No parent wants to imagine their child being bullied or even worse being a bully, yet it is a reality in schools. The fact is, more than half of all children are involved either as a perpetrator, victim or witness. So, there’s a good chance you’ll have to deal with it at some point.
My encounter was not that bad simply because the boy who was bullying my daughter is a “famous bully” at school. You should have seen the look on my face when the teacher was punishing him, I begged for him to be forgiven but the teacher went on to explain how the parents have never signed his homework or responded when called to discuss this same behaviour.
This left me even sadder since it is a deep issue that goes back to how we raise our children and the environment they grow into. Correct me if I’m wrong but if these parents cannot even respect the school’s call for a meeting concerning their son, then they are irresponsible.
Bullying has so many effects on your child, mostly their confidence and how I wish to protect my children’s confidence like their life depends on it. So I advise you to approach bullying issues in the most sensitive way possible so that your children don’t feel excluded from deciding what to do or end up even more stressed/worried. With stigma attached to bullying, some children feel they’ve brought it upon themselves. They need to be reassured that it’s not their fault.
Being bullied isn’t about being weak and being a bully isn’t about being strong.
“Encourage your child to try appearing confident – even if they don’t feel it,” says Sue Atkins. Bullies are more likely to stop if your child gives them the impression they’re not bothered by the nasty things some people say or do. If your child is under-confident due to bullying, then it just adds to their stress and anxiety.
Don’t let the bullying dominate their life. Encourage them to join a club or activity like drama or Karate. My daughter is swimming and it occupies most of her time to keep her mind off the fear or trauma of being bullied. This has built confidence and offered a chance to make new friends.
Don’t charge off demanding to see the head teacher. Though I must admit it that it’s not easy to face it, also bear in mind not all children dread that reaction.
“Never dismiss their experience: If your child has plucked up the courage to tell you about bullying, it’s crushing to be told to “sort it out you” or “it’s all part of growing up.” Don’t tell them to ignore it. Otherwise they will start to think that bullying has to be tolerated, rather than stopped.
I guess this is an experience 98 per cent of us parents are bound to experience at least once in our children’s life, so be prepared when the time comes….