Every Parent Should Pay Attention To The Warning Signs Of Bullying. Only This Way Tragedies Can Be Prevented
October 26, 2018 14:03 By Fabiosa
Bullying happens in every school, and any child can fall victim to it. Bullying should never be perceived as something unavoidable or simply a normal part of school life. How can something that leads to chronic depression, anxiety disorders, suicidal behavior, and mass homicides be ever considered normal?
Bullying can take multiple different forms, which can be pretty hard to recognize. It can be physical (hitting, pushing, punching, etc.), emotional (humiliating, intimidating, threatening, ignoring, etc.), verbal (calling names, teasing, etc.). There’s also a new type of bullying called cyber bullying, which includes intentional and repeated behavior through electronic devices such as phones, computers, tablets in order to abuse, harass, or threaten another person. How can we protect our children from all of this? Any problem should be recognized to be solved. Therefore, we need to know the signs of bullying to be able to help.
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Signs of bullying: everything you need to know
Unfortunately, many children are too afraid or ashamed to tell their parents about bullying. Therefore, it is up to us, parents, to be able to recognize if something bad is happening. Here are some of the most common signs of bullying.
How to know if your child is bullied:
- unexplained, suspicious injuries;
- lost or broken property (electronic devices, jewelry, clothes, etc.);
- frequently feeling sick (stomachaches, headaches, etc.);
- obvious changes in eating habits;
- sleep issues (insomnia, nightmares, etc.);
- worsening of school performance;
- withdrawal and apathy (loss of interest in things that used to bring joy);
- decreased self-esteem;
- self-destructive behavior (self-harming, suicidal behavior, running away from home, etc.).
Some of these warning signs of bullying are hard to notice, especially the psychological ones. It is important to let your children know they can come for your help no matter what the situation is. And if you recognize some of the described signs in your children, don’t close your eyes to it. Every day matters!
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How to help victims of bullying?
The very first thing you should do as a parent if you think your child is being bullied is to encourage them to talk about it. Be open, express your concern, but do not push! If your child opens up about the bullying, try to get details about the identity of the bully, as well as the circumstances. Discuss the possible solutions of the problem and teach your child how to respond properly in case of any incidents of bullying.
If you believe that you cannot get the situation under control, it is absolutely fine to seek help. Firstly, you should contact the school authorities and discuss the possible ways of resolving the problem. Come up with a clear plan and make sure it is implemented. Be in touch with your child no matter what. Make sure they understand that they have the right to be safe.
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How to know if your child bullies others:
- overly aggressive and impulsive behavior;
- being friends with children who bully others;
- tendency to blame others for their problems;
- unexplained new belongings or extra money;
- frequent meetings in the principal’s office;
- too worry about their reputation or popularity;
- not willing to accept responsibility for their actions;
- violent against animals.
Since bullying can hurt not only the victim, but also the bully himself, it is important to recognize the early symptoms and interfere. Children who constantly bully others risk ending up in jail, having drug addictions, getting STDs, facing teen pregnancy, etc. Always look for signs of bullying behavior in your children and make sure they understand the limits of acceptable social behavior.
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How to help a bullying child?
Changing behavior is very difficult, but it is relatively easier when you are young. If you think that your child is bullying others in the school, it is your responsibility to help them change. In order to succeed at this, you should maintain a positive atmosphere at home. In addition to this, you may want to consider following the tips below:
- Make sure your child understands that bullying is a serious issue and you are not accepting such behavior. Take disciplinary measures to punish them for bullying.
- Teach your child kindness and respect. Teach them that all people are different and there’s nothing shameful about it. Point out your own differences, as well as your child’s.
- Make sure your child’s friends are not bullies. Friends often have a significant impact on the child’s behavior.
- Set clear limits. Explain to your child the limits of accepted aggression.
- Praise and encourage the appropriate social behavior. Typically, this works better than punishments.
- Never expect immediate changes. Your child went a long road to becoming a bully. It takes time to go all the way back. Be patient and consistent!
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Every person deserves a second chance, and bullies are no exception to this. Often times, however, children become bullies due to bad parenting. It can be because of the lack of attention, or maybe their parents approve violent and aggressive behavior. This is why bullying is a social problem, which means it concerns everyone. And only by raising awareness and taking actions we can solve it. How many more children have to end their lives or take guns and take revenge in school cafeterias and hallways until we finally realize it?