Kids and bullying

bullying

Bullying happens in all schools although the schools attempt to eradicate this.

We get different types of bullying:

  • Physical bullying: Taking someone’s lunch money, pushing, hitting, etc / Threatening someone with physical violence
  • Emotional bullying: The moment teasing becomes constant and hurtful then it is classified as bullying / Spreading rumours / By gossiping but also using social media e.g. Facebook or Twitter, etc. / Alienating or shunning someone / Threatening someone

Why do kids bully other kids?

  • Some kids choose a child who seems weaker/smaller/less confident than them to pick on as this makes them feel more in control/stronger/confident
  • They think bullying will make them more popular and important
  • Some kids bully as this is the behaviour they are subjected to at home and see this as ‘normal’

What effects does bullying have on a child?

  • Crying
  • Weight loss
  • Disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Child refusing to go to school: will make up psychosomatic illnesses e.g. my tummy hurts/my head hurts/I feel sick
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Poor self-esteem/self-worth
  • The effects can be severe:  suicide / running away / school shooting
  • Feels alone and alienated
  • Marks at school may drop

Warning signs that your child is being bullied:

  • A change in your child’s behaviour/attitude
  • Anxiety
  • Eating patterns vary
  • Sleeping patterns vary
  • Your child is not part-taking in tasks, that he previously found fun, anymore
  • Starts avoiding certain situations e.g. the playground/going to the bathroom, etc.

What can I as a parent do to help?

  • Praise your child for telling you about the bullying
  • Stay calm!
  • Contact your child’s teacher to make them aware of the problem.  If the bullying persists contact the principal.  If the situation doesn’t improve contact the bully’s parents to arrange a meeting at school
  • If the bullying has had a dramatic effect on your child, take her to a play therapist to work through the feelings caused by being bullied

Tips to give your child:

  • Act brave/walk away from the bully/ignore the bully
  • Use the buddy-system  –  always walk with a friend
  • Avoid the bully if possible
  • Tell a teacher the moment the bullying takes place so that the bully can be disciplined
  • Don’t get angry/cry in front of the bully. Bullies thrive on getting a reaction.  Rather hold in your anger/tears until you are alone or at home
  • Tell someone you trust like a friend/mom. Talking about your feelings makes you feel better

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