[My neighbour’s child started to love isolation suddenly and then she restrained from catching her school bus. Sometimes she would skip the school and other times asked to drive herself. Often seen in distressed mode every morning, her mum couldn’t understand her sullen behaviour and that too all of a sudden. When she started to diagnose into the life of her daughter, slowly she got to know that she was becoming a victim of bullying in her bus by a group of nasty boys.]
For a parent, seeing their child being bullied or bullying other children can be quite disheartening. But, more than a parent’s grief, it is a state of Emotional trauma and can turn into a nightmare for your child. Bullying can be Intentional, verbal, physical or even cyber Bullying and can involve situations as threats, name calling, taunting, insulting, hitting, mocking, spreading rumours, extorting possessions and so on. Wether, you have discussed about bullying with your child or not, it is must to share what bullying is while he / she is in school. Sometimes, the impacts of bullying can lead to self-harm and Psychological disorders as well in a child. Hence, it is our duty to make our children stay away from bullying and if situations come, how to handle this breaking scenario.
Bullying can sadly lead to aggressive, anti social behaviours and can impact the progress of a child in both short and long terms.
Strange, why do kids bully?
So let me tell you, even I was bullied, when I was in college, sheer reason, I was a studious teenager. I was called many names and taunted due to my craziness to learn.
- Some children bully due to their insecurity and jealously towards someone.
- Other times, children pick up someone who is vulnerable and weaker which makes them feel stronger and more popular.
- Kids also bully when they are in an environment of multi-cultural people and develop biased attitude towards race, looks, religion.
Somehow, they have started to lack empathy and feel pleasure with the pains of other. This reflects an impact on their Psychological attitude, which could be due to many factors.
How can you, as a parent, help children Stop Bullying :
1. Direct Discussion :
After the age of 5-6years, it is must for us to make our kids understand what Bullying is. They need to know that this attitude will never be accepted in the house and school. Along with this kids also need to be educated, how to act as a Bystander and help another child who is being bullied.
2. Making Kids learn Gratitude :
Kids need to be taught kindness and love for others from the toddlerhood itself. If they find differences in other race kids, tell them the reason of that. Let them know that all kids have a soul and any painful thing hurts everybody just as they themselves cry when they get hurt. For this try to engage kids in multi cultural society. Give them the exposure to socialize with all kids rather than “so called preferred” ones. Also, engage kids in empathy activities, wherein they can respect feelings of other people.
3. Build Self Confidence :
Encourage kids for the activities they love. Forget about messy-hood or getting hurt, this is the way kids learn to develop their passions. Ask them to volunteer in various group activities, participate in sports (develops team spirit), and so on. All these groups and activities make kids more social and help them learn teamwork, empathy and they gel with kids of all origin and race.This in turn will help them never support bullying and they can easily overcome if, they themselves are the target of being bullied.
4. Teach them to speak their hearts and mind :
While making them fully aware that only righteous demands can be fulfilled, allow them to speak their mind always. Be it at home or in school or in a kids party. Like, if your kid has been waiting for his turn to ride the bicycle, then after designated time, he should come up and speak that, hey, it’s my turn now. Allow them to join different groups of kids by themselves. This will encourage them to be friendly and have much stronger social circle and skills. Refrain, from taking the first move yourself when your child plans to enter into new groups. Let them work out things to socialize themselves. Be there in the backdrop, but let them initiate:).
5. Observe and Discuss :
Closely observe but do not interfere unnecessarily in your child’s social circle, their school friends, neighbourhood friends. Speak to school teachers about your child’s attitude in school. Meet the family of his friends and try knowing them. Also, daily spare close to 20-30 minutes exclusively for your child and discuss questions with them like How did your school day go? what you did with your friends today? It can be a jolly interactive discussion. Try to know the study patterns at school. If you find that any of your child’s school mates are involved in bullying, be open and talk to your child, make them know how they should act in such situations.
6. Positive Attitude and Role Play :
Encourage optimistic behaviour in your children. Give them various role play’s relating to circumstances of stress, negative situations and teach them how to enact and behave then. Help then in Anger management situations, evaluate their behavioural skills. Be a role model at home and keep the home environment optimistic and loving. It should be free from negativity, fights and arguments, that kids learn in return.
7. Encourage them to speak up :
If your child is being bullied or seeing someone bullying, encourage them to speak upto parents and school teachers. Sometimes, kids do not wish to reveal, since they feel ashamed and embarrassed and start thinking of negative reactions from their parents. But, you as a parent have to be strong and keep your child informed that bullying is really common and what they need to learn is how to overcome that! Allow them to love themselves. Tell them that its the child who is bullying another is under bad influence and needs to be corrected.
8. Laws :
Many schools, colleges have anti-bullying laws. Even many states have such policies in place. Help your child knowing of such rules and regulations. Make them informed children.
Lend a listening ear to your kids, ensure a holistic positive development of your child to avoid such situations. Allow them to be resilient, full of grit, and encourage them to stand up if they fall. All these things will make them stronger as they grow and help them in many psychological issues.
“Growing strong headed child with a heart of empathy is what our role as Parent is ” – Jhilmil
Have you had any of Bullying issues? How did you handle those situations? How are you ensuring that your kids are growing in an environment full of love and kindness!