If your child isn’t enjoying school, it may because he’s being bullied. When you find out a child is being bullied, you wish you could take their place. However, all you can do is give your child the tools they need to stop it from happening. As much as parents would love to wrap their children up in cotton wool, it’s important that children develop a sense of independency and confidence on their own. If your child is dealing with bullying, here are some ways you can help.
Identify the Bully
There are times where bullies continue their bad behaviour because they remain unchallenged. Parents are often scared of identifying bullies because they don’t want it to lead to harsher bullying for their child. Try and identify the bully by asking your child to point him/her out discreetly. You may also want to ask other parents if their children are experiencing the same problems. Bullies very rarely only have one target. When you have all the details, make sure the teachers and head teacher are aware of it.
The Root of the Problem
Although you may want to go in guns blazing in an effort to protect your child, it sometimes helps to understand why the bullying occurs. Bullies are often acting out because of some sort of insecurity. Perhaps they live in a home where domestic violence is present, or they use bullying to feel powerful because they feel powerless in other areas of their lives. Bullies are often the ones that need the most help. As hard as it can be to empathise with them, understanding can lead to forgiveness.
Listen to Your Child
If your child opens up about his bullying experiences, it’s important to him. He may confide his fears, which could lead to ideas about how to help them. In the worst cases, your child may develop a phobia of attending school. You can get help dealing with school phobia from professionals, like therapists and counselors. It’s important that you become your child’s safe place. If your child can feel comfortable talking to you about his worries, it will make dealing with the situation a lot easier for them.
Talking to the bullies’ parents can help in some circumstances. However, some parents will be unwilling to accept that their child is a bully. You may need to ask someone to mediate a session between yourselves and the bullies’ parents. That way, there will be someone able to diffuse the tension should the session reach a point where nothing said is of any use. There may also be times where parents are fully aware that their children are bullies and unwilling to do anything about it.
Use the Buddy System
If your child is dealing with a bully at school, the buddy system could be a confidence boost. Ask confident friends to stay with him while at school so should the bully attempt to do anything, your child has friends willing to back him/her up.
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