Anyone can be a victim of bullying, both children and adults. The most affected although, are children who are shy, quiet and have fewer friends. They tend to be victims of bullying while popular children are more likely to be bullies. From physical bullying to mentally harassing others, the constant increase in such instances urges parents to address the issue firmly, and be aware of the symptoms of a bullied child.
To list a few below are the signs that you need to vouch out for –
● Frequent headaches or faking illness to get out of school.
● Changes in eating habits – loss in appetite or over-eating.
● Difficulty in sleeping or frequent nightmares.
● Lost or destroyed clothing, books or electronics, etc.
● Declining grades or loss of interest in schoolwork.
● Sudden avoidance of social situations or meeting friends.
● Unexplainable injuries
● Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem
● Self-destructive behavior such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide.
Bullying can affect children drastically – degrading their mental and physical health. Once parents are aware of these changes in their wards, they need to effectively act upon it. Taking a step against bullying is significant, and helps your child be confident and enjoy their childhood – like it’s supposed to.
● Talk to your Wards about Bullying: Discussing and speaking openly about bullying and helping them open up about their instances is the best way to tackle the situation effectively. Communication is essential and encourages your child to confide in you and be confident of their stand.
● Discuss ‘What if’ Scenarios: Your child needs to be prepared for any bullying that might come their way. To do that parents can act out ‘what if’ scenarios with their school-going wards to help them with the right comebacks and how to respond in such a situation.
● Don’t be a spectator, contact school or bully’s parents: The biggest setback for a child is when their parent does not take the bullying complaints seriously. Don’t let your child feel less important or disregard his feelings by telling them to deal with it themselves. Contact school authorities and the bully’s parents to inform them of their child’s actions. Most schools take bullying seriously and will help your ward feel safer.
Although it is essential to teach your kids how to deal with bullies, it is also necessary to make them learn how to stand up to them, if they witness bullying. Active participation in a child’s life is critical for parents to help them be a responsible friend and citizen.