School can be a very good learning ground for children. It allows a child to explore a different environment outside from home. Mental, emotional and social skills are developed at school. However, there are instances at school wherein your child may have difficulty coping. Around fifty percent of children experience bullying at school. While the statistics are sad, technology has even allowed bullying to take on a different form through electronic harassment and cyberbullying.
Children should never be subjected to any form of bullying. It is a serious problem and parents need to pay attention for signs that may indicate bullying in children. Physical bullying includes physical harm such as kicking, hitting and bullying. Verbal bullying on the other hand includes name calling, teasing, taunting, racial slurs and spreading gossip and malicious rumors.
Children who are being bullied generally would not want to go to school. They may have several health complaints like stomach aches or headaches. It also usually affects a child’s ability to concentrate on school work. Watch out for bruises and other injuries in your child. A child’s performance at school can also be greatly affected. Loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping are also indicators that your child may be having problems in school. Parents need to take action if a child is being bullied at school because the long term effects can greatly impact a child’s self-esteem. Mental disorders, depression, low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, and anxiety disorders are high among children who experienced bullying.
Parents need to have open communication lines with a child to encourage sharing. Bullied kids tend to be embarrassed and afraid to speak out. If parents suspect bullying, it is important to provide reassurance to the child that he is loved, and that it is not his fault that he is being bullied. Try to probe at how your child is being bullied and by whom. Encourage your child to report bullying incidents to his teacher or other school officials. Parents should know when to intervene because bullying can be severe if it involves physical harm. Get in touch with school officials to determine whether the police should get involved. Bullying can be serious and parents need to step in to prevent further harm.
Try to boost your child’s self-esteem if you can. A child who is being bullied may only have few friends. Encourage him to sit with a friend on the bus, or to stay close to someone he knows in class. If this is not possible, try to have your child socialize by encouraging him to participate in activities that can boost his self-esteem. These activities include involvement in sports, art or music.
A parent’s role if a child is being bullied should not stop after reporting the incident to school officials. Parents should keep on monitoring if the bullying continues. Parents need to be persistent with school officials in order to protect the child. If a child exhibits signs that he is having difficulty coping, try to get professional help.
An incident in school like bullying can sometimes make or break a child’s attitude towards other people and the society as a whole. Parents need to ensure that the child feels that he has your full support and love during this trying time. A child never has to feel that he is all alone. The wounds of bullying can be hard to heal, the sooner you can help your child, the better it will be for his welfare.