Bullying is a fast growing problem faced by school children these days. Bullying is defined as unwanted aggressive behavior, primarily amongst school going children that involves real or perceived power imbalance. The behaviour includes making threats, beating, harming other children physically and also verbal abuse. If bullying is not addressed seriously then it will continue to have a terrible and tragic affect on the victims.
We have seen and heard of instances wherein a big tough looking kid threatens smaller kids to give their tiffin or do some funny exercises wherein all the other children laugh. Most of the children will admit that bullying happens in one way or the other in their school.
So let us understand what is bullying.
Some of the broad bullying methods are:
- Name calling and teasing.
- Imbalance of power i.e. bigger children will bully smaller ones.
- Hurting and beating young children who cannot defend themselves.
- Humiliating young children in front of other children leading to physical and verbal abuse.
- Forcing children to do things like removing their clothes, running around the play ground etc without their consent.
There are many more that can be added to the list.
Many parents feel that bullying is not much of a problem as compared to drug abuse, carrying weapons or anything related to pornography. But in reality bullying is equally dangerous as it severely impacts a child’s behaviour and this may develop behavioural problems in the long run. Some of these behavioural problems are:
- Academic scores deteriorate.
- Become more fearful and panicky.
- Have low self esteem.
- Become more violent to take revenge.
- Depression sets in as they feel they cannot share and nobody will understand.
While on the other hands the children who bully others become arrogant, do not focus on studies, easily attracted to smoking and drinking to show their power and finally find themselves doing crimes.
Parents have an important role to play in the upbringing of their children.
It is important to know if your child is being bullied.
Some of the symptoms are:
- Many children will be embarrassed to talk as they feel adults don’t take them seriously.
- Sometimes they become gloomy and withdrawn.
- Grades drop as they are not able to focus.
- Fearful in their reactions.
- Loss of interest in activities they use to love doing.
- Bruises on their body.
- Asking for more money or other requirements.
If you feel your child is bullied then the first thing you need to do is to build their self-confidence and tell them the ways in which they can solve these problems. Some of the things you can do are:
- Accompany your child to their school teacher and ask her cooperation in addressing the issue. If she is not helpful then escalate it to the principal.
- Avoid confronting with the bully child’s parent.
- Teach your child nonviolent ways to handle bullying for e.g. just walking away from the situation, discussing the issue with parents or friends, ignoring etc.
- Do not encourage your child to retaliate as your child might get hurt in the process.
- Involve your child in some other activities wherein they can make different friends in different social environments.
- Keep giving your children positive feedback and build their self esteem.
- Keeping asking your children about their day to day activities and their school friends.
- Encourage your child to help others.
- Often bullying starts at home, so ensure that your behaviour is good and cordial.
Remember some children get easily picked up for bullying because of their size, colour, weakness and also their inability to share or tell about their problems.
At the same time, sometimes we are in for a surprise when we hear that our child is the one who bullies. In that case, do not ignore the first warnings or complaints. You as a parent can step in and do the following:
- Talk to your child about their feelings, whether they are sad, angry, hurt, lonely or insecure. Ensure that their emotional issues are addressed.
- Always talk in love and make them empathize towards others hurt and feelings.
- Take the help of the school counsellor or any family member whom the child is fond of to address the bullying.
- Remember that just because your child is bullying today does not mean that they will be bullies forever.
- Proper love, care and understanding from the parent’s side will ensure that the child stops bullying.
If we collectively address bullying issues then we will not have to hear about young teenage suicides or a deaf child being bullied by their peer group or any other story of a happy child ending badly. As parents we are responsible in bringing up our children appropriately, thus lending a hand in building a good society.
To Know more , please click here Bullying
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