How to Help your Child Deal with Bullying
22nd May 2014
Have you noticed a change in your child’s behaviour? Have they stopped eating, begun showing signs of anxiousness or perhaps the things they used to enjoy doing don’t seem to excite them anymore. If so, these are all classic warning signs that your child may be experiencing bullying.
Bullying can take many forms: it can be physical, verbal, emotional or psychological, and any intentional incidents of these are classed as bullying. This could be name-calling, hitting, mocking and stealing to name just a few, so if you suspect this may be the case for your child, you need to sit down and talk to them and try and get them to open up to you about it. You should remain calm and listen to everything they have to say, probing them in the right places to share more information with you, and comforting them at times when they may be finding it stressful or difficult to talk about.
Children don’t usually tell their parents if they’re being bullied, but this can be for a number of reasons. They may think it is their fault they are being bullied (often the person who is bullying them leads them to believe this). A common reason is that they fear the bully will find out they confessed and the bullying will get even worse than it is, and sometimes your child may be embarrassed and upset, thinking you’ll be disappointed and let down with them if they confess that they are letting this happen.
It’s vitally important that you reassure them that this is not the case at all. Their mind could be going into overdrive thinking ‘if I looked differently or acted differently, things could be different…’ These types of thoughts could give them low self-esteem and low confidence and they may fear that others will, or already do, think the same about them.
It would have been a big decision for your child to tell you, something they have probably been torn with for some time, so you must reassure them that they have been very brave and done the right thing by telling an adult what has been happening. Knowing the anxieties that your child may be experiencing, you need to explain to them that they are not on their own and many children go through the same thing, but as soon as they tell an adult, everything can be sorted out and things can go back to the way they were.
After you have calmed your child down and comforted them, if you know the bullying is happening at school, you should inform someone at the school of what has been happening, as they are the ones who are able to deal with the situation, monitoring it on a daily basis and taking action when necessary.
Here’s some useful advice to give your child to help them deal with the bullying:
1) Avoid the bully as much as possible, or avoid being on your own when no one else is around. If you partner up with a friend, it will help you feel better and you won’t have to deal with it completely on your own.
2) Although you are bound to feel angry and upset, try not to let the bully see these emotions in you. If the bully does pick up on them, it will give him the power to continue as he knows it is affecting you. Try counting to ten and walking away, this will give you time to calm down, or you could write a diary and express how you feel in there.
3) You should stand your ground by telling the bully firmly to go away and leave you alone. If you receive abuse, show that you’re uninterested and don’t care and, hopefully, the bully will eventually get bored.
4) Even though you may be scared and worried, you should go and tell an adult so they can help put an end to it.
5) If you’re struggling to cope, try talking to your school nurse, a counsellor or an older sibling who you can trust. They may be able to offer you help and suggestions that will make you realise you don’t have to deal with this on your own.
Hopefully, once you get to the root of your child’s upset, you can start to restore their confidence and encourage them that it will not happen again, reassuring them that not everyone is as nasty and spiteful as the bully. Joining in after school clubs can help them build their confidence up with other children and help them make new friendships that will prove to them that there are nice people who want to be friends with them and who like them for the way they are!
Bringing your child to a nursery can help them mix with new children and they will be in a safe environment where any bullying will soon be noticed and stopped. If you’re looking for a children’s nursery in Nottingham, please get in touch with Tiny World today.