What To Do If Your Child Is A Bully
Children commonly tease each other and often times it is in good nature and has no negative effects. However, when a child becomes a bully, they can seriously injure children both physically and emotionally. It is important to stop bullying before it escalates to the point that a child is hurt. Most people think about stopping bullying by dealing with the victim, but what should you do if your child is a bully?
There are many different reasons why a child becomes a bully, some are not too serious and can easily be overcome and others are serious issues that must be dealt with for the well-being of both bully and victim. Children may bully others because they have low self-esteem themselves, they want attention of are trying to fit in with other kids that bully. They may experience abuse or bullying themselves from other children or adults. No matter what the reason is, if your child is a bully you should take the following actions.
You should first discuss with your child what has been going on and get their side of the story. Many times a child who is a bully is being bullied himself or is facing other types of abuse. Always get your child’s side of the story to determine their motive behind being a bully. If your child is looking for attention, trying to make friends, or has low self-esteem himself, you can better help him cope with his problems if you find the underlying cause of what is going on.
Let your child know that bullying is a serious issue and will have negative consequences if it continues. Schools do not tolerate bullying and eventually your child’s actions will catch up with him. Let him know that his behavior must stop or there will be serious consequences. Many times a bully who is not stopped will have lifelong problems with crime and drugs.
Talk to your child’s teacher or other school official who has or can witness your child’s bullying. Working together to stop your child’s bullying will be more effective than working alone. Discuss ways to work together to stop your child from being a bully. Teachers are more than willing to help stop bullying as schools take it very seriously.
If there are other children involved with your child’s bullying, talk to their parents. Sometimes children act together as bullies and not all the parents may be aware of it. Parents that act together will strengthen the message that being a bully is not ok and have an easier time of stopping it.
Finally, you should address the reason why your child is being a bully. If your child wants attention, more friends, or just to fit in, give them ways to accomplish this without bullying. If your child has other issues that may be more serious like bipolar disorder or low self-esteem, seek professional help for the well-being of your child. Giving your child positive ways to problem solve will go a long way to stop their bullying.
This entry was posted in Child Bullying.
How to Tell if Your Child is a Victim of Bullying
There are many warning signs of bullying, and if you suspect that your child may be getting picked on at school, looking for these signs can help confirm that your suspicion is true. Some signs are more subtle than others, but they can all point to a case of bullying.
If you notice that your child frequently comes home with damaged belongings, torn clothes, or is missing property, this may indicate that they are the victim of bullying. Taking or damaging property is a way that children bully each other as well as physically harming their victim. Likewise, if your child frequently comes home with unexplained bruises, scrapes, and other injuries they may be a victim of bullying.
If your child has few friends or is withdrawing from friends they once associated with, they may be the victim of bullying. While friends do come and go throughout school, sudden decreases in friendships may indicate that your child is a victim of bullying. Children who are bullied often withdraw from things they once cared about because of the stress of their situation. Less popular children are also at an increased risk for bullying so if your child has problems making friends they may be a target for bullying.
A sudden an unexplained fear of going to school or a sudden loss of interest in school and activities may also indicate that your child is the victim of bullying. Children are often hesitant to talk about bullying experiences and instead become afraid or uninterested in things they once liked. If you find that your child refuses to talk about school or other activities where bullying could take place this is also a sign that your child could be the victim of bullying. If your child is reluctant to talk about their experiences, reassure them that no matter what is going on your are there to help and can only make the situation better.
Another sign that your child may be the victim of bullying is mood swings, depression, or unexplained illnesses and complaints of aches and pains. Children who are the victims of bullying will often make up excuses why they do not want to go to school or come home in a bad mood. Children will typically try to avoid situations where they are being bullied using these excuses and it is a classic indicator of a bullying problem, especially if these problems happen unexpectedly.
If ignored, these symptoms can cause a child who is the victim of bullying to loose self esteem and do poorly in school. While these symptoms are not always caused by bullying, they are common signs that bullying has occurred. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, you should further investigate to see what the cause of the problem is and to find ways to solve it. Children often do not want adult help because they fear that it will only make the situation worse. If they refuse to talk to you, consider consulting your child’s teacher to get better insight into what is going on.
This entry was posted in Child Bullying.
Is Your Child at Risk of Being Bullied?
Every child is at risk of being bullied no matter what their personality is like. It is estimated by the U.S. Department of Education that over 10% of children in school are at some time the target of a bully. Because bullying can be directed to anyone, you should not assume that your child will never be a target. Many times bullying issues will resolve themselves or grade or school changes will separate the children involved in bullying. Sometimes, however, bullying will remain constant and will cause serious damage, both emotionally and physically, to the victim. Because bullying is such a serious issue, knowing the risk factors for being bullied is important in determining if your child is at an increased risk for being targeted by a bully.
Both boys and girls are most commonly bullied for being different, not fitting in, or lacking social skills. If your child has a handicap, has a hard time making friends, or fitting in with others, they have increased risk factors for being bullied. Children with differences such as small stature, physical defects, or cognitive difficulties are also at an increased risk factors for being bullied. Even if your child conforms to normal standards, they may have increased risk factors for being bullied if they are unpopular or are friends with other children who are bullied. Sometimes bullies even target children who are popular and confident because they are jealous so no child is safe from bullying.
Another risk factor for being bullied is bullying others. Children who bully others often find themselves as a target of bullying after they have victimized others. If your child bullies others, they may become the target of retaliation and become the victims themselves even after they stop victimizing others because the children they hurt want revenge. Warning signs of bullying behavior include general aggression, impulsiveness, the need to dominate, inability to cope with problems and the inability to empathize with others. If your child seems like the type that would bully others, they have increased risk factors for being bullied because victims often retaliate. Make sure your child understand that bullying is not acceptable and can have serious consequences for the rest of their lives.
If your child has risk factors for being bullied, you should monitor their behavior and look for warning signs of bullying. These signs include withdraw from friends and activities, sudden fear of going to school, unexpected complaints of illness such as stomach pains and headaches, constantly coming home with damaged or missing belongings, and unexplained depression.
Usually bullying can be stopped and long term damages avoided, but in severe cases, both parties can be affected for life. Be sure to teach your child what to do if they are faced with a bully and how to stop bullying behavior so that they will not suffer in the long term from bullying experiences. Don’t assume that your child will never be bullied, sometimes bullying occurs with no warning signs or the victims refuse to talk about it.
This entry was posted in Child Bullying.