“Bystanders who do nothing give bullies permission inadvertently to go on being bullies. Most are afraid they’ll lose friends or be bullied themselves if they help victims or report bullies, and some feel guilty for years afterward.”
― Megan Kelley Hall, Dear Bully
Bullies are a thorn in the flesh for the lonely child who often has no one to confide in and is unsure that if he or she “snitches,” help will come.
Choosing to use the word “bullies” is intentional as research has shown that a bully does not work alone but either intentionally or unconsciously has a support base.
Bullying can have extreme effects and ultimately affect everyone—the victims of bullies, the tormentors of others, and passers-by who choose to watch.
A bully is a person who purposely tries to hurt others by:
- making them feel uncomfortable.
- hurting them by kicking, hitting, pushing, tripping, etc.
- spreading nasty rumors.
Bullying has many adverse effects that can be connected to it, such as impacts on emotional wellness, substance use, and suicide. The importance of having a conversation with children to decide if bullying is involved cannot be over-emphasized.
Different investigations over the years have shown that it can also cause low confidence and disruption in the sleeping pattern of victims. Kids are occasionally embarrassed about being harassed and hide incidents from their parents, which can exacerbate the problem. A few information shows that as many as 20% are harassed throughout the span of their childhoods.
How do we then ensure your child is protected from bullies?
1.) Communication: Having a regular conversation with your child is not just vital but foundational to ensuring your child’s protection. It is often said that for children, another word for love is time. Create time to have at least 10–20 minutes of conversation time with your child.
Bullying, as we have learned, can take many forms. It can be verbal (ribbing or threats); physical (pushing, punching, or hitting); or mental (spreading rumors or excluding someone from a discussion or movement).
Talking about bullying and bullies will help parents and school management curtail it and keep everyone safe in the community. Anti-bullying programs instituted by the school’s management must be seen to be functional and not merely documented.
Swift and consistent responses to behavioral patterns that project bullying send the clear message that bullies will not be accommodated in the community. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time.
2.) Turn Negativity Into Positivity: Another way to protect our children from bullies is to teach them not to be victims. How can this be done? Bullies usually approach their prey with mocking comments that ridicule them.
For example, when a child is called “fatty,” they can react, “It’s so incredible you’re thin.” When confronted with an awful story, rather than shielding oneself, a more successful reaction is, “Do you trust it?” Assuming that the rumormonger says, “OK,” the triumphant reaction is, “You can trust it in case you wish.” In case they say, “No,” the reaction is, “Great.”
The target turned out a winner either way. Actual animosity is conceivably more hazardous and may require grown-up mediation, despite the fact that children can frequently stop it all alone relying on the circumstance.
3.) Develop friendships: A child may be bullied on the grounds that the person thinks that it is hard to make friends, and not realizing how to make mates results in isolation. However, parents can help by training their social abilities and methodologies to participate. Biblically, it’s said that one must show himself friendly to make friends. (Prov. 18:24) Role-playing at home or hosting playdates assists with directing the exercises if vital. “Friends protect against bullying,” says Leadbeater.
If bullies are harassing your child at school, you can get him or her involved in exercises that will enable him or her to meet friends in different conditions. This way, the child engages with various activities beyond what they have at school.
A resilient spirit is built up in the child as he sees himself in complex ways far beyond how he is perceived by these bullies. Assuming that you’re an educator or mentor, you can urge children to get to know and figure out how to function with various individuals.
For instance, in a football match, don’t let the stars pick their companions for their training group; get a mix that leads to forming a genuine group rather than contending factions.
4.) Let the child know it’s okay to seek help. Dealing with bullies alone is usually an uphill task for children, so they must realize that they can ask adults for help without being ashamed or being perceived as weak.
Getting our children to be comfortable with help-seeking behavior is one of the best things we can do for them. Let your children have the confidence to open up, knowing they can always talk to you. It’s critical to not constrain the discussion, however, but rather let your children in on the fact that they can generally converse with you.
A child who believes his or her parents will always be there for him or she will not be afraid to discuss issues with his or her parents that are beyond his or her comprehension.
Parents regularly need to look for help, as well. If your child complains of bullies in school, how and whom do you talk to? If talking to the teacher yields an unsatisfactory response, you should follow up with the principal and school administration. Holistically, faint or unresponsive feedback should motivate you to change the child’s school or get the police involved.
5.) Make certain you are not raising a bully –With bullying taking so many forms in the world today, it’s important we raise children who are not bullies. A child that is hurt tends to hurt other children. It’s our responsibility as parents to stay healthy and set worthy examples for our wards.
Children, as we all know, copy our actions and not our words. When a child bullies and gets into trouble, the shame ultimately falls on the parents, and the hands of the law can deprive us of a season of their lives.