How parents can help their children deal with bullies

As a parent it’s always important to have a little chat with your child when they get back home from school. That way the child makes it a habit to report any injustices they face. 
Parents must protect their children from bullying. Photo / Winston Hansen.
Parents must protect their children from bullying. Photo / Winston Hansen.

As a parent it’s always important to have a little chat with your child when they get back home from school. That way the child makes it a habit to report any injustices they face.  If a child is not given the avenue to freely speak, they keep their feelings bottled up and this is very dangerous. Parents should take the initiative to know their child’s friends and the bullies at school.

A child who is not a loner will always speak out when they are bullied even when the bully manipulates them.

Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, threats, and mocking.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50% of children are bullied and l0% are victims of bullying on a regular basis. A number of children and adolescents have reported that they suffered side effects of bullying - a drop in grades, an increase in anxiety, and the loss of social life.

At some point children have been bullied by a sibling or a friend. And it’s not usually harmful when done in a playful, friendly, and mutual way, where both kids find it funny. But when teasing becomes hurtful, unkind, and constant, it crosses the line into bullying and needs to stop.

James Kalisa, a father of two says that when consoling a child who has been bullied. It’s important to assure your child that they are not to blame.

“Bullying can leave deep emotional scars on a child and they are affected for life if not helped. In extreme situations, it can lead to violent threats or a child getting physically hurt,”  he says.

 “Parents should never encourage bullied victims to fight back. They should try talking to the parents of the bully to advise their child on the importance of treating others kindly and with love,” Kalisa ends.

An article by Anita Gurian, PhD ‘The Emotional Toll of Bullying’ on the NYU Child Study Centre website advised that if a parent has a child who is a bully, they should do the following:

Make it clear that you will not tolerate bullying behaviour.

Discuss possible reasons for bullying behaviour.

Arrange for a non-violent consequence of bullying behaviour.  Confer with your child’s teacher and other school staff and increase supervision of his or her activities.

 

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