seeming anxious
  • Not eating, not sleeping well, or not doing what they usually enjoy
  • They are more easily upset or moodier than usual

Top tips for parents:

  • If your child tells you about being bullied, listen calmly, offering comfort and support. Kids may be reluctant to tell adults because they feel embarrassed and ashamed or worry their parents will be disappointed, reactive, upset or angry. Respond mindfully.
  • Children may be frightened that if the bully finds out that they told, the bullying will worsen. Others are worried that their parents won’t believe them or won’t help. Some kids worry that their parents will encourage them to fight back when they’re scared to.
  • Remind your child that they’re not alone and that many people get bullied.
  • Praise your child for telling you about it. Reassure them that you will figure out what to do about it together.
  • Let someone at school know about the situation. They are under obligation to act and make the environment safe for your child. 
  • Reassure your child that it’s not their fault and that they didn’t do anything to deserve it. Explain that the bully is behaving badly, not your child.
  • What works in one situation may not in another. The age of the kids involved, the severity of the situation, and the specific type of bullying will determine the best course of action.
  • Take it seriously if the bully finds out that your child told and threatens physical harm. You could consider approaching the bully’s parents. But it’s best to first contact teachers, counsellors or principals and to let them deal with it.
  • Looking after yourself at this upsetting time is very important! Manage your stress levels with Calmettes, a natural supplement for nervous tension and anxiety, restful sleep, deep breathing, and optimal nourishment.
  • You may feel tempted to tell your child to fight back and stand up for themselves. But it’s crucial that your child not to respond by fighting or bullying back. It can result in someone getting injured. It’s wise to rather walk away and inform an adult.
  • To help rebuild your child’s confidence, participating in sports, clubs or activities they enjoy builds strength, resilience and friendships. Also, encourage them to spend time with friends who have a positive influence.
  • Provide a listening ear but teach your kid to also focus on the good of their day and their lives in general.
  • Make sure they know you believe in them, you love them and that you’ll do what you can to address the bullying situation.

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It’s important to take bullying seriously and not just brush it off or sweep it under the carpet as something that kids must tough out. The effects can be serious and affect a child’s sense of safety, self-worth and create a sense of shame. In extreme cases, bullying has contributed to tragedies, such as suicides and school shootings.

Ref: Calmettes PI

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