17 October, 2019

How To Help Your Child Deal With School Bullies

Nothing pulls at a parent’s heartstrings, in my experience, like discovering their child is being bullied.  But bullying is a stressful and common problem for school children of all ages, gender, and social standing.

In fact, it is estimated that over 50% of the students enrolled in school today are victims of bullying, be it physical, verbal, psychological, or online.

School teachers and staff are not always equipped to handle this growing problem, and parents are often unaware that a student is being bullied.

Despite what some educators and parents believe, bullying does not go away on its own, and most children are not equipped to solve the problem without adult intervention.

This flies in the face of the current popular primary school approach of letting the children sort things out themselves by facilitating ‘friendship’ meetings.

Kids need boundaries and if the bullies are from homes where there are none, how can we expect them to understand the impact of their actions and why these are wrong?  Further, how can we actually helpt the bullies who may be in need of support or victims themselves?

The following tips for parents and children offer a means by which bullying can be addressed and curtailed at school.  Note that you must be prepared to speak up because this is not a problem that will go away on its own – depending on the severity of the bullying, that is.

Know the signs of bullying and be prepared to discuss bullying incidents with the child

Parents should suspect bullying when a student:

What you can do

Help the student develop a resilient attitude toward bullying

Show your child how to avoid attracting bullies

Teach your kids to display effective body language by:

Show children how to handle a bully, and develop appropriate responses

Form an alliance with the school

It is difficult to find a student that has not been exposed to bullying, either as a victim or a witness.  Bullying must be taken seriously.  Such a stressor for students cannot be idly accepted or easily forgotten; the effects can be dangerous and damaging.

Collectively, parents, students, and school personnel can reduce the stress of school bullying by following some of the tips above, coupled with a commitment to having a “bully-free” learning environment.

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