Helping Kids Deal With Bullying
Bullying can be defined as repeated aggressive behaviour that can be disguised in many different forms. It is a big problem that can leave children feeling scared, hurt, embarrassed or lonely.
Bullying bothers everyone. As a parent, you want to protect your child from the overwhelming stress that bullies create. Educating your child on bullying, and taking it seriously rather than brushing it off as a natural part of growing up, will go a long way for them.
Bullying can present itself in many different ways. The most common types of bullying faced by children are Cyberbullying, Verbal Bullying, and Physical Bullying.
When a teen uses social media, a smartphone, or other technologies to threaten, embarrass or harass another person, it is called cyberbullying. You can stay on top of this by having weekly check-ins with your child and limit their allotted daily screen time.
Verbal bullying presents itself as the use of words, statements and name-calling to gain power over a target. This can look like harrowing insults to demean or belittle another person. It may be difficult to catch on if your child is being verbally bullied, look out for signs of this which may include hesitation to attend school, isolation and a general feeling of uneasiness at home.
Physical Bullying is exactly what it sounds like. It occurs when kids use physical actions to gain control over their targets. Examples include kicking, hitting, shoving, slapping and punching.
Why do Bullies Bully?
Kids bully for many different reasons. Commonly, bullies pick on others as a way to seek attention. They might think their behaviour is normal if it is something they witness from their own families or other settings where everyone regularly gets angry and calls each other names, or gets physical.
Advice for Kids
Parents can support and help kids learn how to cope with bullying if it happens. It is important to advise your children to be confident and inform an adult about the situation.
Using the Buddy System when at school is also a very useful method to ensure your child is never alone with the bully. Tell them to make sure they have someone when in the hallways or outside at recess.
It is also important to encourage your child to talk about it. Bullying can really impact a child’s confidence. Talking to someone they trust, such as a close friend or a guidance counselor can have a positive effect on them and build back their confidence.