Bullying is a repeated action of intentionally humiliating and/or harming people mentally and physically. It may include physical aggression like hitting, kicking, slapping or verbal abuses involving threats, resorting to blackmail in order to intimidate people or making remarks that take a toll on a person’s confidence.
Every child is prone to bullying. But there are ways we can prevent it. Here are some things parents can do to bully-proof their kids and make them flourish.
Help build your child’s confidence and self-esteem
Those who may have witnessed or experienced bullying will know that a bully preys on people who they think are either weak or not equipped to stand up against them, which is why boosting your child’s confidence is the key to helping them fight against bullies.
Encourage your child to participate in various activities, make them feel confident about themselves, boost their spirits by praising the good they do and let them know that you have their backs at all times.
Be an involved parent
When it comes to children, parents must show a genuine interest in their lives. Kids may not be vocal when they feel neglected, but they will surely distance themselves away from you if they feel overlooked. They may find it difficult to confide in you, which can further complicate things, especially if they’re being bullied. Because they choose to keep secrets from you, their bully may take advantage and thrive on it, while your child suffers in silence.
Educate them about bullying
In order to prevent bullying, your child must first understand what it is. Teach them what bullying means, what it constitutes of, why it is dangerous and how it can impact them in the long run. Help them understand why bullying or being bullied is not right. Let them know if they’re being bullied, it’s not their fault and encourage them to stand up against it. Also, educate them about cyberbullying, which has become so prevalent in recent times.
Encourage them to share, build a safe space
Most importantly, it is crucial that parents build a safe, positive space for their children to share their deepest darkest secrets. Until and unless they feel comfortable talking to you, they confide in you, it is impossible for them to open up to you. That said, always urge them to have strong opinions, to put forward their points and to not cave in to bullies.
Signs your child is being bullied
In order to find out if your child is a victim of bullying, here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for.
Emotional and behavioural signs may include:
– Extreme mood swings
– Staying isolated
– Changes in sleep and eating patterns
– Increased sibling fights
– Aggressive behaviour
– Being withdrawn
– Getting poor grades in school
Physical signs may include:
– Unexplained bruise marks, cuts and scratches on the body
– Returns home with missing or damaged belongings
– Frequent headaches or stomach pain