Everyone might have noticed the news stories, have read the newspaper reports and discussed the present issues of bullying. For many of us, it’s just a matter of saying, “I’m happy that it hasn’t happened to my child.”
Or has it?
Many a time our children are anxious to tell us that they are being bullied. This may be for various reasons. They may be fearful that parents will conceive them as being weak. They may have been abused that serious issues may arise if they tell anyone. He/ she might even feel judged about ‘making an uproar over nothing’. Hence your child may not be talking to you about it.
In this article, we will try to help you understand the signs, effect of bullying on your child’s mental health and assist you in resolving the effects of bullying.
Effect of Bullying on on child development- Here’s what to know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bullying concerns 20% of high school students.
Bullying can have adverse short and long-term outcomes for both the victims. Here they are-
- Poor school performance
- Chronic depression
- Increased risk of suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts
- Feelings of shame and guilt
- School avoidance
- Anxiety disorders
- Low self-esteem
- Poor general health
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Self-destructive behaviour, including self-harm
- Substance abuse disorders
- Difficulty establishing trust, friendships and relationships.
How to know if your child is facing bullying at school?
Signs of Bullying to look out in your Child
Bullying can comprise one or more of the following types: threats, being left out, verbal abuse, name-calling, teasing, harassment, pushing, hitting and ignoring.
If you see at the above list and think back to when you happened to be in school, you are liable to relate to one, two or more of these things occurring to you or someone you know. The extent and effect these behaviours have on a child conclude the action that we, as parents, require to take in order to help.
What are the other signs to look for:
- Bruises, scratches or, cuts
- Sudden fears
- Excessive stomach aches and headaches
- Bed Wetting
- Anxious to go to school
- Changes in sleeping and eating habits
- Social isolation
- Broken or lost possessions
- Pretend to be sick in order to stay away from school
- Extreme mood swings
If you see these signs in your child, it may be a challenging subject for your child to talk about it. How you address the situation will make a difference in child’s life.
So what can be done?
Teach the child to respond assertively to school bullies. However, let the child know that he or she should not use violence or bullying in dealing with the situation. Instead, teach him to deal with the situation confidently. Let him or she knows that a school bully can be stopped if he or she shows confidence. A better way to help a child cope with bullying is through role-playing. In this way, a parent can teach the proper techniques on proper communication skills to deal with bullies.
More ways to prevent the effect of bullying on your child are-
- Spot the initial signs of bullying and prevent the condition from worsening: It is a parent’s chief responsibility to ensure that a child is not being bullied. If you have a son/ daughter, for example, who you used to be so bubbly but is now quiet and rarely gets out of her room, it could be a sign of bullying too. A decline in educational performance, a bitter attitude when going to school, fear- all those can be signs of bullying.
- Talk about it with your child: Assure them. Give support that being the target of bullying is not his or her fault. Let the child know that he or she is not the only person who experiences bullying.
- Talk to the school authorities: Also talk with the school administrator. Together with a school mentor or a school counsellor, you can put a stop to the bullying and probably change whatever effects it took about to your child’s emotional state.
- Develop social skills: A child needs to discover that children are not all bad but he or she can find true friends in them. Encourage the bullied child to find friends whom he or she can be with while in school.
- Make it clear that the problem can be solved: A child needs to know that he or she will not suffer from bullying all throughout the school years. Let the child know there is help available and teachers, school counsellors can help them in all manners and prevent it from happening.
- Develop trust: Compliment the child for being courageous in discussing the problem with the parents. This would show the child that parents can be trusted and can help him or her deal with being bullied.
- Help your child grow lasting friendships: If you’re hopeful enough not to have a child who experienced bullying, what do her bonds look like? Another point that you need to work on as a parent if you want to have a child who’s well-rounded is to support her to cultivate lasting friendships. One way to do this is to organize movie nights, sleepovers, baking sessions or related activities in your own home to get your child to have some bonding notes with her friends.
- Give your child’s self-confidence a boost: Finally, a tremendous issue among young children is a lack of self-confidence and lack self-esteem. No matter how smart they seem to you, they may not certainly feel the same way about their self. By giving them some supportive words, you can give your child the self-confidence they need.
Also, it is vital to report the bullying incidents to the school. The school administrators must become aware that their students are suffering from school bullies and they must immediately act on it.Should you need more information, assistance or help, please feel free to approach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can call us on our 24/ 7 helpline +91 97414 76476 or visit us at Cadabam’s Hospitals.