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Carla Grobler

Arbeidsterapeut / Occupational Therapist
Pr No:0660000080136

Each child is unique!
Each child has the ability to improve!

Kids and 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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