Most kids have faced some types of teasing. Sadly, mocking, insults, and occasional name-calling are kinds of teasing that are typical in playgrounds and schools. However, bullying is unlike those other forms of teasing, and it’s more serious.
Bullying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is “any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another young person or group of young persons who are not siblings or current dating partners.” It consists of an observed or perceived power imbalance that is repeated frequently or is likely to be repeated.
Bullies are much stronger and bigger than their victims, either physically or because they have more power due to popularity, age, or another hierarchical factor. Likewise, the dawn of digital technology sadly erased limits concerning bullying. Because of the ease of misusing technology, you can find bullies based on various gender, familial, geographic, health-related, ethnic, identity, and socioeconomic dimensions. Bullying is discriminatory and can come around any of these dimensions.
Note also that bullying can take a toll on a child’s mental health. A bullied kid is more likely to experience depression or anxiety and increased feelings of loneliness or sadness. And so, it’s ideal for helping them manage the mental and emotional challenges that it brings. You can suggest having a blog or getting them to a therapist.
Overall, if you’re a parent, there are warning signs of bullying that you have to discover and steps that you can take to address the situation.
This article will dig into those warning signs of bullying and falls under four categories. These are:
- School Specific
- A decline in academic performance;
- Lack of desire to go to school or loss of interest in school-related tasks;
- Lack of willingness to talk about school or what’s disturbing them;
- Anxious feelings when entering the school bus.
- Emotional And Behavioral
- Having aggressive tendencies, specifically toward siblings;
- Changes in sleep and diet (This may come as problems with sleeping and having nightmares, binge eating, or skipping meals);
- Feelings of helplessness or lack of self-esteem;
- Mood changes such as anxiety, irritability, or sadness;
- Easily distressed, showing tantrums, angry outbursts, or crying.
- Usually teased or harassed by other young kids;
- Typically, alone or doesn’t have friends;
- Limits exposure to social situations or ostracized from friend groups.
- Return home from school unusually hungry;
- Cuts and bruises;
- Complaints of stomach aches, headaches, and other illnesses, particularly during school days;
- Returns home after school with damaged or missing possessions.
Because of the negative impact of bullying on a child, it’s best to know your rights as a parent. However, if the school officials are careless about protecting your child’s safety, it can be ideal to ask for help from legal firms.
You can check this official source for details regarding bullying and legal action.
What To Do
After knowing the warning signs of bullying, it’s time to be informed about the steps to take if you want to prevent bullying or if your child is being bullied. Read on.
- Have Support Outside Of School
The school is responsible for responding to your child’s concerns regarding safety within its premises. When and how the school engages external agencies is dependent on how much the school sees the seriousness of the event. Moreover, it revolves around the protocols and relationships that the school/district has created with outside agencies.
If at any moment you think that your child’s safety is in question and the school failed to do its job, it can be best to seek help from the local police. It’s advisable to have written records of the bullying incident and your actions to address the issue.
In addition, as said earlier, it’s also good to seek outside support from legal firms to file a lawsuit against the school’s officials if you find that they’ve become neglectful of their duty to address bullying.
- Teach Your Child Helpful Social Skills
Your child must know how to be assertive. They must know how to have their needs met while showing respect to the other person.
You can begin to have a role-play with your child on how to participate in a game at the playground, start a playdate/sleepover, or introduce themselves to another child at a school party. Children who are lucky enough to join groups understand how to observe first and then look for a way to be part of that group, rather than just forcing their way in.
Also, it’s good to have games out of social skills and train them about it at home. Not only that, but also you can encourage them to participate in clubs and groups that spark their interests.
Overall, other ways to boost your child’s assertiveness are talking about friendship skills, establishing healthy self-esteem, and giving specific praise.
- Have An Authoritative Parenting Style
Authoritative parenting is one of many parenting styles that provides a high degree of love, closeness, and warmth, along with providing clear limitations and high expectations with the assistance needed to meet those expectations.
A child coming from an authoritative parent does well with better mental health, higher achievement, and well-established relationship skills. This is the opposite of a child under a parent who practices harsh parenting. A child with an abusive parent is more likely to become a victim of bullying or become a bully himself.
Teasing is a common phenomenon within playgrounds and schools. However, bullying is different, and it’s a form of discrimination that can happen sadly. Likewise, the rise of digital technology has allowed many youths to become bullies based on various dimensions.
With that in mind, it can be good if you know the signs of bullying in your child early on and be informed on the right things to do. This is so you can prevent the chance of bullying or help your child more if ever bullying has already occurred.
Overall, remember the information you’ve received and share this article with others.