How to recognise if your child is being bullied in school
Bullying is something that many might endure at some point in their life, and in many instances, it can occur during childhood. Evidently, if you are a parent this can be worrying, with many looking for answers as to what can be done to stop it from happening.
In some cases, parents can assume it’s due to their parenting and they may feel like their children can’t approach them. If we feel our child is being bullied, it can set off all sorts of different emotions, but we must try and keep a clear head.
Children react in different ways to bullying which is why there is no set solution that can be applied in every situation, as there can be many factors involved. This isn’t to say that we’re powerless when contending with bullying. Simply understanding the traits and signals associated with bullying can help us intervene sooner rather than later, and give our child the support and confidence that they’re not alone and that the matter is being dealt with in the right way.
The following is an overview of some of the signs and signals that some victims of bullying can show.
Hiding social media accounts
Often when your child is rather hiding their social media accounts, it could be due to online bullying.
When being taunted online, it’s understandable that a child can become embarrassed. Children may also hide that fact as they fear being banned from using social media.
They appear withdrawn and/or depressed
All children have their own unique personality, but if they act of character, it could be due to bullying.
Different children react in different ways, but consistent mood changes including anxiety, depression and becoming more quiet than usual could mean that something is bothering your child.
Injuries that can’t be explained
Children will always be open to injury, whether it be from running around, sports or playing with friends.
However, if a child has an injury and isn’t forthcoming about how it happened, it could be worth investigating further.
Every child gets sick from time to time, but you may find your child is stating that they feel unwell on a regular basis.
While this could be a way of avoiding school, it’s worth checking that there is not something else worrying your child.
Loss of appetite
There’s no denying how fickle children can be when it comes to eating, but for the most part, you should find that your child has a healthy appetite.
Skipping meals, especially at school, could be a sign your child is avoiding someone.
Low self esteem
If we’re told something frequently, we end up believing it. This is especially true for younger minds and any form of taunt or insult can be detrimental to a child’s self-esteem.
While this is only an overview of the traits that children can show when experiencing bullying, it doesn’t always mean that bullying is the sole reason. That can be difficult to see for parents and guardians, as they want a resolution as soon as possible. However, it’s important that adults address any concerns in the right and gentle manner.
How to deal with bullying?
Listen to your child and keep it cool
Knowing our child is being harmed can make us angry, and it’s completely normal. But it’s important that we can reserve our own feelings and allow our child to tell us exactly what has happened. Not only does this show the child that you are there for them, but it also allows you to get all the facts.
Tell your child they’ve done nothing wrong
There can be many reasons why other children decide to bully, and it’s not always because they have sinister motives. However, it’s easy for your child to assume they’re the one at fault. Reassure them that this isn’t the case.
Explain your child how to walk away
When being bullied, it’s not unusual for some children to face up to the bully, thinking it will be enough to dissuade them. Bullies are often triggered by a reaction, so advising your child to ignore them and walk the other way can mean that the bully isn’t getting the response they’re looking for.
Work with the school
If bullying occurs during school time, it can be easy to assume that the school is at fault. The fact of the matter is that schools can only deal with bullying if they know it is happening. Therefor, make an appointment with the school to discuss the matter to see what contingencies can be put in place. Many will find that once the bullying has been identified and the child has been spoken to, the bullying stops.
Dealing with bullying can be an upsetting ordeal, especially when it relates to our children. Keeping a calm demeanour and determining the facts while working with others will ensure that you get to the root of the problem and find a prompt resolution that won’t hinder their social development or education.
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