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?
- 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
- 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
- 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