How to Talk to Your Child about Bullying?
Conversing with your child about bullying is crucial. Because by having this talk with your kid, you can give them the resources they need to stand up for themselves and maybe even stop bullying before it starts. We have compiled all these tips and suggestions for the same. Read on to find out more.
What is bullying?
Most people envision bullying as a form of physical violence, with victims being targeted by blows to the face or body. But bullying is more than just that. It’s any kind of repeated, unwanted behaviour that hurts another person, either emotionally or physically.
Bullying can take many different forms, but all of them involve a person or group repeatedly behaving in a way that is intended to hurt someone else. Some common examples of bullying include:
- Physical violence, like hitting, kicking, or shoving
- Verbal aggression, like name-calling, threatening, or taunting
- Social aggression, like specifically excluding someone from a group and spreading rumours about them
- Cyberbullying, or using electronic means, such as the Internet or mobile phones, to harass, intimidate, or harm a victim
Causes of bullying
There are many possible causes of bullying. It can be caused by a range of factors, including individual, family, community, and societal factors.
A lack of self-esteem, a need for power and control, and an inability to empathise are all individual factors that can contribute to bullying. Having parents who bully or fight with each other, having a parent who is absent or inattentive, or growing up in a violent family are all variables of family factors that might contribute to bullying.
Community factors that can contribute to bullying include things like living in a neighbourhood with high crime rates, being part of a group that is marginalised or discriminated against or attending a school with poor discipline policies. Lastly, societal factors contributing to bullying mostly include things like poverty, inequality, and societal norms that condone violence.
It’s important to remember that no one factor alone causes someone to become a bully. Rather, bullying is usually caused by a combination of several factors.
Consequences of bullying
There are a number of consequences that can occur as a result of bullying. These can range from short-term to long-term, and can be physical, emotional, or social in nature.
Physical consequences of bullying include injuries or self-harm, such as bruises or cuts. Emotional consequences can include feelings of sadness, anxiety, or fear. Social consequences can include isolation from peers, difficulty making friends or not having enough self-confidence.
In some cases, the consequences of bullying can last into adulthood. For example, adults who were bullied as children may have higher levels of anxiety and depression. They may also be more likely to have problems with relationships and employment.
Is your child a victim of bullying?
If you want to find out if your child is a victim of bullying, then here are some common signs you can look for. First, see if your child is acting differently than usual. Are they withdrawn or upset after school? Do they seem to be avoiding certain friends or activities?
Be more attentive to what your child says as well. Has your child mentioned anything about feeling scared or uncomfortable around certain kids at school? Have they said anything about not wanting to go to school or participate in extracurricular activities?
If you notice any of these changes in your child, talk to them about it. Ask them what’s going on and see if they’re willing to share their experiences with you. If your child is reluctant to talk, try to reassure them that you’re there to help and that you won’t judge them.
How to talk to your child about bullying?
Bullying is a form of aggression that no one should have to deal with. Any child who faces bullying naturally tends to become anxious, depressed, scared and even socially introverted. So what to do?
The first step is to start small. Initially, the child would naturally feel scared and uneasy to bring up that topic. However, with proper care and by creating a comfortable and easy environment around your child, you may find yourself hearing them tell you all about what happened to them.
When they feel comfortable enough to share, try your best to listen to them patiently and try to understand and console them.
Then, explain to them everything about bullying and how to handle it. Tell them ways in which they can stand up for themselves and other kids who might also face bullying. Try to tell them that bullying is not a good thing and that everytime they or someone they know face bullying, they should immediately tell an adult, like a teacher or preferably a parent.
Above everything, make sure to tell them that they can count on your love and support no matter what happens. Tell them that you’re always gonna be there for them, no matter what situation they face, and that you’ll always try to understand them to the best of your ability. This will increase their trust in you and help them rely on you for comfort and help and they will no longer feel uncomfortable talking about the difficult situations they may face in their daily lives.
How Can You Handle Bullying?
Naturally, children may not be able to understand why they faced bullying and may fall into the misunderstanding that it was their fault. This could further lead them to be anxious and depressed, which can prove to be highly dangerous in the later times of their lives. Hence, you should talk to your child about it, and explain to them that whatever happened to them wasn’t their fault. Explain to them that they have your complete love and support, and that they need not be scared no matter what situation they may face.
By doing this, they will feel more comfortable sharing with you everything happening in their lives, and they won’t feel scared or inferior in front of bullies or other people anymore. Depending on the situation, they should alert an adult (a teacher or parent) as soon as possible. Once you’re educated about the problem, it will be easier for you to advise your child on what steps to take next.
In case of cyberbullying, report the bully to cybercrime portals and block them from contacting your child in any way ever again. Help them come up with a plan for what to do and who to talk to if it happens again.
Lastly, let your child know that they are not alone and that there are people who care about them and want to help.
The End Cause
Bullying is a significant problem, but it’s also vital to talk to your kids about it because it can be the root of other issues. You can teach your kids to recognise and reject bullying by having open discussions with them about the topic. Spend some time showing them how to assert oneself in social situations.